Sanctuary and Trust – The Tale of Two Friends Who Lost Their Way

June 8, 2017

Helen Joy Butler sanctuary trust quote
Not so long ago a lovely friend betrayed me.

Yes I know that sounds like a contradiction – ‘lovely’ and ‘betray’ really shouldn’t go in the same sentence.

But she was lovely. And I didn’t see the betrayal coming at all – until it did.

And then things spiralled out of control for a little while until, well, the relationship ended.

We didn’t have a screaming match or a rude text conversation or anything like that. There was just an unspoken understanding that the trust between us had been irrevocably shattered. It was inevitable that our relationship moved to the next level (aka the breakup).

It’s interesting isn’t it, when relationships like this come to an end. With hindsight I could see our relationship for what it was, but when I was in the giddy depths of it I felt alive, heard, supported.

I share this with you because last week one of our beautiful Sanctuary Creator Tribe members shared Brene Brown’s The Anatomy of Trust, a talk Brene gave at Oprah’s SuperSoul Session a few years ago.

After sharing and watching Brene speak, many of our Tribe members had a great conversation about trust, how important it was in relationships, what we’d noticed in our own lives. It truly was an invitation for us to look at where trust was – and wasn’t – in our lives, and to start to see how we felt about the relationships we were in; not just with our partners, but with everyone we knew.

In The Anatomy of Trust talk, Brene shares the concept of B.R.A.V.I.N.G. – and how for trust to occur, all of the following elements need to exist in a relationship.








The great thing about this approach is that, instead of saying “I don’t trust that person” or “They broke my trust and we can’t move forward with our relationship” we can say “Hey, that person stepped over my boundaries. We need to talk about that” or “That person is really judging me for my decisions. We need to clear the air”.

Not easy though right?

So back to my lovely, betraying friend.

When I look down Brene’s B.R.A.V.I.N.G. acronym I can see quite a few places we went wrong.

Now I’m not saying I wasn’t in the wrong with my own behaviour at times. I know I shared information with my friend that, in hindsight, I shouldn’t have; but at this stage I wasn’t aware of B.R.A.V.I.N.G. let alone one of the most important aspects of it for me – the vault. 

My problem was that I considered every conversation I had with my friend – and anyone else for that matter – as confidential. I want deep, meaningful connections with people I trust, and if confidentiality is one of my boundaries then that’s OK with me.

To be honest I didn’t even know confidentiality was one of my boundaries – and I certainly wouldn’t have come to this realisation if my relationship with my friend hadn’t broken down.

By now you might be wondering what any of this has to do with sanctuary.

But I’m also hoping that maybe a few things are starting to come into your awareness, like the fact that

Sanctuary can’t exist without trust

Just like sanctuary can’t exist without gratitude, sanctuary and trust are so intertwined that when trust is broken, sanctuary in all its elements falls away.

That lovely conversation you had over dinner which felt so right? In that moment there was sanctuary and trust … in hindsight things feel quite different.

That time you took a trip together and had a wonderful time supporting each other and sharing your dreams? In that moment there was sanctuary and trust … in hindsight things feel quite different.

That time you decided to work on a project together, to share your talents in a way of service to the world? In the moment there was sanctuary and trust … in hindsight things feel quite different.

There are times when we know sanctuary and trust are broken – and there are times when we don’t realise they’re broken until it’s too late.

But there’s another element to all of this.

Trust in yourself.

As Brene shares in her talk,

Are you clear on your own boundaries?

Are you reliable to yourself?

Can you hold yourself accountable?

Can you keep your own counsel?

Can you stay in your integrity?

Are you judgemental of yourself?

Are you generous to yourself?

If sanctuary is all about connecting with your heart, your home, your body, your life in a way that is nurturing, cocooning, loving, caring – how can it exist without trust?

Trust for yourself


Trust for those you spend time with

In the Sanctuary Creators Tribe many of the ladies shared that there were a very small amount of people in their lives who sat in B.R.A.V.I.N.G. for them. And if I look at this myself I feel the same.

Even though I am still saddened by the way my relationship ended with my friend I am forever grateful for the lessons I learnt. And that in itself is a gift I gladly receive. Because I deserve people close to me who offer me sanctuary through trust – and so do you.

With much love,

Helen xx

PS The Sanctuary Creators Tribe doors open again on 9 July, with a bonus for anyone signing up by 20 June. Please pop over here for all the details.

Helen Joy Butler - Intuitive Professional Organiser and Elemental Space Clearer


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