1. reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person or thing; confidence.
2. confident expectation of something; hope.
3. to have trust or confidence in; rely or depend on.
4. to believe.
5. to expect confidently; hope (usually fol. by a clause or infinitive as object): trusting the job would soon be finished; trusting to find oil on the land.
Trust. What is trust? We use the word so boldly but do we ever stop to question what it really means? We talk about it with family, with friends and with colleagues. We talk about it online and offline, it is responsible for our deepest secrets and for the successful completion of many daily tasks. We are defining it, outlining it and promoting it to each other, but the definition of trust seems less concrete. As I battle the ups and downs of various situations life throws at me, I am finding myself becoming more aware of what moves me to “trust” - and what undermines that.
There are so many different kinds of trust. I trust my parents to love me unconditionally no matter what decisions I make in life. I trust my boyfriend not to cheat on me. I trust online shops to send me the items I have paid for. Is any kind of trust more important than another?
The birth and creation of trust is a grey area. Trusting someone should be hard but we seem to accept that it is a necessary starting point in any relationship or friendship. Where do we find it in ourselves? Trust opens us up and presents our vulnerability to anyone we bestow it upon. It exposes us in a way few other emotional commitments do. In doing this, we expect our openness to be treated with respect and our disadvantages and weaknesses not to be taken advantage of. As individuals, we have to do this in good faith. But how do you prove this trust? Can it be proved? People have many flaws but we are all so beautifully raw and vulnerable when we initially interact with people. We can be guarded and attempt to shield our cores but ultimately, we have to trust based upon nothing.
The reality is, our ability to trust is probably one of our purest traits as human beings. Truth can be so easily lost. Once the damage is done, the notion that you might ever trust that person again can feel impossible. When we are hurt or betrayed by someone and the trust is no longer complete, we find it difficult to expose ourselves again. It takes this “proof” that we cannot trust them before we experience the doubt, yet we trust so openly and completely in the beginning with no solid foundations.
I’ve been thinking about this for days but I still don’t know what trust is. All is know is that trust is both brave and vulnerable. Trust is not sparing my feelings. Trust is the hard truth spoken gently. We can lose it before we have it or find where we least expect it. Trust can be given, but not invented, stolen, or demanded.
The painful truth about trust is that, once it is shattered, we cannot glue it back together. Like good health, generosity, or love, we are most reminded of its value when it is gone.