Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Trusting Trust

I sat on the back deck of a ship for some quiet time. It was a foggy day so I couldn’t see much of the great liquid beyond, but the fresh air and lull of the ocean captivated me. I couldn’t see where we’d just come from nor where we were headed, but I didn’t feel anxious or nervous. I felt relaxed. I felt calm. I felt free. I felt relaxed, calm, and free because of trust. I trusted that the captain and crew steering this ship had the ability to do what I couldn't. I trusted their know-how and skill. I trusted their ability to keep me safe and I will continue to trust them for the next 100 days.
Trust is a major issue for most. Problems with trust is typically due to history. When trust is betrayed we are no longer willing to be vulnerable again. I’ve sailed on ships before and my past experiences have been positive. All have resulted in me arriving safely to my destination. That makes it easy for me to trust that this voyage will have the same result. Similarly, we base our expectations on what has happened to us previously. If someone we were vulnerable with was dishonest or disloyal, we develop a fear of vulnerability. If someone we opened up to proved undeserving then we may conclude that being open is what led to the hurt.
All of us have been let down by someone we loved. However, it is not wise to live a life constantly guarded and closed. I was extremely good at allowing others to get close to me without giving myself the liberty to do the same. I would often leave the company of others feeling alone and burdened. The freedom that comes from opening up to others was lost on me because I refused. While I wouldn’t let anyone hurt me, I was also preventing anyone from helping me. While I wouldn’t let anyone get too close, I was also preventing myself from feeling connected. All of the risk that I shielded myself from was also blocking the benefits associated with having relationships. It is impossible to experience authentic love and friendship without trusting.

If you find it unusually difficult to trust, consider what you are missing out on by being so calculating with your emotions. Be careful, not fearful. Be selective, not overcritical. Don't miss out on the precious gift of friendship because you are too afraid to trust.

No comments:

Post a Comment