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  • Writer's pictureEsther Brownwood

The Practice of Trust





a: assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something

b: one in which confidence is placed


a: dependence on something future or contingent : hope


trusted; trusting; trusts


a: to rely on the truthfulness or accuracy of : believe

trust a rumor

b: to place confidence in : rely on

a friend you can trust

c: to hope or expect confidently

trusts that the problem will be resolved soon

Hello Friend,

What do you trust? Who do you trust? Do you trust me? Do you trust?

Last year in camp we played a circle game where someone stood in the middle and let their upright body sway and fall into the arms of the others. We tossed each other around in such a manner, until we discovered that no one would be dropped. There was a safety in allowing yourself to fall in any direction, knowing that others quite literally had your back, side - or front.

I picked the topic of trust for this month, because it’s a concept I’ve been contemplating quite a lot the past few weeks.

I’ll be honest and say that I have a hard time trusting people, which is interesting, because I believe I’m a very open person, and therefore it “should” be easy.

It may be because of growing up in an unstable environment where reliability was not often found. Or it could be that as I’ve grown older, I’ve realized the fundamental flaw of believing somebody’s “truth” as fact.

I believe there are very few universal truths. Not even something that we consider a basic fact, such as “The Sun sets every day.” is true for everyone, just ask the people of Iceland in the summer.

Though I do believe that most people try their best to be honest, it’s not black and white. I’ve discovered within myself that I am multifaceted, and though a part of me might say something truthful and honest, there may be another aspect of myself who can’t agree, believe, or commit to my initial statement.

That’s why trust is hard for me, because I so clearly see that intent and action often do not match up. For example I am telling the truth when I tell my friends I want to visit them, yet it is also true that a huge part of me sees the difficulty and therefore does not want it. I’m still figuring out how to reconcile these two selves.

I can believe that you’re believing what you’re saying, but can I trust that you will follow through?

The fundamental truth I have learned to believe in and trust, has been the inevitably of change. Though it is not an easy one to accept, it has been something I rely on when I feel I have no grasp on a situation.

This leads me to the relationship between trust and ourselves. Just as I feel like it’s difficult for me to trust others, the above scenarios give you a glimpse into my struggle trusting myself as well.

Yet, when I allow myself to trust the uncertainty itself, it gives me the space to trust the fluidity of my own truths. If the only thing we can be sure of is change, then it’s okay if there are parts of me that can’t commit to one side of the coin.

The conclusion I have come to is that trust is a non-active state. When I allow my thinking mind to relax for a bit, that itself is a process of trust, and also allows me to be more open and present with whatever is coming next.

It eliminates the question of whether I can or cannot trust in the first place. In this state of mind I can trust me, you or anyone because I believe trust isn’t something you build, it’s something that’s waiting for you to uncover it, think archeology.

You don’t have to “learn” how to trust. You don’t have to actively try to build it either.

All you have to do is allow whatever will happen to happen anyway, without you controlling it.

So this month, I hope you’ll join me in practicing trust, in practicing allowing ourselves to be seen and caught by others, all the while knowing that they might not be able to receive us in the way we’d like, but attempting it anyway. After all, we might be pleasantly surprised.

A new question to ponder after all this contemplation: Can I accept trust?

You can trust this: I love you.

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