My Thought for Today:
“Fear consumes us unless and until we give in completely to trust.”
Let me ask you a question. What makes it hard for you to trust other people? Take a moment and think about the reasons you have a hard time trusting people? Come up with a few reasons before you continue reading.
I’m guessing that if you examine your reasons, they center around past hurts and the fear of feeling that way again. Maybe you feel others will take advantage of you or you have even experienced others taking advantage of you in the past. Maybe you fear looking foolish by “putting yourself out there” only to have someone betray you. These are all valid reasons to fear trusting.
Let me ask you this. What steps – mental or even physical – do you take in your life to avoid having to trust others for fear of being hurt or being taken advantage of? Think about how you feel when you are asked to trust. Think about how you respond when asked to trust. Now ask yourself why you feel that way?
Do you put up walls or even aggressively push people away? Do you believe you are doing this “protect yourself”?
Now step outside of yourself and focus on the other person who is considering the possibility of having to trust you. Is it possible he or she has also had past hurts? Has also learned defense mechanisms to avoid or limit exposure in a trusting relationship?
Perhaps you have both been hurt in the past and would have no intention of hurting the other. However, your past conditioning prevents you from finding out because you have shields up. Instead of experiencing and growing trust, you both do things that continue to reinforce your belief that trusting others in dangerous. You wind up hurting each other simply due to a failure to see this situation as unique and to be authentically you.
Now expand this scenario to every relationship in your life. In fact, extend it to all the relationships on this planet – individual, ethnic, national, political, religious. Too often, we are operating with our trust shields up for fear of being hurt.
How much pain, bloodshed, and unhappiness do you suppose this mindset creates on our planet – not to mention your life – every day?
“But, I have been hurt,” you argue. You’re right. You have. That person you want relationship with has as well. So has that other ethnic group, religion, or political party. Can you not see their pain through your own?
We have all been hurt, not because we trust too much, but because we trust too little. We are aggressive and defensive in an attempt to protect ourselves when simply seeing each situaion as fresh and unique could lead to a different outcome. When being our authentic selves instead of our on-guard selves could create new connections and possbilities. When remembering our common humanity and acknowledging our common fears could breakdown desperate paradigms and transform this world.
So, what is the answer? How do we change it? Well, none of us can do the work of changing this situation for others. We can only be cognizant of the ways we contribute to it in our own lives and strive to do better.
Maybe, just maybe, we will find that when we drop our shields and trust more others will be willing to do the same.
Thank you for sharing this page with a friend.