“Can I trust you?” Numerous times greater than needles on a pine tree I have faced that question. Sometimes my response is “yes, I can” and gratefully I am correct more often than not. But with higher frequency than I wish were true it is my discovery my trust was ill placed.
Wisdom gleaned from living has made me more discerning about who deserves my trust but still at times I will rely on those I should not. Problem is I really want to trust everyone, but reality keeps showing me I can’t. Instead I have to be reminded that trust has to be earned even knowing then no certainty is created.
Sometimes my disappointment is small. I have faith in someone to return a book I loaned them and am let down when they don’t remember borrowing it. Or, I trust a person to keep a confidence and they tell someone. Or another will say they will do something and forget their words were ever spoken. Such is the realm of everyday life.
If honestly is to prevail, I must admit the person who frustrates me most by violating my trust is me! Let me explain. I promise to faithfully begin working out once the weather turns cooler and the heat is gone, but the cold comes with me still parked on the couch. I make the commitment to stop interrupting others while in conversation but find myself still doing it far too often to be considered an occasional mistake.
From John Mayer’s song “I Don’t Trust Myself…”
No I’m not the man I used to be lately
See you met me at an interesting time
If my past is any sign of your future
You should be warned before I let you inside.
Those words describe a warning that once could have been said truthfully about me. With my best effort I attempt to not go tripping in my past, but being human invariably I do here and there. Forgiveness is within for the vows of faithfulness broken in two marriages, but just because I forgive myself does not mean I have forgotten those ultimate violations of trust. I have paid my penance, done my time in therapy and have grown beyond breaching such trust. I learned from the mistakes made and am a better man now.
There is plenty in my past to regret, but tears and painful, sleepless nights of self-punishment have been paid. Today I am a faithful man beyond doubt, but I do it for myself. Being loyal to another is good for me, even more so than for the object of my fidelity. Being proud of one’s self is a good addiction to cultivate.
One of the most painful aspects of trust is when one is being honest, but viewed as being deceitful. It took a long time for the realization to come that telling the truth is all that is required. Whether another believes me or not is their business, not mine. If I have been honorable and am viewed otherwise the dishonestly is solely in the other person and his or her inability to see the truth when is presented.
Ultimately I have arrived in the here and now to be one of the most trustworthy people I have ever known. I know this to be true for it is with myself I live every moment of every day. None of my actions or thoughts are a secret from me. No longer do I need to try the impossible task of outrunning or fooling myself. The transformation inside has been remarkable as I have learned to live up to my own standards. Simple? YES! Hard to do? YES, but worth every ounce of effort, sweat and tears! Living parallel to my beliefs brings a sweet taste to living I have never known before. I am grateful for the satisfying taste of my life today.
As soon as you trust yourself,
you will know how to live.
Johann Wolfgang von Goeth
First posted here on January 28, 2012