What's This Trust Thing All About?
Welcome to a new year, a new start, an unfolding of what is yet to be known.
I love this time of year because it offers us a natural opportunity for reflection and intention. As we say goodbye to the previous year we can reflect on our successes, our challenges, the events and circumstances that maybe took us by surprise as well as our sorrows and losses. As we look ahead to the new year and what has yet to be known, we can consciously, mindfully shape our hopes, dreams, desires and goals.
For me this has been a year of transition, a year of expansion and a year that has also taught me a painful yet infinitely beneficial lesson in trust.
I’ve transitioned from an every day parent to a long distance guide and occasional host to a mountain of laundry.
I’ve expanded the offerings at our practice to include workshops and expanded my skill base in mindfulness and nutrition, for the benefit of our clients and subscribers.
I have also experienced a very painful, unexpected loss that reminded me about the foundation of trust, the importance of integrity and the value of friendship.
My current favorite definition of trust is by Charles Feltman. He defines it as choosing to make something important to you, vulnerable to the actions of someone else.
I am reminded this year that I cannot expect others to always honor their word, be honest and follow through on commitments which does in fact make me vulnerable if I include others in the areas of my life that really matter.
However, I can find strength within that vulnerability IF I have a consistent track record of caring for myself, following through on behalf of myself and being honest with myself even when I experience a betrayal of trust from another person.
Behaving from a place of integrity within myself allows me to feel the pain of betrayal without losing my sense of identity, my values, my trust or my view of the world as a basically good place. I can still rely on myself to care for myself while also receiving help and support from the people who inevitably surround me offering wisdom and understanding as I process the pain.
So does that mean we cannot ever trust other people to keep their word, or to do what they say they are going to?
I sure hope not, because I don’t want to live in a world where I can’t trust others. Building trust with other people takes time and discernment, which requires vigilant self honesty; not turning away from the proverbial red flags that are there to help guide us if we choose to see them.
If I’m really honest, that’s where I veered off course with this situation. It’s when we begin to deceive ourselves about another’s behavior or we make decisions from a place of fear that we, I believe, put ourselves at risk of unwisely trusting people who will inevitably betray us, not from a place of maliciousness but because they have not yet developed enough character, and integrity to follow through both for themselves as well as others.
Unexpected things happen in our lives all the time- people leave, circumstances change and we can continually choose to utilize these experiences as opportunities to fine tune our vision for ourselves and to fine tune the contribution we want to make to the world.
As this year unfolds, I look forward to continuing to serve our clients and our downtown Fredericksburg community with the highest degree of knowledge, professionalism and integrity I possess as a therapist and I intend to continue to learn for the benefit of myself, my clients, my friends, my family and for my favorite person. I hope to gain even more strength in vulnerability and I look forward to sharing it all with each of you.
I wish you a year of trust, strength in vulnerability and great adventure.