Like most people, I grew up believing that trust means trust in a person or a system. There’s a foundation for this. As children, we expect our parents to feed us, for example. If they do so consistently, we trust them. If they don’t, our natural impulse to trust is fractured.

In this example, food could be love, praise, discipline, anything a child requires consistently. Parents could be any significant person in our life. But our natural, infantile impulse is to trust life, to trust a benevolent universe. As the famous mystic Julian of Norwich put it, we trust that all will be well.

563505When our fledgling trust is damaged, we learn that life itself cannot be trusted, not just isolated people we meet along the way. In time, we forget that spiritual trust is trust in a benevolent life force, and in ourselves that we will manage whatever comes our way. This forgetting leaves the door wide open to disappointment because which of us has never let another person down?

Trust, like love, is a state of being, not something we give to specific others and receive or don’t receive back in return. That’s the lesson my experiences in India brought home to me. It gave me no choice but to trust that all will be well. Not because an individual tuc tuc or taxi driver was trustworthy, but because, simply, all will be well. And it was.

Please share your thoughts about trust, your experiences. Leave a comment.

2 replies
  1. Colleen Browne
    Colleen Browne says:

    First, beautifully written. You words brought tears to my eyes both because of the truth they contain and because of the way they were written. It is a testament to you that you were able to hold onto your trust. (maybe because you felt you had no choice?) Your writing does not address the fragility of trust but does hint at it at times. I would love to read your thoughts on that. As you know, my trust was shattered and I have struggled with that. Thank you for the thoughtful blog.

  2. Catherine
    Catherine says:

    Thank you Colleen, for your heartfelt comment. Yes trust is fragile. It takes a lot longer to build trust than to shatter it. But it can be rebuilt. It helps if we have people in our life who are steady and follow through on their commitments. But that makes us dependent on others again. In my experience lasting trust comes from a connection we make within ourselves. Thank you for your request for more on this topic. I’ll write another post addressing the fragility and rebuilding of trust.

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