I was watching an interview with a well-known YouTuber over the weekend, and she spoke openly about the fact that she had “trust issues.” She gave the exact speech that she gives to all of those with whom she enters into a close relationship, be it romantic or platonic. Essentially, she warns them that she has deep-seated trust issues, stemming from her childhood, that prevent her from getting over or forgiving a lie, should they choose to tell her one and she catches them or finds out later. Essentially, lying—big or small—was her immediate deal breaker.
The conversation has been rolling around my head since. It continues to tug at thoughts I have had on this topic recently. First, let me commend this enormous web personality for being aware of herself enough to even know what her trigger points are—and even more so, for knowing their origin story. Some people live an entire lifetime without doing the amount of self-reflection that it takes to understand from whence their idiosyncrasies come. And I also commend her for admitting that she is working on her emotional triggers, so that her disclaimer is not necessarily her relationship destiny, or self-fulfilling prophecy. She left room for improvement, which is also refreshing. It’s nice to see people willing to dive deep into the stuff that others usually try to hide…for as long as they can, anyway. It takes courage, it takes time, and it takes a willingness to be open and vulnerable. So, kudos to everyone willing to take the journey of self.
It seems like we hurl the word, “trust” at one another—most often as an accusation. And while it is a huge—if not the hugest—tenant of a solid, functional relationship, I’m not quite sure our relationship with the word is complete. If you take a look at the dictionary definition of the word, you will find the word “confidence” littered throughout each definition, and as a prolific synonym. Confidence. As in, “the belief in ones self, and one’s powers and abilities” (Dictionarydotcom) We often hurl the word trust at someone, when in actuality the root of it lies within us. We have to trust ourselves before we even have a scant hope of being able to trust others. And in order to trust ourselves, we must get to know ourselves. Deeply, openly, and without judgement. Get to know how we feel, and why we feel the way that we do. Go back in time, if we have to—to the root causes, the inciting incidents, the emotional heredity handed down to us through our parents,’ or grandparents’ fears—not to dwell, but rather to well the mine that has provided our font of desire, our decision-making, our quirks…or even our substantial blockages.
In friendships over my lifetime that have dissolved due to matters of trust, the most painful part of the dissolution has always been my having ignored whispers from my inner voice, my higher self, telling me that something wasn't right. Second guessing myself has been the source of the most pain, the most sleepless nights, the most fear. The most painful part was feeling as if I was not able to trust myself; not able to take my own intuition, my own inner being, my own soul’s words of warning to heart. Did the other’s actions cause pain as well? Yes, of course. Substantial pain. But what scared me most was the fear that it might possibly happen again—that I wouldn’t trust myself enough, that I would not have the confidence, to listen to my inner self.
We have a highly attuned guidance system already inside of us. If we can just clear away the resistance—or at least reduce the interference—born from previous pain, or childhood trauma, then we can navigate our lives with confidence. We can trust that what we hear from deep inside, is the gospel according to our lives, what we want, and where we are going. We can trust the whispers of truth that can come through our bodies, our hearts, our souls, that warn us when something doesn’t feel good, or right. We can trust when something tells us to walk down a different street, or leave a party, or even that it is time to let go of a friendship or relationship. We can also trust when that same voice allows our heart to beat faster, fuller, for someone with whom we are falling in love.
As the interview pinged back an forth inside my mind, my heart, I realized that what she was really telling those to whom she gave her disclaimer was, “Please excuse me while I work on trusting myself…and BTW, during this process of self-discovery and healing, don’t you dare lie to me.” And perhaps if we all heard that subtext, we would be quicker to work on our own trustworthiness, incite, get that rock solid, so that the people who finally do make it into our inner sphere, are ones that have already been vetted by our guidance system. If we have done the work, our confidence, our trust in how we feel being a direct indicator of whether someone or something is good for us, will skyrocket.
And that is a rocket-ride worth taking. Trust me.
Polo REO Tate was born in Lansing, Michigan, where her family has deep ties to the community. Her Great Great Grandfather was Ransom Eli Olds (R.E. Olds), a pioneer and prolific inventor most notably responsible for inventing the first internal combustion automobile—the Oldsmobile. Growing up, [...]