Posts Tagged ‘trust’

photo by: puFFin2006

~ Refined and reposted from 2011 archive

Ok, admittedly, I’m not a huge fan of Valentine’s Day.  Ever ornery, I resent being guilted into expressing my love by corporate greeting card money whores.  Forced to say “I love you” their way…on their day.  Everywhere I look…cheesy cards, heart-shaped candy, and the foolproof red rose…guaranteed to make her shed her clothes.  Apparently.  “V” day could possibly be the most pressure inducing holiday of the year.  He’s feeling the squeeze to romance her, lest she be the only “unloved” girl alive who will secretly plan her vengeance on some random day when he feels all is right with his all too romantically challenged little world .  And, in appreciation for his romantic efforts, she feels pressured to give it up, lest he be the only “unlucky” guy alive, who will surely wither under the duress of an under-utilized appendage.  He’s sprung for dinner and a gift…and he’s sprung yet again.

Forced to stalk the aisles ablaze with red and pink lovin’ necessities, we buy (literally) into the holiday hype for fear our sweetie will feel unlucky in love. Scrambling frantically, and at the last minute, through hundreds of replicated pledges of love, we’re mere puppets at the greedy hand of the greeting card industry.  Five bucks to express someone else’s feelings and look the other way when the moment has passed and those feelings are tossed into the trash?  Creativity is dead, it seems.  A homemade card created from the heart is not only more romantic…it’s a thoughtful one-of-a-kind gesture, and you can be sure that thousands of other people aren’t pretending to love the same exact “gesture” while wondering if their heartthrob searched for hours on end or just grabbed the card nearest the exit route from the store. But hey, if retail giants say these token mass produced impersonal gifts will get you laid, who am I to argue?

But I do.

If cards, candy, and flowers were sure to set his sheets on fire with hot lovemaking (which is the true motive behind his romantic whim), you can bet the calendar would be inundated with more dreamt up “romantic” holidays.  One competing with the next on its panty dropping ability.  Men everywhere would make a daily pit stop at the local corner store to stock up on the “sure thing” card, candy, flower trifecta.  The male consumer population would redefine the term “convenience store.”   A quickie mart for the quickie smart.  😉

Obviously love is more complicated than that.  While it’s nice to be romanced on Valentine’s Day, we want to feel loved, supported, and appreciated every day of the year.  After all, there are 364 more opportunities to show affection…and to get some.  Attentive appreciation provides all the ammo our sweeties need to combat those 364 days chock-full of life’s not-so-welcome little surprises.  Fickle and unforgiving, life is unpredictable on a good day, hostile on a so-so day, and a downright bitch on a bad day.  Presented with twists and turns, ins and outs, ups and downs, we come face to face with everything life throws our way.  The good, the bad, and the ugly.  And through it all, we want to know that our one and only will stand by our side.  That we can depend on that love, rain or shine.  Dependability plays a vital role in relationship success and is rated one of love’s most valuable commodities.  We want assurance that the one we love is there to catch us when life tosses us aside.  We want more than a lover.  We want a best friend.

Studies show that the happiest and most successful couples are also best friends.  A best friend is there when life is good…dancing and playing alongside us in life’s blindingly sunny rays of happiness.  A best friend is there when life is hostile…showing us a single ray of sunshine amid life’s ominous rain clouds.  And, most importantly, a best friend is there when life is a bitch…standing right there beside us providing shelter in the eye of the storm.  And when that storm passes, a best friend dances with us in the puddles, dries us off, and helps us move on.

On life’s sunniest and stormiest of days…we want a shoulder to cry on, a friend to rely on, and a lover to get it on.

No more holiday hype.

On Valentine’s Day, on a good day, on a bad day, on THIS day…be the best friend your sweetie needs.

Say “I love you” your way…every day.

