I used to proudly proclaim, “I trust someone until they give me a reason not to.” This was my confident statement about the discernment I felt I had learned to exercise from my own past experiences, and was a way that I made sense of life’s lessons and letdowns. And discernment is necessary. The problem comes if being discerning puts us in a kind of on-call warrior mode where we are poised to respond at the first sign of an untrustworthy act. In our minds, we are flexible and even generous to the degree that we have decided that so-and-so can be trusted, but we are nevertheless poised to take account of any potential injuries. What we are doing then, is not trusting.
When we trust someone, we put our faith in their ability to not hurt or betray us in some way. It is not always an easy thing to yield this much of ourselves to another. It makes us feel open and exposed. It leaves us feeling vulnerable to possible predatory attacks. Trust is something earned after all. When we trust, we are having faith that we can be safe with a person or in a situation. We are believing that there is something unspoken that will keep us from harm’s way.
“The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.” ~ Ernest Hemingway
Once let down in some way by one we trusted, we are apt to not allow another closer, at least not without some great proof of guarantee. This is a self-protective measure designed to prevent future damage. However, this is a double-edge sword. We do not allow another the chance for intimacy, denying them the privilege of our friendship. But we also find ourselves living in a world where we are protecting, fending off, and closing potential doors to future happiness on account of a broken trust from the past. And the loss is our own. So, you trusted someone and they let you down. So, what of it? Can you not bear the weight of your own disappointment? Will you crumble or die? Will the world come crashing to a halt? No. No. No. Life continues and you are somehow stronger. You have weathered experience. You have learned something. You have learned not that you can’t trust people, but that you have resilience. You have learned discernment. You have chunked some bits of wisdom into your storehouse. You have learned that you could weather storms and still be here, maybe only a little worse for wear.
“May today there be peace within. May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith in yourself and others. May you use the gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content with yourself just the way you are. Let this knowledge settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and every one of us.” …” ~ Saint Terese of Liseaux
Trust begins with ourselves. We must learn to trust our own judgement. We must learn that we will be okay, even if we fail at some task or endeavor we set out to accomplish. Things will go on if someone disappoints us. And we will learn the lesson, sooner or later. And what’s more, once we have extended ourselves and perhaps lost trust in another, we must trust that we have within us something stronger than we thought. And we must trust that our trust was not mislaid because we were learning to trust ourselves.
And we must move forward and trust again.
But trust in ourselves, in the deep wisdom core within us, is the foundation for trusting others and trusting life. Before we can extend the olive branch of trust to another, we must have found the treasure within ourselves. From there we will discover that trust is the food that nourishes our oneness with all life. Trust is choosing to know and believe that there is something in all our experience which conspires on behalf of our good.
Let us begin to know and accept that.
© 2022. Egyirba M. High. [Althea Grace]. All Rights Reserved.