Trust is something we all crave. We all truly want to trust, and we want to be trusted. To be trusted is to be believed, and everyone wants their story to be believed. Because when you are believed you are important – you matter. Your part and your presence in the Universe matters.
As I was laying in bed this morning, cuddled up next to my little dog, I started thinking about trust. Her little face was close to mine, so close I could feel her breath on my skin. She was half asleep and very content. Tiny little sighs and her soft little exhales made me feel comforted, and let me know she felt safe beside me. I started then thinking about how she was so close that she had the capability to harm me…she could bite my nose or scratch me if she wanted to. But I knew that she wouldn’t. I trust her. And vice versa, if I wanted I had the capability to harm her – I am much bigger than her. But I would never harm her or want to cause her any harm. So, my little dog was laying comfortably on the pillow next to me, belly exposed and in total dream-state bliss. She trusts me. How is this level of trust established? We do it with other humans, too. We innately want to trust. We want to believe that people and animals are good. And I believe that we are all born good.
Trust is built over time, layer by layer. You cannot have a healthy relationship without trust. But sometimes, trust gets broken along the way. Trust can be broken in various ways, not only by the obvious ones such as infidelity or physical harm. Trust can be diminished through a slow decline of acknowledgement or unkind words said. It may happen so slowly that you don’t even notice for awhile. But after some times passes, you don’t quite feel like yourself anymore. You become more fearful and more easily triggered. This is the state I find Myself in. But I know that I don’t have to stay in this space. I can choose to do something about it. I can set some healthy boundaries and pursue the best way to take care of myself.
To gain that trust back it requires repair. Repair in the form of active listening, of ownership and sincere apology. I believe it is possible to forgive someone without apology, but it is not possible to fully trust them again without one. That is why apology is so important in relationship. Apology is the acceptance that your actions or behaviours (intentionally or unintentionally) have hurt someone else. I think it is safe to say that we have all hurt and been hurt. Some of us at deeper levels than others. Everyone has their own time needed for repair. I believe that repair is possible, but it takes both parties being open and willing. Observe the situation with an eagle-eye perspective. The ability to look beyond ourselves and our own pain means the letting go of one’s ego…stepping into a clearer awareness. However we must first be able to recognize our own hurt and where it comes from, before we can fully accept someone else’s. This is the path to repair. This is the path back to love.