Let’s Talk About it: Guarding Your Heart

“I’m tired of trusting men I should be able to trust.”

I actually said that to a friend last week. I hate being lied to and yet, I allow it in certain people over and over again until I just can’t stand it anymore and I blow up. I continue at times to open my heart because it feels like I should. My friend proved to be a wonderful ear and full of wisdom. “Guard your heart.”

He didn’t say build a wall around it so that I’ll never get hurt again. It simply said to guard it. That’s a different animal completely.

It’s not that I don’t trust men. Somewhere along the line, I stopped trusting my gut. While wandering through the world completely unafraid is  naive and dangerous, fearing everything and everyone is not a viable solution. I need to learn how to listen to my gut and trust it again.

I’ve had many jobs in my life; waitress, machine shop worker, female telecom technician to name a few. I’ve worked with great men and not so great men. Basically, I’ve been felt up every way but Tuesday. While a lot of things may have changed for women since my Mother’s generation, a lot of things haven’t. When I was younger, I just considered it the price I had to pay. When I got older, I got wiser.

I had the miss-fortunate experience of working in a Not For Profit organization that was less than scrupulous. Short version, the laws that are in place to protect women do not apply to non profits and I found myself emotionally, mentally, and spiritually raped by a man I should have been able to trust. He blamed me for his actions and for a while, I believed him. That will mess a woman up.

I responded to said circumstance by crumbling into myself and giving up on ever trusting men again. Fortunately for me I meet some of the most wonderful, trustworthy and patient people who grab me from my own emotional pit and pull me back into the land of the living. I don’t believe him anymore and while this is not been an easy climb, it’s a worthwhile climb.

I tend to shake sometimes and act like I have PTSD. Maybe I do, maybe I don’t. I don’t know. I do know I’m willing to shake until I stop shaking. I’m willing to be neurotic and I’m willing to set boundaries when I need to. I’m willing to walk through whatever it is I need to walk through in order to trust myself again.

Yes, I do make men prove I can trust them today. I set strange boundaries like you can’t be my friend on Facebook unless your wife knows I exist and do not touch me without my permission.

I’m also learning to stop being responsible for other people’s choices.

My misplaced sense of personal responsibility is what caused last week’s lament.

Yes, there are people I should be able to trust and yet because of their own brokenness I can’t. That’s not my fault. I can learn how to guard my heart.

I don’t have answers right now on how to guard our hearts, I’m afraid I’m still learning. I do however want to introduce you to one of the people I get learn from in this area. His name is Michael Hyatt. I’ve seen him with his wife and daughters. He’s a good man.



You can read these two articles if you want: Also I’d love to hear from you. Has anyone ever hurt your heart so badly you thought you’d never recover? How did you over come it? How do you guard your heart?

4 thoughts on “Let’s Talk About it: Guarding Your Heart

  1. The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. Who can know it?
    When dealing with “emotions” (friendship, love, hate,etc.) he hardest part is learning where the heart stops and God begins.


    • But God removes our heart of stone and gives us a heart of flesh and tells us to guard it, not to lose heart but to allow it to be encouraged and strengthened so it can’t be all bad.


  2. Oh Deana, I had a man friend (and I’m not dogging men, and neither are you) who was without question not a romantic interest but was someone to whom I felt very close. And yet…many times, I came away from interactions feeling…stupid, disrespected, made-fun-of, and generally unappreciated (not to mention, feeling that what mattered to me was discounted.) And you would think I would have figured that out – but oh no, I tried to be a better person and explain myself. Over and over. In November of last year, he behaved abominably at a dinner party I gave to promote my friend’s new romance. I did make clear afterwards that he and I would have to have a talk – but after Christmas so we could get through Advent (we were in the same church choir…) and so I wouldn’t yell and scream. My reward? Christmas Day, he ended our friendship in front of other people. I thought I would not get through it – but I did. And now, despite the way in which it happened, I am thankful. I am out of a friendship that I tried to make work, with someone with whom there were some serious disconnects. And…I have more time and more energy to devote to some GREAT friendships! I overcame this by heeding counsel to ‘let it go’ and I did just that. I continue to let it go when it tries to burden me down. It’s not always easy, but…I remember the painful parts – the very frequent and very painful parts – and remind myself that now neither one of us has to be in a friendship that must be frustrating for us both. And now? I actually have a little form I fill out with new friends after any interaction. How do I feel being around them? Were there red flags? Did they do or say something that I found at odds with the deepest values of my heart? If there are problems at the beginning, then my motto is “keep smiling and keep moving.” I’m courteous and friendly – but not too friendly. I keep the person at…a safe distance. I can be nice – maybe even have lunch now and again, but close friends? Friends of my heart? No.


    • ouch — sorry that happened. Testing is good. I found a lot of great help in Safe People by Robert Townsend. I used to just jump into relationships and that is not healthy. Sounds like you are doing a good job of discerning yourself.


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