Trust isn’t something other people earn from us. Like forgiveness, trust comes from within.
Trust means letting go of the fear of being hurt.
It means putting the ego aside and accepting people’s presence no matter what they’ve done in the past.
Trust and forgiveness go hand-in-hand. They are mere words to describe the same unsettling feeling that the ego stirs up when we let our thoughts go unmanaged.
Trust isn’t earned – it is released alongside fear and our desire to control everything.
Why is it hard to trust people we know?
People make relationship mistakes – sometimes intentionally, sometimes unintentionally.
And when people we know hurt us, it’s hard to trust them.
We’re unsure if they will hurt us again.
We’re unsure if they will reject us when we make ourselves vulnerable to their uncertain actions. And we don’t want them to see us as weak.
We care what they think of us and what everyone else will think of us if we let them back in our lives. Essentially, we rely on everyone else for our own self-worth.
Why is it hard to trust people we don’t know?
We sometimes adopt the notion that everyone is out to get us or everyone is up to no good.
This makes us fearful of strangers.
We’d prefer to know what everyone is thinking, what their intentions are, what actions they will take.
We like things to be known and orderly, and when they’re not, we feel unprepared to deal with uncertainty and adapt to change.
We have the desire to control our environment so that we feel safe. And if we don’t know how someone will act, then we clearly aren’t in control.
Why can’t we earn trust?
Earning trust is like saying “I’m sorry.”
We can say “I’m sorry” a thousand times, never do that bad thing again, and be someone’s slave for the rest of our lives, and yet people may never really forgive us.
We did everything they asked, everything they said we should do in order to prove that we repent, but they are unable to forgive us still.
It’s because forgiveness has nothing to do with us. It’s all about them letting go of resentment.
Likewise, we can “earn trust” by demonstrating loyalty, generosity, and kindness, but such virtuous acts do not guarantee that someone will trust us.
Especially if we slip up from time to time.
Trust comes from people’s ability to detach from our actions and words and not use us for their own self-worth or happiness.
How do we trust people?
We practice trusting people the same way we encourage them to trust us.
We must let go of the fear of being hurt, especially by people we love, people closest to us.
We must let go of the need to be a victim of a situation in order to have something to attach to and blame for our misfortune and unhappiness.
We must not use other people for our self-worth and satisfaction.
Our trust in people has nothing to do with them, but has everything to do with our perception and ability to seek happiness independently.
How do we get people to trust us?
We can’t force people to trust us. We can’t control them. And we mustn’t want to.
All we can do is practice being good people most of the time and hope that the people in our lives will see past our faults and not hold resentment against us.
We can certainly talk to people to help them understand that their trust for us is in their minds and that they can choose to trust us.
Most of all, we must be patient with people.
Their trust in us may have evaporated instantly from one word we spoke, one mistake we made, or one moment of inattention, but it certainly takes time for people to regain their personal strength and let go of the things that bother them.
Who in your life do you trust? Why do you trust them?
Who don’t you trust? Why don’t you trust them?
Is it possible that your lack of trust has nothing to do with the other person and everything to do with your fear of being hurt, your need for control, and your inner resentment?
If you let go of the hurt, control, and resentment, how do you think you would feel? Might you trust more people? Might you feel happier?
Now, you don’t need to trust people blindly or naively.
But maybe by letting go of the things your ego uses to hold you back, you might find yourself more open to the world and therefore more accepting of what the world has to give you.