 

Chick Hughes

Love when love doesn’t come easy.  🙂

befresh

Ever considered handing over your bank card, along with your password, to a stranger and trusting that person to simply hang on to it and return it to your mailing address in a week?  What are the odds you would ever see that card again?  Slim to none.  Some of us wouldn’t hand over our bank cards to a family member, let alone a stranger.  It seems with our money, we’re extremely cautious.  With our hearts…not so much.   We’re much quicker to trust others with our hearts.  But should we be?  Why do we so badly need to trust others?

Just how trustworthy is this phenomenon we call trust?  We say one must earn trust…that once trust is breached, it cannot be restored.  We place such great emphasis and expectation on such a tiny little word.  We “trust” our best friend not to “spill the beans” on our most shielded secret.  We “trust” our spouse to be faithful to only us, and never want another,  for the remainder of our time on this planet.  We “trust” our religious leaders to live the life we, ourselves, cannot possibly duplicate.  We “trust” our family members to be there for us anytime, anywhere, every time, everywhere.  And when those “trusted” people fail us – and they have in the past, as they will in the future – we allow ourselves to play victim, our hearts to break, and our perceived “perfect” image of them to be exposed for the fraud it is.  I wrote a previous post on trust, believed in it, and once took the concept of trust at face value.

I didn’t over-think it…until now.

Do we trust simply because we need to?  Is trust an illusion we create to cradle us from the devastation of reality?  Do we simply need an insurance policy for our heart?

Each and every one of us is human.  Regardless of how much trust another places in us, we will, forever and always, look after number one first.  This trait is one that has kept the species thriving for centuries…a trait that is not possessed solely by mankind, but by every living species on Earth.  When a member of the animal kingdom turns on another, we call it the “circle of life.”  But when a human acts in his best interest (without regard for another), we call it “untrustworthy.”  Punishment: Social Exile.

As human beings, we will always act in the best interest of ourselves.  If we’ve committed some wrong-doing (whether it be adultery, flirting, stealing, lying, backstabbing, etc.), we’ll go to extreme measures to keep that wrong-doing hidden behind the dark cloak of  night – so hidden that no one will ever stumble upon it. This is why they say a little white lie will grow and grow…it grows because we’re in the throes of hiding our previous lie…at all costs.   And if, by chance, someone does stumble over our transgression, we’ll deny…deny…deny until slammed with hard proof.  But only then will we admit our mistake.

We’ve all lied.  We’ve all cheated…something OR someone.  We’ve all protected ourselves from getting caught with our “hand in the cookie jar.”  So, we know that we, ourselves, aren’t infallibly trustworthy.  We know – somewhere in the closets of our mind – that we have wronged someone…something.  Yet, we still choose to entertain the concept of trust, project that trust onto someone who will (one day) breach it, and insist that we, too, can be trusted with anything…everything.  The human mind is just one complicated trap after another, it seems.  🙂

We give trust “honestly.”  We accept trust “honestly.” – All the while lying to ourselves about our human capability of breaching that trust given the right circumstances.  Maybe the idea of trust is simply a self-preservation method.  Maybe we feel “safer” with a person if we include them in our “circle of trust.”  But the reality is every person we trust is capable of breaking that trust.  When they do, we feel betrayed and angry.  Our perception of that person has been shattered.  We feel we no longer know our traitor.  This leaves us feeling alone.  Nothing terrifies us more than being alone.  So, to avoid confronting that fear, we do most anything to cover our imperfect humanity with idealistic expectations, or trust.  We convince ourselves that those we choose to trust are somehow superior and incapable of committing a transgression against us.  But sooner or later, that trust collides head-on with humanity, and we’re left wondering how this “trusted” person could have hurt us…not put US above themselves…been so selfish…

How incredibly human of them!

When we put ourselves first and breach another’s trust, we’re acting out of selfishness.  When we trust others not to hurt US, regardless of the cost, we’re also acting out of selfishness.  So, even when we think we’re selflessly trusting or being trusted, our core motivation is self-serving.  However, we choose to deny that reality and lie to ourselves.  Why?  Simply put…the illusion makes us feel better than the reality.

