Put your hand in mine and together we will travel to wonderful and magical places or what if there was a vast chasm between us and I stretched my hand as far as I could and you did the same and our hands could not touch? Then I looked you straight in the eye and said, “Jump I will catch you.” Can you believe it? Is it possible? Can you trust it? Does a part of you want to jump and trust that all of this can be real and is there a part of you that recoils in fear and unbelief that it is not possible? Where is your trust? Who do you trust? Who can you trust? How do you trust when past history has shown that trusting someone can be hurtful and painful?
In order to trust do we not build some type of relationship with someone and from there, history is a predictor to us of the level of trust we will have. If someone has repeatedly lied to us or if we share our innermost thoughts and desires with someone and then they take this information and share it with others or belittle us with it, then does this not set us up to where we are now conditioned to not trust them? Maybe even because of this our mistrust will extend to others. We then find ourselves in a quandary because in order to be close to someone we need to trust but to trust puts us on the slippery precipice of which we might find ourselves falling off of it and who catches us as we slip into the abyss? It is like this quote by J. Cole “I don’t trust easily. So when I tell you I trust you please don’t make me regret it.”
To me, trust is kind of like respect. We do not just automatically receive it, we earn it? What are you willing to do to earn it? Take for example a child who has been continually beaten not only with words but physically as well. Their body is shattered. Their spirit is shattered and any trust has been blown away into a million pieces as they were continually and repeatedly abused. What must a person do to earn this child’s trust? They are cowering in a corner. Their eyes are full of fear, mistrust and even tears. They are hollow. As your heart, overflowing with love looks at them wanting to soothe their hurt what will you do? Will you offer them your hand and ask them to take it? What happens when they pull their legs up closer to them and instead of taking your hand they wrap their arms around themselves and hug their legs even tighter to their chest. Will you walk away in contempt saying that you tried and it is not worth it or will you sit down some distance from them and try to talk to them. Try to soothe their fears with your words of understanding and love and as you talk to them maybe, just maybe there is some sort of recognition on their face that this person might be a person that can be trusted or maybe will not harm. Will they fly into your arms? I would venture to guess that they will not. It will be a long drawn out process, one that will be fraught with setbacks and one that will be rewarding as well, as the child ever so slowly comes to trust and one day puts their hand in yours. This trust cannot be forced. It is not something that one can demand, to demand is to not show understanding.
The process of building this trust is a gentle one. It is multi-layered. Words need to be chosen carefully as these words will begin to build the bridge that stretches across the chasm. Sometimes this is difficult to understand or even process and at times can also be tiring. What is it worth to you? How much do you desire to build the bridge? How much damage is done when like a bull you try to force the trust from someone when you have not done the work to complete the bridge? The bridge is now demolished as you did not demonstrate patience and due diligence and now you must start over on the first layer. Now if you succeed in keeping this layer intact you will be able to build another one on top of this one and continue with the process until it is multilayered and not quite indestructible but if there is damage it will be minimal. The damage that is done though will need to be patched. If you do not make efforts to do this then the structure of trust will begin to become weakened again and you may find yourself eventually back where you started. Someone who has been hurt is fragile. As such, you need to handle them delicately, to do otherwise is irresponsible and uncaring and deservedly trust will be withdrawn. We cannot continue to beat against a person like the waves of the ocean and not expect some repercussions from it. Quite possibly it will not be apparent at first but slowly the damage is revealed like the eroding of sandstone that one day crumbles into tiny pieces.
The opening of the heart to trust is like the blooming of a flower. The petals incase the heart protecting it from harm. Kindness and love are shown and the petals begin to unfold revealing the heart and all the beauty that can exist if there is trust. Can you find it within yourself to offer the kindness and love to nurture the petals to unfold? This is an ongoing process for if you fail to continue, the petals will wither and die and along with them the center of the heart. This is a tragedy indeed. One that causes great weeping and gnashing of teeth.
What kind of person will you be? Will you dig in and do what is necessary to be trusted by someone who has been wounded? It will be challenging, however, it is one that will reveal many gifts for you and them. Once the heart is open to you its capacity to love and give love is unimaginable. The experience is one of being taken to another dimension where time no longer exists and all that remains are the joining of spirit into one collective. So put your hand in mine and we will go to wonderful and magical places.
This post got me thinking, isn’t the process of coming to trust ourselves just like this? We are scared to trust in our own lives for all the various and sundry reasons we all experience, scared to offer the world who we truly are, and its as if we must follow this beautiful process you’ve described with ourselves. Being present within. Letting the places within that hurt be expressed. Not running away from them and shattering the inner bridge. Until one day, the bridge is complete, and we are ready to let the Love that we are flow across and into the world, knowing that it will be okay.
Its interesting that you bring this up because as I was writing this the same thought occured to me. It is much like any other process such as loving, forgiving, healing, etc. To be healthy we make ourselves the first receivers of these elements and then we are able to give them to others as well. Much like the phrase, physican heal thyself.