Trust is the assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something. When you trust someone, you place confidence in his or her character, ability, strength or in who you know that person to be (“the truth of someone”).
Text books say that the inability to trust is not innate. The inability to trust is developed over time. It is fostered by various life experiences including neglect, abuse, pain at the hands of others, unhealthy relationships, etc. But low self-esteem and the belief that one is undeserving of attention, care or concern also feed it.
I find it very easy to command the trust of others. People seem to feel very comfortable sharing their feelings with me and placing confidence in me. I suppose there is an openness that I project along with a non-judgmental disposition. I love people and enjoy getting to know them. The challenge of breaking down the walls that others put up excites me.
But I don’t trust anyone.
I don’t remember when I realized I don’t trust. It had to be in the last ten years because until I turned 30, I didn’t really know very much about myself. I had spent the bulk of my life doing things for other people, keeping busy and partying a lot. So I didn’t have time to get to know me. When I took a moment to get acquainted with myself, I realized that I don’t trust anyone. And, honestly, it makes me a little sad.
There are things I don’t want other people to know. There are feelings I can’t share. There is a fear of rejection that nearly suffocates me on a daily basis. And deep down, there must be a belief that I am less important, not worthy. That makes me a little sad too because it is so contrary to the confidence painted on the surface of me.
The root of my trust issue comes in the last piece of the definition: “the truth of someone.” Intuition often leads me away from those who do not present themselves in a truthful light. But sometimes intuition is silenced by a greater desire to figure someone out, a need to put some energy into someone. Nine times out of ten that’s because I see something of myself in that person and can’t resist the urge to change that person before he or she makes the same mistakes I made. Or I feel spiritually connected to someone in some way so even though my head is telling me to steer clear, I give in to the spirit of that person. And sooner or later, reality bites. The truth of someone becomes clear and it is not the truth that I assigned but the real truth of someone.
Disappointment. Pain. Emotional torture. The realization that you cannot put confidence in the character of someone destroys the heart.
I want to know what it’s like to trust someone. It seems to me that trusting would provide me some relief mentally, emotionally and maybe even physically. But how do you recover from the past (or the present) and start over?