The Problem With Trust: Why We Don't Trust And One Way To Fix It.
Trust or the general lack of trust humanity lives under is a very broad topic, and cannot be discussed in depth in one blog post only. It is a matter that goes too deep in everyone, and an entire book would be required to explain the causes, reasons why it happens, how it is affecting a person and how to restore it. However, there are fast and effective methods to achieve this aim; but only when someone is truly dedicated and persistent in tackling this problem. And it is a real problem with serious consequences to all.
It is very easy to rely on our automatic instincts and distrust others, but this will never solve humanity's conflict with trust. While I am going to share a very effective method to regain trust in others and ourselves, I am also relying on the common sense of the reader to follow it cautiously, but also daringly. It is a simple method, but it is also one that could bring all our demons and fears to the surface, something for which one is not always prepared. It is not necessary to be prepared to take action, but as we live under this cloud of protectiveness, and we have created an array of defense mechanisms which clearly is not helping anyone, I find that a warning is appropriate.
First, where does our lack of trust comes from? In my previous blog post 'Children: The Invisible Souls,' I already discussed one of the reasons why from a very early age everyone learns to distrust. To sum it up and not to repeat; as children we are invisible and voiceless. We are neither seen, nor heard. The situations we face at such a young age lead us to a place rather desolate that prevents personal expansion and expression. The messages we receive are so limiting and constricting that we adapt our behaviour to mold into a system that has already been created for us. You either fit in or you are an outcast. The truth is that going again the stream is the path to a colourful and extraordinary life. By following this learnt behaviour, we accept the fact that as an individual we are invisible, voiceless and that this is how life is. A learnt behaviour is not who you are no matter how many times you have been told. Listen to yourself.
In order to change, evolve and develop personally, we must challenge what we have learned and reconsider if the truth we live by makes us happy and accomplished human beings. If we ask ourselves this question, we know that we want to change, and even though we would like an improvement, we are short of ideas on how to get there. Society does not encourage change. Every day we have the right to be different and better than we were the day before. One of the reasons personal change does not occur is because any change we may go through would be shocking to the image that others have of us, hence we remain what others are expecting of us. These would be the people closest to you, parents, family and friends. As we change, people begin to look at us in different ways. Since the norm is to distrust anything that is different or stands out from the norm, any individual would struggle to set themselves free from these learnt patterns. It does take courage and being able to stand up to criticism from others. How do we change this then?
You do have all the courage that is required to do so and this text is intended to give you a few reasons to tap into it. As children we encounter similar situations every day, causing devastating effects in self-confidence and self-trust. It is not only that we don't trust others. We don't trust ourselves. As we are told to keep quiet, behave, shut up and in far too many occasions fall victim of some sort of physical violence in order to keep us in line, we learn to 'behave', but we also learn to distrust our actions and intentions. When self-expression is repeatedly suppressed in a time in which we are supposed to be most expressive, self-doubt is inevitable. What we feel and want is prohibited and the love we profess for our parents and family create the false believe that we are wrong, creating a chain reaction that comes to effect when we see others doing something we are not used to. This is the moment in life which we begin to distrust, and it is directed inwards. By doing this, we continue inflicting on ourselves the same attitudes that we have learned from others. Yes, we do it to ourselves. We are just unaware of this fact. We may feel we are protected, but we are not. No one can get in and no one can get out. We are trapped.
Lack of trust is limiting in ways that most of us are unaware of. I halts freedom and personal expansion. This is an energy, very powerful, which keeps us from expressing who we really are and which forms a limited circle of action. For as long as we don't take chances to trust, no individual would ever be free. In a way, we are limiting ourselves. We don't want to hurt again, hence we choose what we believe to be the easy way and remain acting out within the limits of what we have always known. Trust lies beyond fear. We have to trust some of those things we fear if not all. In most cases, we stop one step before fear and never dare to enter it. To trust again, we have to go through it. Fear is not as scary as it might seem.
Living within this comfort zone; hiding behind our protective barriers and never inviting new opportunities is the best way to stop life unfolding the magic and a wondrous path in front of you. Lack of trust is to say no to life. We are human and we are designed to feel. This is to feel both, the good and the bad. For as long as we refuse to feel, we will continue suffering. If lack of trust has helped you in any way to stop hurt and suffering coming in your life, do continue doing so, but if you'd like to come out and realise who you really know you are deep within, you are going to have to drop those defenses. And more than this.
