The website Freeonlinedictionary.com defines trust as “Firm reliance on the integrity, ability, or character of a person or thing, to have or place reliance; depend.” This has been such a hard thing for me to do. Just trust. Trusting is one of the biggest risks we can take as humans. We risk getting hurt physically, financially, or emotionally. These kinds of risks are not easy to take, if we choose to take them at all. However, when we do decide to take the risk there is a payoff. The payoff can be rewarding experience or simply a lesson learned through having trust betrayed.
Our ability to trust has deep roots in our experiences. When we have taken a risk and trusted, only to have that trust violated we begin to build walls around our hearts and emotions. Once our trust has been violated, trusting again is a little more difficult. After a few betrayals, we can build up the mindset of distrust, of self-protection. We tell ourselves things like “I can take care of myself”, “oh I don’t mind if he didn’t call back, it doesn’t really matter”. The reality is; I cannot take care of myself all by myself and it does matter to me that he does not call back. The building up of mental walls to protect ourselves from the pain is sometimes all we can do to survive emotionally. However, it comes at a cost.
Distrust not only is destructive to us, but to everyone around us. For example, someone pays me a compliment, but because of the betrayals that I have endured, I cannot receive what they said as truth. My thought process is if I actually believe what they say and they do not really mean it I will be hurt and left feeling foolish for believing - that is a risk I am not willing to take. My effort to protect myself completely robs that person of the joy of giving the compliment and sharing their heart. Consequently, the person paying the compliment walks away thinking their opinion is unimportant, thus making them feel devalued. When the next opportunity comes around for him or her to share a compliment to someone else, he or she will not. As a result, my effort to protect myself has now had a negative rippling effect. Scientifically speaking, Robert Puttnam, a fellow at St John's College, Cambridge, said in an article on Associated Newspapers Ltd website www.dailymail.co.uk, “the rising levels of mistrust had serious health implications. 'People who are more able to be more trusting live longer, have fewer heart attacks and are less likely to be clinically depressed,' he claimed.” However hard it may be to do, it would appear that best, most healthy thing we can do for ourselves & others is to trust.
When there is so much betrayal how can we ever trust? My conclusion is that -we cannot always trust people, but we can trust God and that He has everything under control. Does this mean I should believe everything I hear? No, God will give us wisdom. When we trust God, it allows us to step out and take the risk to trust. When we do trust it may turn out with a very positive result and our capacity to trust grows. Sometimes, however, the result of trusting is a broken heart. However, within the broken heart, there is an amazing lesson that may not have been learned any other way. The lesson refines our character, makes us a deeper, more genuine person. The lesson can also allow us to not build walls, but take each circumstance as it comes knowing that the pain is only a catalyst for growth not and end. Making the choice to trust will also make us more relaxed and happy. When we are not expending our energy trying to read the thoughts and intentions of others, but just trust them, we can relax and live in the moment. So get out there, take a chance, trust and enjoy the ride!