Trust is the pillar of every relationship from the most insignificant to the most intimate connection. I would venture to say the quickest way to strengthen connection is transparency and proven trust, and the quickest way to destroy it is to breach trust.
It seems like a "no brainer." Everyone wants to trust, therefore everyone would be trustworthy in return....Right?
Our society operates on basic trust that people will follow the rules; those who don't will be punished, and must repent to regain trust -- and get back on track with the rest of us. Even prisoners and gangsters have trust codes. All humans seek it.... and, it can be elusive and even destructive at times.
Think about how good it feels when you can trust someone, or a company or a product. Honestly, for me -- it feels freakin' fantastic to know what I can expect, know that my needs are considered and met, and know that I can count on that experience over and over. Whether it is in regards to my favorite coffee or my lover; there is nothing more empowering and inspiring than the experience of trust.
What about how great it feels to be trusted?
Have you noticed that when you or what you offer is "trusted" there is an easeful flow in all interactions and more productive outcome all around?
Have you noticed how your body has more energy, is lighter and more fluid, your day filled with more synchronicity when you feel trust for others and feel trusted in return?
When trust breaks down in a relationship of any kind all hell breaks loose. Symptoms of stress and disease start showing up in the body, anxiety and tension set in, mistakes are made and opportunities lost.
From where I am standing this trust thing is simple and universal; it is the golden key to ease and joy, it is the way to be known and to know, we all want it, we all feel devastated when it is broken, and it' actually the easiest way to get what you want. Yet, somehow "trust" can quickly become a four letter word; the bond of trust abandoned for personal gain, leaving devastation in its once golden track. The tabloids are filled with stories about it, nations fight over it, and every day hearts are broken and lives are changed by the lack of it.
How can we get a handle on this?
At first glance this whole trust thing may be a bit overwhelming. I have noticed the easy answer for some is to "trust no one" and do what serves their personal wants as part of a freedom cry of sorts; others "trust no one" and "need nothing" deciding to do everything themselves, some blindly trust others and "trust" they will be treated in a way that aligns with their trust but don't show up for the bond of trust within themselves.
After much consideration and contemplation I looked at myself and asked -- "Hey, can I trust you?!"
Strangely, this was a very hard question for me to answer. What does trusting oneself even mean? In general the answer is "Of course I trust myself," but upon deeper investigation I realized my personal relationship with trust could use some real attention.
Maybe this is the issue. The world is full of people like me, who desperately want trust but have not built the bond of trust with themselves. It can be so easy to fall into the mode of monitoring safety and trust in relationships with others that our inner voice and personal needs get put on the back burner.
Ultimately, trust has to come from within first. We must hear and acknowledge our own needs and truth, we must stay in connection with the deepest part of our self and communicate in the world as a loving advocate for our self.
So the journey of trust begins with self.
I invite you to join me in strengthening your trust in relationship to self. Stay connected to yourself by creating space and time to discover your honest needs and wants, and be transparent with yourself first.
A daily stillness or meditation practice is a great way to develop this bond with yourself. After your practice take a few moments to look in the mirror and ask these key questions:
"Hey, can I trust you?"
"What is it that I need most right now?"
"How can I support you?"
Take this inquiry to the next step and strengthen trust in your relationships. The trust and transparency you create with yourself only grows when you lovingly communicate truth and needs/wants while staying connected to and considerate of the needs and feelings of others. Gently stand in your truth with an open heart. Share your transparent agenda with awareness and consideration of your impact on others. This same practice translates into professional relationships and family too. Basically, give people a heads up on what is real for you and what you plan to take action on, offer compassion and loving kindness in regards to what is real for them, and together work out what serves all involved.
Why? Because trust is one of the greatest pillars of human experience.
When you have trust you have truth, and when you have truth you have love, and when you have love -- well, you have it all.