Living in a constant lack of trust, subconsciously and not so subconsciously we have created an array of traps that we set around, not only to protect ourselves, but to challenge the loyalty of others. The more we distrust, the more dangerous these traps become and with them we hurt the people we love most. An example of this would be to leave a mobile phone unattended so our partners can read our mail. The reasoning behind is this, "if you really trusted me and knew who I really am, and how much I love you, you wouldn't need to check my mail. Now give me one reason why I should trust you ever again?" This is a staged attack and the majority of us know that they're going to fall for it and get caught. Our behaviour becomes ambiguous, so as to give others reasons to distrust, as well as giving us reasons to distrust them. Lack of trust is lack of love and self-love.
It is at the same time looking for a way out from a situation, especially in romantic relationships. Let's imagine that the woman in this relationship looks at another man for just a bit longer than her boyfriend or husband considers appropriate. One second is usually one second too many. Why this woman is not allowed to look at whoever she pleases is due to the false sense of possession to which we feel entitled when in a relationship. The man then accuses the woman of looking around to see if she can get someone better. Jealousy. This man could even go further and accuse her of wanting to cheat. Where did this man get all this information from a one second glance? From his fears.
A worst case scenario is when the man directly chooses to hit the woman. This is a very real situation. I heard many of these stories from many different women in my life. Accusations, distrust, violence are simply ways to avoid to deal with our fears and insecurities by not feeling. The longer we do this, the stronger our demons are going to grow and every time they appear. Demons will continue appearing more often and make us dance to their will until we become the demon.
As I always say, if I have to pay for a crime I have not committed, I might as well go for it and do it. After all I have already paid the price by doing nothing, so why shouldn't I? It is very possible that both, man and woman are looking for a via to escape if only temporarily. One by pushing her away, the other by wanting to be pushed away. When we distrust others even before they do something we don't want them to do, in the majority of cases, they will do as we suspect, but not for the reasons we believe. We have created the opportunity with our lack of trust.
In order to change this, we can stop such ambivalent behaviour and make ourselves vulnerable. Being vulnerable is a way to expand towards freedom. By being vulnerable I don't mean to jump on a suicidal mission in which we are going to be hurt deliberately by others. It is instead opening to new channels of communication and accepting reality as it is, beginning to experience feelings that are trapped in our bodies and that we have been avoiding for life. The reason this might be a difficult process is because these feelings are going to bring back memories that are filled with emotions. The effect is going to be uncomfortable or very uncomfortable.
By allowing trust gradually, we will realise that all these ghosts we have distrusted for such a long time are not as menacing as we thought in first instance, but as we have never taken the time to experience such situations we don't know it. We begin by taking a small step at a time until we feel comfortable to take another way. The important part to consider in this process is that we must feel the emotion that opens up. Whether we face criticism or the same old restrictive behaviours, we must feel without acting. By feeling we release the energy that is stopping you from evolving. The more you feel, the less insignificant fear will be and our issues with trust will vanish eventually.
Not reacting to fear also creates a new energy that turns into a new memory. A positive energy substitutes a negative energy. It's a win/win situation.
When it comes to change and personal transformation I have a firm conviction which I will keep repeating throughout. We might have feared when we where children, but we are no longer that child. Now we are adults. Allowing these fears and lack of trust only means that we give our inner child all the powers to control our life. All the issues we have with fear and trust go as deep as the inner child, but this is a topic for a different blog post.
I would recommend that you take small steps towards overcoming your fears with trust, but of course if you want to go wild, be my guest. The more you put into it, the more you get. And you only get results from the experience. As you can see, there are no steps to follow, which it should give you plenty of room for flexibility within your owns beliefs and way of living. You might make mistakes in the process. Do not regret it. Try again in a different way. Making mistakes is a natural part of life and we all make them. Do not give yourself a hard time either. Mistakes are nothing compared with what comes once your personal transformation has reached a healthy level; a life without fear in which you can openly trust. And once we trust, everything is possible.
Once you have taken several steps and offer your trust openly, if situations or people continue hurting you, these are signs of all the places where not to go. People who harm others do so because they live in fear. Fear does not trust. They believe they are protecting themselves, but they are not. Say goodbye with kindness and love and move on towards a life worth living. All you need is love, courage and trust. And you have these and everything else you need to accomplish it. As you open up towards the outside world, you will go in and find all those wonderful treasures you hold within. All it takes is one small step at a time. If you want to communicate effectively with others, it is time you begin to trust.
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