06/10/2010 05:12 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Who Or What Do You Trust?

Do you ever fear for the future, or doubt that government and business enterprise will make wise choices for the greatest good? Do trust others to act responsibly? Who or what, if anything, do you feel you can trust these days? Do you trust yourself?

It is possible to build trust, even when others around you are being flaky and shaky. You can trust that that is the way they are. You may trust that newspapers are not reliable sources of truth. You may trust that many politicians tell a good story for the sake of winning a vote.

Generally, I treat myself to a light diet of news. Often just the headlines to give me a general impression of what is going on. Why? I do not believe everything I read. Nor do I disbelieve it. I observe it. If it is relevant for me, I may engage with it some more. Dwelling in bad news (as it often is) depletes me, and lowers my sense of safety and security.

Trust can be built from the inside out. What do I mean by that? It is up to you and I to decide who or what we trust. I have certain friends who are always late for appointments. I trust that when we arrange to meet, I can allow 15 or sometimes 30 minutes for them to join me. So I take a book to read, or something I can do while I am waiting.

When it comes to time-keeping the Bolivians, notoriously late for any appointments, are now being encouraged to be on time with punctuality bonuses Being on time makes for higher productivity and economic good sense.

Risking doing something different can build trust; the trust that you are capable of learning new skills -- old dogs can learn new tricks. You may be in a position of having to develop a new career. With a clear intention for a certain outcome, you may surprise yourself at what you can achieve. You might learn to trust in the inner resources you have to get through a difficult time; to reinvent yourself, as HuffPost blogger Eli Davidson might say.

Trusting yourself is simple, though not always easy. It works like this. Do what you say you will do. Do not agree to what you will not fulfil. Be willing to renegotiate agreements that you are unable to keep. There is a subtle level to keeping agreements. What about the times you have vowed to exercise or meditate every day? Or eat a healthy diet? Or be kind and accepting towards yourself? Keeping the commitments that you make with yourself, and others, will build your sense of safety, security and self-esteem, so that you know where you stand.

Changing a habit takes time and patience.
So to build inner trust, relax, be gentle with yourself,
and do keep your word with yourself -- one small agreement at a time.


You can trust and know what is true for you. It does not have to be against anyone else. Self-trust is the foundation of good relationships with others. Being true to yourself offers a reference point with which others can know and respect you. You do not need to go along with the prevailing opinions or points of view about a situation. You might choose to check things out for yourself. It is fine to not be sure about anything, until you have sufficient information on which to base a decision.

You may have heard this Sufi story from which comes the saying: Trust in God but tie up your camel.

There was once a man who was on his way back home from market with his camel and, as he'd had a good day, he decided to stop at a mosque along the road and offer his thanks to God.

He left his camel outside and went in with his prayer mat and spent several hours offering thanks to Allah, praying and promising that he'd be a good Muslim in the future, help the poor and be an upstanding pillar of his community.

When he emerged it was already dark and lo and behold -- his camel was gone! He immediately flew into a violent temper and shook his fist at the sky, yelling: "You traitor, Allah! How could you do this to me? I put all my trust in you and then you go and stab me in the back like this!"

A passing sufi dervish heard the man yelling and chuckled to himself.
"Listen," he said, "Trust God but, you know, tie up your camel."

Trust is a cooperative venture between your inner knowing or spirit, and the world in which you live. Trust is active, aware and alert. It is not blind and unknowing.

Here are some trusts that I have:

.... in human creativity and ingenuity, as in the story here of Mr Elleman Mumba in Zambia:

... in the power of the present moment for experiencing well-being and peace of mind

Eckhart Tolle talks here about Enlightenment

.... that what I put out is what I get back.

... that for every problem, there is a solution, somewhere.

.... in the power of love and forgiveness to heal hearts, minds and bodies.

Dr. Peter Bloomfield, University of Santa Monica student discusses serving in Haiti

You can trust love. You can trust it completely. So when you love, give yourself over to love completely. John Morton

Who, or what, do you trust? What do you know for sure as a foundation for your life? How do you build trust and a sense of safety and security?

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