Trust

I’ve struggled with the whole idea of trust. Have you?

Partly it’s the concept. There are a lot of implied ideas involved but not a lot of agreement.

When you trust someone else, how open are you? Perhaps at first your trust is rewarded, however, at times you may end up disappointed with others because they break your trust, leaving you guarded for the future.

Maybe you ask yourself, was there an agreement or did you presuppose others were innately trustworthy?

And then there is the question of whether you trust yourself. Based on what I know about me, I wonder if I am as trustworthy as I think I am. Certainly I’ve let myself down on many occasions, but does that make me untrustworthy?

I feel I need to ask myself another important question to help get my bearings. What am I basing my sense of trust on? Is it evaluated solely on the outcomes I experience?

Or is it as simple as, if I don’t get my way, my trust is broken?

Clearly there is confusion here for me.

No doubt there are very intelligent and keenly insightful people who could share much about trust with me, but if you’ve read my posts before, you’ll know where I’m going for my answers. Yes, to Lia, a part of the way I see god (a name I have, in this case, for a decidedly feminine voice of god, which stands for ‘love in action’).

When I asked for clarity, this is what Lia said.

“Do you trust the universe?”

I responded, “I’d have to say the answer is ‘no’, based on how I’m interacting with the world”. I asked, “What can I do about it? How can I relax and allow the flow to carry me?”

Lia’s voice was smooth and calm as she spoke, “Trust is a big word and concept, BUT it isn’t what you think. Your version goes something like this”. All will be well, if I believe properly, rely and trust that the universe (divine, god) has my back, which means things will turn out essentially the way I want them too or I’ll see clearly that what is happening serves me.

“Does that sound accurate to you?”, she asked.

I said, “Pretty much, yes” and added, “so what is trust, if not that?”

There was a moment’s hesitation, as if to underscore the importance of her next words. “It is the belief that nothing matters, as it relates to the observable outcomes.”

I felt that would require more explanation for me to understand and said so.

Lia told me this, “Your version of trust tries to tie together your desired outcome with my actions, so that you experience what you say you want.” Then she added, “Trust (in me) means that, in advance of any outcome(s), you believe all will be well. Nothing specific is preplanned, but ALL outcomes exist. If you altered your belief system to accept that ALL outcomes serve you, you would not need one specific outcome to occur, you would be satisfied with what showed up. Knowing that whatever shows up will/does serve you (and others) is trust.”

I knew she had more to say, and I would have to come back to this to truly understand her message to me.

Lia continued, “Placing or demanding any specific outcome(s) represents a lack of trust and you will feel this across your essence- physical, emotional, mental, spiritual and ego. Part of the reason you will feel this is that the feeling is a message to/for you, a directional arrow pointing the way to living a peaceful, happy, joy-filled life.”

“Your feelings are giving you cues to follow. Those of discomfort tell you to move in another direction and those of pleasure and comfort encourage you to continue on your path.”

“If you don’t find or observe any cues, try something different, pay attention and move accordingly, trusting your insight to guide your way.”

“All of that is a lot to think about,” I stated.

“Yes,” she said, encouraging me to feel that I could return to this conversation any time I desired.

I’m sure I will. I need to feel more trusting in my life.

Trusting

Are there a lot of people in your life that you trust? Or have you been burned once too often to offer your trust to others?

A memory jumped into my head when I started to think about the subject of trust.

Can you picture a playground teeter-totter, also known as a see- saw? In case you are not familiar with them I’ll give you a quick explanation. Imagine a long board placed over a mid-point pivot (think fulcrum) with handles near each end. It’s meant for two people, usually children. One sits at one end and holds on to the handle that span the width of the board. The other child sits at the opposite end hanging on to their own handle.

At rest, one end of the teeter-totter sits on the ground, while the other end is up in the air, so the two children need to hold the board parallel to the ground, throw their legs over the board, hang on to the handles and balance there. Then one child pushes off the ground and rises upward while the other child falls downward, requiring them to bend their knees. After a moment the downward child pushes upward causing the upward child to fall toward the ground. The cycle is repeated over and over until at least one child tires of the game.

A discovery may occur to one or both of the children. The closer they sit to the middle, the less height they get. This is the safest position but offers very little excitement. The further the children get to the ends of the board the higher they go and the greater the thrill.

Here’s the trust part.

If a child decides to get off quickly when they are at the low point, the child at the peak crashes to earth in a free fall. From experience I can tell you this can be quite painful. At first, you’re shocked and weightless, then you realize there’s no way to land easily, no matter how strong your legs are.

Here’s another thing that happens.

It challenges your friendship.

While at the peak of your teeter-totter experience you were completely defenseless and the child at the other end, who could protect you, let you fall. A total breach of playground etiquette.

And dangerous for you.

It seems to me that there are lots of situations in life just like this.

You come to rely on an expected level of care from others. You may feel it is implied and doesn’t need to be defined or formally agreed to. It ought to just happen that others are concerned about you and try to help you, especially if they are your family or friends.

I wonder about lots of things. It’s just the way my mind works. I usually let it go and try to follow its path. In this case it led me to looking up the definition of the word ‘trust’. I discovered it’s both a noun and a verb. As a noun it’s an idea, as a verb it’s an action.

It represents a belief in someone or something’s reliability, truth, ability or strength.

How do you decide to trust someone? Do they have to have a track record with you of previously proven support?

Does your trust evaporate if they fail to meet your expectations? Do you base your level of trust of others on how trustworthy you think you are?

I find it challenging to answer these questions. I’m struck by the tenuous principles involved in trusting. I wonder which elements I need to see and feel before I extend my trust. I wonder too, what others need or want from me prior to giving me their trust.

Perhaps the answer is simpler than I might think. Perhaps it’s not about anyone else but me. Not about their actions or intentions, but all about how I want to live in this world.

Do I want the safe ride in the middle of the teeter-totter or the thrill ride, living the fullest life offered? It’s possible I might get hurt, but it’s also possible I will find rich rewards through trusting.

I guess it’s a decision offered to each of us. I hope the one you make brings you joy.