Photo by Thomas Stephan on Unsplash

Wrinkled Hope

How broken trust in relationships remains difficult to repair. The damage done cannot be undone, it can be rebuilt.

Take a sheet of paper out; a flat, clean, fresh sheet of paper. Each time you have hurt your loved one, wrinkled a portion of the paper. Say what you did, wrinkle another spot. For instance, if you have yelled at your partner, wrinkle a corner of the paper. Continue until you have wadded up the paper into a ball.

Consider the wrinkled paper a sign of all the pain your words, actions, or lack thereof of either, to your partner.

We see this sheet of paper so warped and so drawn up into a shape of misconstrued thoughts and jumbled words. Do we laugh at this? Cry at this? Or do we wonder how did this simple white piece of paper become so destroyed, so rejected, so warped from its once flat, evenly, perfect form?

Your actions dictate how wrinkled the paper of your life becomes.

You see? Can you truly see this? Maybe not…not yet…hold on, wait…let’s walk around the ideas for a bit and see if you can open your heart around the thought of wrinkled hope.

  1. Your behaviors and choices determine the trust others give to you.
  2. Wow. Can you imagine? You want to be trusted~ Right?
  3. You want to trust others? Right?
Tell me, then, where did the wrinkled paper come from in your hand?

You and I both know we are not responsible for people’s choices. However, we are responsible for what we press upon them, for creating mistrust pain and sorrow in their lives. Trust is giving thoughtful consideration for your behaviors and choosing to honor your partner. Mistrust comes from wounds inflicted by those thoughtless individuals who forgot what it means to be a partnership.

Betrayal has repercussions, which follow you throughout your life.

Sometimes, those repercussions blare their horns, reminding you of your failures, and at other times, it’s a gnawing pain in your gut. The discomfort of disillusionment and dissatisfaction of negative behavioral choices haunt our souls.

Either way, trust was broken. Now, you began to display a wrinkled and worn piece of paper to the world.

Stop for a moment.

We mask our pain.

As we mask our pain, there are others who see us as completely whole.

They do not see the wrinkles we hide so well.

How can it be so easy to hide from the masses and not so easy from our partners and close relationships? Well, we know how to hide the real us from the world. Peer pressure, self-defense and self-preservation in the grand scheme of things creates the need to fake our way through life. However, the people closest to us know the pain we have caused others, and to them, by our choices.

So, now I ask you, will you change your ways on this journey with me?

I need to change, not as vain, arrogant fools. I want to increase within myself, filled with wisdom and kindness; letting these dwell in me.

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

Now, we are going to flatten the wrinkled paper. Go ahead, give it a try.

Just like an iron can take the wrinkles out of your favorite shirt or jeans, can an iron remove the wrinkles in this piece of paper; smoothing it out? It is done by steam, spritz the paper, then use the iron, HOT, presses it ever so carefully so the paper begins to smooth out. Let it cool, dry, and then repeat.

Alas, you’ll notice there remains warped, softened edges, never in it’s once perfect form again.

Listen closely, as you recognize the magnitude of your choices upon your partners. You develop patience, using mindfulness, staying present, remembering the tender hearts of our loved ones. The partners who walk with you, those you have hurt, desire patience and understanding, even if they neglect to ask.

There are times when they feel triggered. They are reminded of your deeds; you, at the juncture of awareness, have a choice to demonstrate patience, empathy, and once again accept responsibility for the damage inflicted.

The process repeats itself and becomes muddled when you forget the path of trust building and resort to past behaviors. Each time you fall back, your paper wrinkles again.

Accountability to honor and respect increases the trust building process.

As time moves forward you’ll notice the relationship begins to heal. As the restoration process is revealed, you will regain the trust once lost, and be held in high esteem again.

Keep seeking ways to make your life positive, built on respect and trust.

~Just a thought by Pamela


Some background information on the write up:

The article above was created a few years ago, for a relapse recovery group. I wrote it one night after a hard experience with my partner and my pain was strong. I wrote it and it has become one of the most impressive learning tools for my domestic violence classes, once I geared it toward the message of relationships. It can be adapted, so feel free to use it. My Master’s instructor for Family Counseling borrowed it for her toolbox as well as a Doctor from the EAP conference in Wisconsin this year.