Why Trust is Worth It

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Connection is extremely high on my values list. It is something I not only value, but crave at a visceral level. I see connection as one of the most beautiful pieces of the human experience. I honestly think that is why we are here – to connect – whether that is with others, our environments, our spirituality…

Connection isn’t something that happens all at once; it deepens with time. I believe that is due to the fact that you can’t have true connection without trust. A cornerstone to connection is trust. Which is why, I believe trust is worth it, even when it’s scary. To help illustrate this point, I am sharing one of my favorite videos.

I love this video on so many levels. I can’t tell you how many times I have watched it. Having tried my hand at partner balance (and having a few friends work for Cirque du Soleil) I can appreciate the extreme physical trust that is required of these performers. Ze Frank’s narration is beautifully poignant alongside these physical feats. His words create a captivating soundscape rich with meaning.

As displayed in the video, trust is a risky business. I can imagine Anya and Geal practicing those moves many times over, sometimes falling, mis-steping and faltering in their execution. The risk for them is physically significant. What if this person drops me on my head? What if s/he doesn’t support me and I endure a painful, possibly career or even life-ending injury? There is risk involved in trust.

Over the years I have acquired significant scars from the loss of trust. I have felt the sharp pain and confusion associated with betrayal from others, the world and even myself. I can recall times, where I thought I could never trust anyone or anything again. However, as recent as just this past weekend I found myself opening up pieces of myself and building trust in ways I could have once never imagined. So, how do we bridge that gap?

A Recipe for Connection

Healthy trust (as with healthy connection) is made up of vulnerability with boundaries. First, by having boundaries I place trust in myself to practice self-care. Then by practicing vulnerability (with those who are safe) I allow myself to be open to trust building outside of myself.

Small Pieces

In the narration Ze describes trust as “…not all or none. It’s a slow and steady practice of learning about the capacity of the world.” For me trust is developed bit-by-bit in small acts. For example, when I was going through my divorce and a friend would reach out after an important appointment to see how I was, this built trust. A lot of times trust shows up in the little things: a colleague following through on a commitment, someone sharing something significant, or a friend remembering an important date.

Vulnerability

There are no guarantees when we decide to trust, but we also cannot trust without being vulnerable. Brené Brown describes this in her book Daring Greatly as “a chicken-or-the-egg issue: We need to feel trust to be vulnerable and we need to be vulnerable in order to trust.”

“We talk about trust as something you build, as if it’s a structure or a thing, but in that building there seems to be something about letting go.” – Ze Frank

Letting Go

One of the many phrases from the video that resonates with me is: “Trust is your relationship to the unknown.” Over the years I have come to develop a more open relationship with the unknown. Letting go of control. Letting go of the need to know. To trust someone else, I have to understand that I am truly powerless over what they do or don’t do. I also think about the letting go of my armor. I have to shed pieces of protection to allow myself to be vulnerable. By letting go of my perfectionism, I trust that who I am is enough.

Moving Forward

As you think about trust in your own life, I challenge you to consider:

– What does trust look like to you?

– How do you stay open for the opportunity to trust?

– How do you show up for others?

– Who do you trust?

 

Leave your comments and insights below!

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