1/25/11

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the most trustworthy of them all?

The concept of trust has been on my mind a lot lately. What does it mean to trust someone or something? When do we trust? When do we not trust? Trust means to have blind faith in a specific outcome. In the movie Indiana Jones, the protagonist had to walk out some empty space trusting there was an invisible bridge that would hold him. It's depicts the very thing I think about trust; that it's a risky thing to trust. Yet, when done right, it can bring many rewards.

Yet, it's not all about 'blind' faith. That would be quite dumb and hurtful going around trusting everyone we knew. On the contrary, in order to trust someone or something they MUST meet certain requirements first. In friendship for example, there are two requirements I have for trust to happen. One, you must be happy with yourself. Unhappy people just do NOT make for a trusty relationship, and that is a 'NOT' in capitals. People who often lack something, or who simply may feel they lack something in life tend to not be trusty. Think of anyone you might know who feels wronged by life or who does not yet feel they have 'enough' (in their mind); might be power, success, money, relationship, attention etc. These people are most likely to self-prioritize and make decisions that would primarily right their own personal wrongs only.
Second, and also an important requirement for trust, they can't be shifty. People who constantly are different people to everyone must not be trusted. Recently, my family and I went to see a house for sale in the woods of Maryland and when we pulled in to the driveway of this property we saw 3 deer. At first, they looked like sculptures but we soon came to realized they were just standing absolutely still, waiting to see what we did to determine their first move. In life and especially in relationships we must be like the deer; wait to determine someones moves, before making your own. Often, people tell us with their actions all about themselves before they open their mouths.

As risky as it might be or feel to trust in things or people, 'trusting' does have its benefits. Trust brings us a sense of calm. We can leave alone and not worry the things we trust, allowing us for more peace and calm in our lives. Henry David Thoreau once sad, 'Things do not change; we change.'. When encountered with shifty, unhappy, unfulfilled people we figure out a way to work around needing them to make our lives complete and prioritizing on the relationships that strengthens and feeds us on the inside. Trust requires us to use our instincts and our inside gut feelings to judge trustworthiness of situations and people.

Most often we work or live in environments where everything and everyone seems like a moving target. How then do we find trustworthy people or situations to alleviate us from the chaos? When faced with a whole environment of distrust I find it essential to become whatever you consider to be 'the embodiment of trust' and recognize that having everyone be your friend is NOT a barometer of trustworthiness. In fact, I'd be wary of anyone who everyone claims to 'love' (but that is another post entirely). To walk and act with pure heart and intentions will always make some gravitate towards you, and some will be repelled. The good news about acting on a pure heart and intentions is that only the 'right' people will gravitate towards you, and in the end, that is the best outcome we can get.

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