Monday, November 7, 2011

Learning to Trust

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Sitting here in front of my computer I can look over to the side just a tiny bit (maybe an inch or two) and see the sun glistening brightly on the ocean.  Even when I'm concentrating on my work (whether I'm writing this blog, checking on my accounts or working on editing some photos) I can hear the waves crashing.  I can trust that the ocean is out there and it's doing what it's supposed to do.  And I'm always so happy and feel so serene when I'm near the ocean.  Maybe it has something to do with trust?  Does that sound kind of crazy to you?  

Trust is a huge part of our lives.  If you read my blogs then surely you have learned that it's a huge part of me, what I believe in and what I stand for.  I  need to have trust in my life... but it's even more important to me to live a life that is trustworthy.  And many people don't stop and think about how broken trust can totally change so much about your life and relationships.  Just stop and think for a few minutes about who you have in your life, and whether you feel peaceful about those relationships.  Do you trust them?  But more importantly, can they trust you?  Should they?  I have learned over and over in my years that I have no control over anyone else... whether they make good or bad decisions, whether they are honest or dishonest.  But I have a choice everyday about me.  When I speak I can speak truthfully.  If there's something I just don't want to say, then it's truly better for me to say "I really don't want to talk about that" than it is to not be honest about something.  

But even more than what we speak, trust also comes from what we see.  If someone says "I will be there for you always" but then every time you need them they have an excuse or you simply can't even get a response from them, then before long you'll know when you need someone, you can't trust that they will be someone you should turn to.  So we do need to always be careful about our words.  Even if they are spoken in kindness, if they are not true and sincere they can teach someone to distrust.  And it's very hard to turn that around after the lesson has been taught.

Often when it comes to the topic of trust I think about children.  So much about who we are as adults does go back to what we learned as children.  It doesn't mean that we can't overcome bad things we might experience in our childhoods, but a lot of times people are not willing to put in the time or work that is required.  We are creatures of habit and we like to just use the excuse "it's just the way I am."  Simply: it's painful to change!  But in raising our own children, in playing parts in the lives of our grandchildren, or playing some other important role in a child's life we need to always be aware that we are teaching them so many things with every word and action.  And the biggest lesson they are storing away is what is being taught to them about trust.  The hardest decisions are when we have to remove something from their lives because we know it is only teaching them something that will negatively affect them for many years to come.  But that is part of being trustworthy... showing them that they can trust you to take care of them.  

For me it calms me completely to hear (and see) the ocean... when possible I love to sleep at night with the window cracked so I can hear the waves and let them lull me to sleep.  Think about what makes you feel safe and peaceful like that... and what feelings it gives you to make you feel that way.