Friday, June 19, 2009

Trusting Others and Trusting Myself

Until I was a teen, I trusted myself. My parents did a good job of raising me in a way that allowed me to learn about myself and to feel safe in and with myself. I cannot necessarily say the same thing about school and my peers. When I was a teen, maybe at sixteen or so, I started not trusting myself anymore. It wasn't a huge thing to begin with. It was just little blips, little things that didn't add up, little things that I didn't understand that made me doubt myself. In college, it continued in an on and off way. Then, when I was married, my trust in myself plummetted to an all time low. I really don't know exactly how it worked, but the important part I suppose is that for a few years, I didn't feel any connection with myself, for in my mind connection and knowledge often equals trust. If you know someone, you can trust them. For trust doesn't mean that someone will be perfect, never hurt you, or fulfill every promise in the book. Trust means that you know that someone will act in a predictable manner that is true to their character.

It took a few years, but after my marriage ended (in my mind at least), I got myself back. I once again could trust myself. I was growing and learning of course, but the foundation of trust was there. What about trusting others?

Well, I have often thought that I am very trusting, but the truth is that I am not. I can be very open, but that is not the same thing. You see, when you equate knowledge with trust, it is very hard to trust anyone until you have a lot of knowledge about them. Luckily my intuition has increased as I have matured, and I have grown in my ability to see and know people with less interaction. It is the kind of puzzle that I am good at, putting together the pieces to figure out the whys and infer those things that make someone tick. I realize that people are much more complicated than that, but you would be surprised how a mix of intuition and logic can help you to know someone and ultimately to trust them to be who they are.

I think that a lot of people don't trust others because they do not think that they are trustworthy, and they think that others will make the same mistakes that they would. The truth is that they are right! We all make mistakes, ourselves and those who love us. If we want to trust and ultimately love others (and ourselves), we must accept that no one is perfect. We must accept that mistakes will be made. We must accept that sometimes not everyone is going to want the same thing, and if something is important to someone, they are going to act in their own best interests. This is the way that it should be! No one should want anyone to be miserable!

This social dance that we all weave is incredibly complicated and not at all as simple as many preach at us in early childhood and as we mature. "Do unto others as we would have them do unto us" is an incredibly complicated sentiment. So is "do no harm." "Share," Impossible for many in many situations!

I could go on for this is one topic that is near and dear to me for I am here on this earth to learn trust, and I still have a long way to go! But I think that is enough thoughts to share this evening.


Swirlypepper said...

You write very elequoently, I'd never myself have equated trust with knowledge of someone's predicted behaviour (to me it's 100% about never having to worry they'd hurt me) but I know exactly where you're coming from when I read what you've written.

Aron Sora said...

It's interesting that you started to not trust yourself when you where in High School. In my final paper my senior year English I evaluated the current education system and made my own philosophies on education. Basically, the school's over reliance on grades causes students to become risk aversive. Do you think your High School experience made you doubt yourself?

Anonymous said...

"For trust doesn't mean that someone will be perfect, never hurt you, or fulfill every promise in the book. Trust means that you know that someone will act in a predictable manner that is true to their character."I learned a lot from this blog :)

PJ said...

very good insight. i have never thought of it quite that way. thanks for sharing, i have learned something new.

Martha A. Cheves said...

I love how you've opened up your feelings. I believe most of us have these same feelings and keep them bottled up because we lack Trust. We're afraid that if we emit our true feelings people will laugh, think less of us and eventually hurt us. I have to admit that I'm one of those people. I let no one see the complete me. Thank you for your writing. It really makes me understand my self just a little more.

alom_doank said...

Basically, the school more than students in the classroom into the causes of risk aversive. Do you think your High School experience to make you doubt yourself?