Last week I talked about Einsteins question - do you believe you live in friendly or a hostile universe and having explained why it is beneficial to believe we live in a friendly one I promised this week to talk about how you can develop trust so here goes.
This took me a while to “get”. I thought that people / Source had to earn my trust and I was very cautious about giving it. I was waiting for confirmation that I could trust. It is a common belief that trust has to be earned and we tend to withhold that trust until we feel someone is trustworthy. Interestingly this means different things to different people and whether we trust someone or not depends on our beliefs. If you are very religious you might not trust people who do not believe what you do, if you are part of a gang you might mistrust people who are not part of that gang. For me it means that people do what they say they are going to do when they say they are going to do it and that their morals are sort of in line with mine. We all have different interpretations of what it means to be trustworthy so make sure you know what yours are.
A while ago I realised that I did not trust many people at all. I knew that if the circumstances were right people could be triggered into doing almost anything. Through my studies and fascination into how we work as humans I learnt that the majority of people are simply trying to get their human needs met which causes them to react to any external stimulus that either takes them towards something that gets their human needs met or away from something that threatens their human needs. For example when someone is very stressed (very far away from getting their human needs met) they can do things that are quite out of character for them ordinarily. They might snap or shout at people they love. They might lie or over promise and under deliver. When I realised that this is how I felt it made me very curious to understand trust more deeply because I did not want to live my life not trusting people it seemed like a very lonely existence.
Now this is where it gets interesting. I realised that trusting someone was very much like believing in them. Have you ever had someone believe in you when you didn’t believe in yourself? It can be a very powerful experience but that person has to be believable they can’t just pay lip service to it. (I have talked about this before - Building Self Belief) and I think that same is true of trust - when you are someone who is trustworthy and you trust someone they are far more likely to be trustworthy than if you don’t.
Let me explain. Who we are being effects those around us in so many intricate ways. For the purpose of this conversation I am going to keep it simple. I know how important keeping my word is not just for how it effects how other people perceive me but even more importantly because of how it causes me to perceive myself. I pride myself on being on time. It is something that is very important to me because I believe that I am building my own self belief by being on time and I believe I am respecting who ever I am meetings time as well. The reason I am sharing this is because I have a very dear friend who I have known for many years. Whenever we arrange to meet she is nearly always at least an hour late. There was a time when I would show up on time and get impatient because she didn’t seem to care. Then my defence mechanisms kicked in and I thought well if she is going to be late why should I make sure I get there on time. I am just being a mug. I even thought of arranging to meet her an hour before I actually intended to meet her so that I wouldn’t have to wait. However I realised that all of these thoughts were just tactics to try to defend myself from what I perceived was someone who didn’t really care enough about me to be on time. It was my ego taking over and trying to protect me from a behaviour that I thought was hurtful. What I am trying to show you here is that even though I know how important being on time is I was nearly willing to give up all my own beliefs and commitments because of how someone else was behaving. Now in this example I am showing you how when someone behaves in what we perceive to be a negative manner it can cause us to react and become entangled in that persons behaviours, but the reverse is also true. If you are someone that always turns up on time other people realise this and will be more likely to be on time too. I have just been talking about time keeping in these examples but this goes for everything including trust.
If you are in a relationship with someone and they don’t trust you how are you likely to behave? Now imagine you are in a relationship with someone who does trust you, how would this be different?
Trust is a two way thing. As a single mother bringing up 2 teenage boys there have been times when I have not been sure of what they were up to and I had a choice. I could read their messages, spy on them and generally not trust them or I could choose to trust them. In choosing to trust them I showed them respect and I also tried to behave in a manner that is trustworthy. If they ask me a question no matter how uncomfortable it is I answer truthfully even if I don’t want to. If I say I am going to do something I do it to the best of my ability. I do my very best to show them the same respect and trustworthiness that I expect from them. If I think they are doing something or about to do something that I don’t approve of I talk to them and share my fears and thoughts (not always as calmly as I would like to think I do) and after sharing my thoughts I choose to trust them. Even though at times I have thought they might be telling me what I wanted to hear rather than the absolute truth. I think this is a very important point and that is to express yourself completely. This does not and I should say it should not be done in an emotional way but clearly and calmly. There is a deep peace that is gained from sharing your own truth and then leaving it up to someone else to make their own choice. The choice was then on their shoulders I trusted them not always to do what they said but to learn from their mistakes. I would not love them any less and would always be there to support them but it was on them and they would have to pay the consequences. So far (touch wood) I have had very few major challenges with them, which considering they are teenagers is something I am very relieved about. They know I have their backs, if they hit a problem they know they can come to me no matter what it is. I know for the most part I can trust them and more importantly they know they can trust me.
I have had many reasons not to trust people through my life and yes I do still trust people very much. I think there is a difference between trusting someone and giving your power away (I wrote about taking your power back a little while ago) to them and I think quite often we do not know the difference. When you give your power away to someone you give them responsibility for your happiness, love, finances, health, peace of mind, or even your self respect. When you trust someone it is trusting that they are doing the very best that they can do with the wisdom they have and the experience they have.
When you have been able to see and experience the truth of who you really are you will know that you are eternal and that nothing could ever harm you and when you really know the truth of this and are able to let go of all the little or large hurts you have experienced in life you will know that all you are is love. The reason I am saying this is because once you realise this about yourself you will realise that that is also true for everyone else and that the only reason that anyone would ever hurt anyone else is because they just don’t know this about themselves or anyone else.
If we don’t have trust we are adrift, an island on our own trying to survive all alone. Trust connects us to people in a very deep way. And knowing all I do about being human I still choose to trust people because not trusting them means that I lose out.