This staircase makes me think about trust. You would only take these stairs once before you realized that a descent here is futile. You would not keep taking these stairs hoping that one day you'll find the path clear to some pleasant destination.
How differently we approach relationships. We will engage over and over again with people who've proven themselves NOT trustworthy hoping each time that the trip will turn out to be rewarding.
In some cases the investment is worthwhile. I'm working on training our youngest to be truthful and honest; teaching him that the penalty for lying is worse than the penalty for whatever he felt compelled to lie about. At 15, he's a little old for this - but it's never too late. I trust that he will learn the importance of establishing and maintaining trust. No matter how difficult the truth is, it is better to share a painful truth than to fall into disuse, considered worthless and untrustworthy.
In our relationships, we are not rigid and constant but we are fluid and dynamic; ever changing and eternally capable of redefining ourselves and rewriting our scripted responses to others. And this, my friends, is truly a blessing.