Without the illusion of trust, we must see our loved ones unmasked as the imperfect humans they are, rather than the Photoshopped images we’ve created in our minds.  And ironically, when our trust is breached, we tend not to be understanding, not to remember that we too breach trust, not to forgive…instead, we tend to hold a grudge, to be hypocritical, to forget that we are equally guilty at times, and to ban our transgressor from our lives.

So, I wrestle with this idea of trust…an illusion we create to give ourselves a blind sense of security…but a necessary evil all the same.  We must trust those close to us in this life…to a point.  Otherwise, misery, suspicion, and solitude are inevitable.  Maybe the secret lies in trusting our loved ones to be the best human beings they can be, expecting fallacies, not judging those fallacies (as we have our own), and being ready and willing to forgive.

And celebrate our imperfection.

We will have stones thrown our way many times over in this life, just as we will throw stones.  Our strength is determined by our understanding that these stones are flying without aim in every direction on any given day…sometimes we dodge them, sometimes we get hit square in the face.  But all in all, it’s just a stone…a weak imperfection in the mountain of life.  Our job…keep climbing.

Trust is a fragile and fickle illusion, but a necessary one just the same.

Chick Hughes

Why does the heart break so easily?  We open our heart to our chosen love, one we feel will trust us as equally as we trust him, one who we give our everything without hesitation.   We sail blissfully along in our love boat of perceived perfection, oblivious to the imminent threat of piracy.  Once we’re all snuggled into our bed of security and familiarity, something happens: a breach of trust.  Whether that breach is infidelity, abandonment, abuse, or just lies of such great magnitude they alter our entire relationship–our world has just disappeared from beneath us.  We’ve lost our footing.  We’ve lost our “safe” person. We’ve lost “us.”  Our heart is broken.  Desperation and hopelessness take over, and our world will never be the same again….or so we think.  Can we manage to get over having our heart stomped on?  Do we forgive and try to move past the pain?  Is the relationship worth it?  Can we find the power to trust our transgressor?

We may go the duration of our relationship assuring ourselves that we would never–should never–get over such a breach of trust on the part of our spouse/partner.  And maybe we won’t if, and when, the time comes.  Every relationship is different and is sustainable to different outside threats.  Every individual has a different threshold of pain, tolerance, and forgiveness.  But the fact remains that EVERY relationship is vulnerable to such threats.  And when a breach of trust is upon us, we will each cope with it differently.  The magnitude of the breach may determine the size of the road block we must get around in order to mend the  trust.  Our level of devotion to the relationship will also determine whether we feel it’s worth salvaging.    If our heart is so easily broken, then it’s obvious we are greatly  invested in this person in question.  In order to arrive at a love powerful enough to cause such pain, that love must be worth fighting for, right?  So, what now?  Do we fight for the one we love despite feeling betrayed and forsaken?  Or do we run the other way, wait for time to heal our broken heart, and move on to someone else who may potentially dance a jig on that “healed” heart?

The choice is ours.  Regardless of who we give our heart to, that person has the power to break it into millions of tiny pieces and then spoon feed it to us.  Trust is the glue holding together our very fragile, very vulnerable love.  Once broken, it can take years to repair.   Both parties must work diligently to make that repair.  The person who broke the trust must recommit to the relationship and work overtime to ensure himself trustworthy again.  The betrayed one must work on forgiveness and acceptance that a perfect relationship doesn’t exist-not that a breach of trust is excusable.  But a relationship is work, never ending work.  That work will include keeping the ship on course.  But it will also include fighting a few hurricanes along the way.  No marriage is without problems.  No problem is without solution, and sometimes, solution means forgiveness.  Trust, like pain, will mend with time-if given the opportunity.   Love not worth fighting for never had the power to break our heart in the first place.   Forgiveness and trust come easier to the heart than to the mind.  Allow your heart to trust, to love, to forgive.  Only then can it mend.

Chick Hughes

“We’re never so vulnerable than when we trust someone – but paradoxically, if we cannot trust, neither can we find love or joy”Walter Anderson