Trust. It’s a tricky thing. It’s really only a delusion or a flexible perception. It’s not reality. You cannot touch it. Oh, sure, you can feel it, but to even describe it will prove difficult. Trust; varying in degrees of longevity and resilience. We place it first in our parents as only the pure and inexperienced could. We trust them with our very existence; not that we yet have reason or perception so young. We grow up and participate in a society that lulls us into believing and disbelieving who we can and cannot, should and should not trust based on little more than gathered opinion sprinkled with common sense. We trust in a foundation built long before fingerprinting or forensic science (or bad cell phone photos) could prove that those we place this trust in aren’t who they seem.
Trust is both fluid and rigid. You may trust people because you are related by blood or have come to know over a long time. You might trust easily and willingly and happily while others keep many at arm’s length. Perhaps you trust only a single soul with your secrets, your desires, your life and safety. Some only trust in what is solid and tangible. We try as a society to buy into the fantasy of balance, but do any of us really trust even that?
We are told so many lies throughout our lives. Every single person we come in contact with has lied to us in some way, shape or form. We choose to not only accept this but to participate in it willingly and knowingly perpetuate it. We are told to tell the truth, to believe in ourselves, be a good citizen an neighbor to others, to be kind and generous and to treat others as we would want to be treated. We are so rarely taught or told to simply trust in ourselves, our instincts and our bodies.
Before adolescence we are explicitly instructed to not trust our bodies and our impulses. We are bathed in the slick waters of shame before most of us understands the words and actions they represent. Once we begin to see or feel or experience these things for ourselves we begin to develop our own understanding of both our bodies and others perceptions and judgments. We are told to think for ourselves but are punished for being individuals. This does not end with adolescence.
In adulthood we are fooled and cajoled into trusting that we have control over our lives and our destiny when we live within a system that would crumble if we truly believed a word of it. Asking questions is frowned upon, being informed raises suspicions, pointing to the guilty only places the spotlight of guilt and shame upon you. When intent is weighed in any situation we can quickly see how there are far more than two sides to any story.
We find living a life behind a mask of happiness, or the pursuit of it (no matter the cost), is far easier than sharing our emotions and connecting with others. Soon the mask gets comfortable and we forget we’re wearing it. We believe that the mask is our own, our personality and our truest selves. We trust in the lie because it’s easier to believe. It’s more comfortable to be wrapped up in a nice cozy blanket indoors than it is to step outside into the harsh grey reality of the life you built or have accepted as your own.
To reflect upon the life you are living right now in this moment is to see the lie you have chosen to live. The cozy blanket feels flimsy and damp in the rays of sunshine you once placed upon your optimistic future self. You suddenly can’t figure out what happened or where you could have gone wrong. You truly don’t recall why it is that you’ve come to this juncture in your life. You worked hard and fell in line and did your best to think for yourself and to trust those you love.
But you never truly trusted in yourself. You never stopped to question why it is you had to fall in line. You consumed what was served and never asked for options. How you were raised became what you believe. With each spoonful of lies was the insistence to trust, but not yourself and not your body. Your instincts were ridiculed and you shamed for trusting them. You forgot what it felt like to have a gut feeling about anything after awhile. You may find your momentary reflections to be merely a passing phase of discomfort and go back to the lie. That’s okay, you had a tough day. Tomorrow will be better, kiddo.
If you do decide to sit for a spell and really investigate your life and yourself, you’ll find that when you do question and stand out, that you can be happy. You can be and individual and you can be confident. You will be ridiculed and shamed for it, but you can do it if you so choose. It won’t be easy, but life cannot be. Oh, you thought it would be? You were trusting the lie, remember? *Hugs*
Getting to know the deeper and more authentic you will be the hardest and best thing you can ever do. To gain the trust of yourself and of your own body is a gift and an education without tuition. There is no fast track or scholarship for this journey, though. There is no secret to getting ahead or throwing the curve. What you put in is pretty much what you will get out. You must come to know yourself and to face your fears and insecurities before you can truly know what sort of a life you really want to live. This is where I currently reside.
(Part Two tomorrow, stay tuned!)