What it means to truly trust

The interesting thing about language, is that we seem to take for granted that we know what we mean by the words that we use. We think we know what we are talking about. But language can become a kind of hypnosis if we don’t bring awareness to what it is we are actually saying.

Lets take a deeper look at trust, its qualities, and what it actually means “to trust”.

For each of us, is the felt need to have someone or something to put our trust in, that we may feel safe and supported. And yet, most of us likely have the wrong idea about what trust actually is. I can only say this from my experience as somebody that helps people with their health and well-being.

I have had countless clients come for help that have issues around trust. What I have discovered, is that when I have asked these people the question, “what is trust”? I am met with a long deliberation, or an answer that actually isn’t what trust is at all.

Often I get answers to this question along the lines of, “trust is knowing that someone will do what  they promised, or that they don’t betray you”. To which my answer to them is, “That is not trust. That is naiveté”! This can often be met with some resistance which is understandable, but every time I sum up for people in one word what trust actually is, they get it, and 99% of the time it is a revelation for them.

Trust is…Risk. Sit with that for a moment, and see the truth in it. And notice, this changes everything.

If you are abseiling down a cliff face, you are placing your trust in your skills, and the rope that is holding you in a safe position from falling. In other words you are taking a calculated risk with yourself and your equipment. You are very clear with your intentions, but are well aware that both of these things that you are placing your trust in can fail. So to fully trust, is to be well aware of the risk.

If you say to someone “I trust you”, it could be paraphrased into “I am taking a risk with you”. If you want to be very clear with a person in this regards, you would say “I have expectations of you”.

Most people look at trust from a purely emotional standpoint, with fears around people “breaking their trust”! But that fear is actually based around their own expectations. In reality no one can really break your trust, so it would be more correct for then to say that, “they didn’t meet my expectations”. 

It is not situations or people that that let us down. People are fallible, and everyone has the capacity to be dishonest, self seeking and forgetful. These are all human traits. It is only our own expectations that let us down. It is only our expectations that can be broken, not our trust.

Trust is risky, and it most helpful to have this understanding. This is not to say that we shouldn’t trust. In fact, it is in our best interest to trust. Trust is risk, and risk is natural. All of nature is taking a risk all of the time, for to risk, is to live. Living is risky, because no none knows what is going to happen next, nor can we know.

The greatest risk we can take, is to love. For to love is to put your heart on the line. This is why we call it falling in love. When you are falling, you are at risk of being hurt, but this is what makes love so powerful. In order to truly experience the wonder of love, you must be willing to risk all that your are to the possibilities of pain, loss and disappointment. This is why it is so important to learn to love and trust yourself, which is to take the risk of pursuing your own desires, dreams and ambitions. At least in this way you are not banking on the expectations of others, but rather taking a risk with the only one that you can actually control.

Some people are very frank with stating that they can’t trust themselves. This is to say that they are not willing to even take the risk of trying, because they themselves know that they can’t live up to there own expectations. But to trust yourself, is to honestly know that the risk is there, that you will fail yourself. But there is nothing wrong with that. Many have failed, even though they did everything right within their capacity. This is due to the fact that there are many governing factors in life, and all that transpired was that the persons expectations were not met. Remove the expectation, and there can be no failure.

Trust is simply knowing that anything could happen, but you choose to do, live, and be anyway. You hold your intentions, and you never give up on your intention. Expectations are future based, but intention is held in the now moment.

To have trust issues, is simply to have difficulty taking risks in life. Understand, that you are taking a risk no matter what. If you avoid love out of fear of being hurt, you are taking the risk that the avoidance of love will be better for you. But how can you be sure? If you love, you know there will be hurt at some point, but hurt can come into our life through any situation. Hurt happens in life. Not one person has avoided hurt in life, so why not include love in that. At least you get to experience the richness that love brings, if you are willing to take the risk.

Life is risky. Love is risky. Being is risky. This is the reality and truth of life.

Trust life. Take the risk. And you will be sure to have experiences that go beyond your expectations.

Let there be light


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