On Trust

Beloved community, 

I really appreciate each and every one of you for taking a few minutes to read this. 

If you’re just joining us, we’re in a journey with words… 
Edition one was on “courage.” 
Edition two was on “authenticity.”

Welcome to edition three… Trust!

Yikes, trust is a sticky one for a lot of us. I’m excited! Let’s get into it 🙂

Trust is terrifying, because it requires our vulnerability. 

Inherently, to trust is to surrender on some level…

We open ourselves up to a person or a situation and we must be willing to let go of control. 

Now, it’s important to make the distinction that trust can only be truly established if we are in a position of safety…. In other words, our body and life are not at risk of harm. 
But even that calls forth the question of our own judgment of what is ‘safe’ and what is ‘unsafe.’

I’ve been educating myself on what it means to be a white person in America, and one truth that has emerged is that many of us define safety as much greater than a threat to our body or life– but also anything that threatens our opinion, or our status, or our ‘being right’ or taking us out of our comfort zone… if we include all of THAT in our definition of safety, then we are screwed. 

There is a quote by John A Shedd that says…
“A ship in harbor is safe,
But that is not what ships are built for.”

So we must have safety in order to be trusting, but we also must recognize the difference between ‘comfort’ and safety.

Brené Brown uses the phrase of choosing “courage over comfort” and encourages us all to take up this mantle (I LOVE that woman).

Trust also means that our beliefs about the very nature of the universe are called into question.

Can you believe this universe is benevolent? A friendly place at it’s essence?

The worst threat any of us face is death, which is imminent… 
so what are we so afraid of?

Trust requires us to have an open heart. 

This can be hard to do if you’ve been betrayed by someone you love, or abused by someone who was supposed to be a care-giver, or lied to by the very system that is supposed to exist for your thriving.

However, from personal experience I found that betrayal led me to greater depths of trust. I can now appreciate what it feels like to trust and to be trusted, and I’ve got contrast to show me what it feels like on the other side.

Then there is self-trust… 
This is a real doozy!

It’s crazy that we go above and beyond for our children, our partner or our parents.
We would do whatever it takes to keep our word,
to maintain a promise,
to show up in the way we said we would. 

But when it comes to ourselves, we are so quick to drop that commitment. 
Since no one else will know, no one is there to hold me accountable. 

This is actually quite dangerous, because years of broken self-trust leads to
low self-esteem,
poor boundaries,
a lack of courage and
a deficit of faith in our own ability to create awesome things in our life. 

The last point I want to make is this:
You can only be trustworthy if you’re willing to trust others. 
Trust does not go one way.
It’s not a system where you can dip in and out when you want. 

Would you trust someone who you know doesn’t trust you?
Would you trust someone who you know doesn’t trust most of the people around them?

The deepest trust is earned through vulnerability, and the willingness that requires. 

Like I said… 

But unequivocally worth it. 

Here are 3 ways to boost your trust in others, in the world and in yourself:
1. Make the choice to believe that people are doing the best they can.
Because they are. And yes, to believe this or not is a CHOICE.
Are you choosing benevolence, or are you choosing fear?
(for more on this belief, read “Braving the Wilderness” by my girl Brené.)
2. Make a list of the people you trust in your life.
Is it short? Is it lengthy? Write a few reasons why these people are trustworthy.
Look for themes that repeat over multiple people.
Then ask yourself: “Are these qualities I myself possess? If not, how could I work to cultivate them?”
Maybe make a phone date with one of these people to ask them how they do it!
3. Find ways to hold yourself accountable.
This is the best way to build self-trust…
Find a friend and make them an accountability partner by setting goals together, then checking in once a week.
Establish your conversion to follow a repeatable structure and to always include: 
  a. Your wins
  b. What you got done last week 
  c. What you’ll do this week

As you make progress on your goals and continuously celebrate your successes, you’ll find that your confidence will blossom and you’ll begin to train your mind to celebrate more and criticize less! 
As my friend, teacher and fellow cat enthusiast Eddie Ellner once said,
“If you’re still holding yourself back… let go, let go, let go for dear life!”

Trusting the goodness of your heart,