Trust. What a big word summed up in a simple five letters.
What a big word, which requires an extensive sense of believing in someone, and opening the flood doors of emotions and sharing some of the biggest, sometimes even darkest parts of ourselves with them. We are sharing with an entirely different person with different stories, different scars, different understanding of how the world works, and most importantly, different morals, and acceptance of what is right and what is wrong.
This is, personally, one of my biggest struggles in life. I used to handle every situation in my life by myself, believing this was the best way. This was vigorously fueled and empowered by the fact that I am an only child as well. I thought it was easy till I started opening up a bit and sharing a little about myself and my struggles. Life felt easier, lighter when sadness was shared—part of the burden was lifted off, allowing room for a deeper breath and a lighter existence.
Life becomes better, and things make much more sense to our minds, bodies, and souls, when they are relatable to someone else, when they are spoken of out loud, and when they are shared and out in the open.
This is when we start appreciating trust. This is when we trust trust, we love trust, we start incorporating trust in our habits and embracing its positive effects on our lives.
However, as we all know from being alive on this earth, this is where the disruptive element comes in and tries to ruin what positive reinforcement means for us; it will pour some salt on our cuts and stick a finger in our bleeding wounds.
Yes, I am referring to deception, backstabbing, gossiping, being left behind—putting our trust in the wrong places, trusting the ones who should not be trusted, and being let down one too many times till we break down, and end up building up higher walls and higher barricades around ourselves.
And thus begins the fear of the pain that comes with trust. Due to past experiences, we associate trust more often with fear and pain than we do with safety, happiness, and love.
We associate trust with distrust, safety with unsafety, love with hate, laughs with tears, and happiness with sadness.
We harden up, we break down, we self-isolate more, we care less.
So, how do we slowly dissociate from our negative experiences, try to forgive ourselves, and put the past behind us to begin trusting again?
Here are some go-to approaches to mend our brokenness, change our pain, and turn it into power and trust again:
1. Avoid generalising and categorising people according to your past experiences. Life is not always black and white; it is a prism, a rainbow of colours, a spectrum of events, ranging from worst to best, from black to white. We cannot appreciate the golden experiences and people in our lives if we have not been on the opposite spectrum. Tough, I know, but it is how it is.
2. Appreciate those who remained despite every wrong turn life took you on. Those who stuck by you even when you did not even stand by yourself, those who supported even your wrong decisions, who cheered for your successes, who thrived when you won in life. We all have, at least, that one person. Acknowledge them, celebrate them, and appreciate what you have; it is rare and a great reminder of what life is really about.
3. Forgive those who misused your trust. Those who made you believe in the lies and disbelieve the truth. Those who made you question yourself, doubt your honesty, and change your morals. Forgive them, but most importantly, forgive yourself—you are not the one to blame. Sh*t happens, and most of your problems with close ones can be a reflection of a problem within themselves—some deep, personal struggles unmasked and brought to the surface when challenged or put in a corner.
4. Live and let die. An old but gold saying. Dwelling on negative past experiences never helps in any way. It is essential to embrace every encounter and every experience, good or bad in our lives—they happened. We learned, but reliving and staying in our past and its repercussions will only chain us and hold us back from progressing and achieving in our lives.
5. Put your trust in the right places and limit those places. Take your time to choose those who deserve to know you; to know your secrets, to share your struggles, your achievements, and your goals. Trust is a gem when put in the right hands, and that itself is a journey to find those who turn into diamonds and blossom under pressure, and not otherwise.
6. Last, and most importantly, believe in the good of this world, and seek it with all your energy. Invest in the right places, be with the right people, always protect yourself but open up some windows of hope.
For what is life with no hope, no trust, no honesty with oneself and close ones?