Trust is a valuable thing. It’s the force that secures the bounds between us. It’s the spirit that makes us want to be together. It’s the power that can make us one. The stronger it get, the more valuable it becomes.
But the truth is that trust is initially a blind force, and that blindness has the potential to make it weak. It can make way for distrust with a strength of its own. So strong, that many surrender to its spirit and settle to its reality.
But distrust is just a step on the long journey home towards reinforced faith. It’s the opposing force through which we can restore and intensify the trust we left behind. It’s a midway station, not the final destination.
The journey begins at the dawn of our lives where we are born with a strong, innocent trust. The experiences we have in life soon after teach us that not everything can be trusted. A healthy distrust slowly earns its place in our everyday life. Especially when it comes to immediate dangers, mostly related to the physical world. We simply come to understand that some things aren’t in our best interest.
Some dangers, however, aren’t easily seen or experienced. Their repercussions show in the long run. Slowly building up over time, keeping us blind to them, we only become aware of them when we’re already fully surrounded by them. That’s the downside of the trust we are born with. It also makes us follow misleading ways: ways that make walking them feel good, but end up in a destination that makes us feel bad and keeps us feeling bad.
These negative results feed our distrust. The more instances of it we experience, the stronger it becomes. In some cases it’s so strong that it seems impossible to overcome. But that’s just an illusion. An illusion kept in place by the blindness that prevails.
Luckily, distrust has a positive side effect. It makes us start looking. Looking for answers of where it went wrong, for underlying reasons and for how it came to be. In other words, it makes us open our eyes; makes us see; makes us understand.
The early downside of that understanding may be that blindly following misleading ways surely made us also exhibit them towards others ourselves, without us even knowing it. Look into it, feel the response, but don’t linger in it forever. You’re only halfway. You still have a journey ahead of you.
And that journey ahead leads back up. The upside of the understanding is namely that you can now learn to separate misleading ways from sincere directions. This paves the way for an unhealthy, overall distrust to be replaced by a rejuvenated overall trust in yourself, people and life, mixed with a healthy distrust of only the misleading ways. It’s like burning your hand on the stove as a child, learning to see the danger in that, but also learning that it’s okay to touch all the other furniture.
Instead of the automatic fall we experienced, the way back up requires effort and dedication. After knowing what to trust, we must still practice trusting it. Instead of avoiding new experiences altogether we have to engage in life again to find evidence to back up our insightful conclusions.
And we must change our ways in the meantime, otherwise it will be without effect. The misleading ways we unconsciously exhibited caused distrust in others, which made them unconsciously exhibit them towards us, causing us to distrust in accumulating response. If you intent to practice trusting, but don’t incorporate trustworthy ways, you will only find more examples of distrust as a result. Embody what you hope to find.
It’s not an easy task, but that’s the purpose. Strength must be build. And it does so by doing the exercises. Start with a few moments of trusting and retreating, pick up the pace as time progresses and be able to carry its full weight somewhere down the line.
Once trust is again at full force, this time while being fully aware of what to avoid or not, we can begin to reconstruct the connections between us. The more trust we show, the more it will become part of our world again. Mind you, the distrustfulness that now seems to plague our reality is merely an accumulation of misleading ways on a collective level, caused in the same way as described above on an individual level. It’s a fall that provides the opportunity to reclaim what is ours, this time with full consciousness and by choice, if only we fight for it.
Abandon your misleading ways and replace them with honest behavior, but do so without letting yourself be dragged down again by the portrayal of misleading ways around you. Build up the strength to rise above distrust, into an area of unwavering faith, and life will change around you.
A philosophical dreamer with a passion for self-reflection and contemplating life. He’s serious about helping people with the insights he gathered, but playful in the way he communicates his wisdom. He left a career as environmental engineer behind, in favor of becoming a personal development coach and thought-provoking writer.