Do I know 100% that I won’t be judged by some? no. Can I tell you that hurt won’t ever happen or heartbreak is nonexistent? no. In fact, I will be completely honest and tell you that not everyone will treasure the genuineness you offer them. But I can tell you that there ARE people out there, just like you and me and Gini, that are worth taking the risk to trust. People that will love you with their whole selves and recognize your worth, beauty, appreciate you and trust you right back. My hope is that I will find enough people worth trusting that the risk is worth it.
I’ve made efforts to change the echo of my story and through it have been able to see some really incredible relationships develop. As much as I was previously aware of the potential for human connection to bring hurt, now I see there is also the potential for the same connection to soothe and enrich your life if you open yourself up and allow yourself to trust.
“Talk to strangers. Live Fully. Respect Others. I Trust You.”
I Trust You. Do you trust me?
3 words. Just 3 small words. Yet I found myself hesitant and wrestling to get them out. If I’m honest, I have maybe strung them together for a handful of people my entire life. For many the phrase they struggle with is “I love you”. Not for me. Showing love was always easy. These were words I kept much more protected.
“I Trust You.”
Relationships are complicated and disappointments just happen. I’d venture to say that most of us have developed trust issues of one kind or another as a result. Whether it’s to be blamed on my naturally suspicious Scorpio nature or something different entirely, my defenses always echoed that no one could be fully trusted. The inclination was there but the uncertainty made it awkward. It always felt like reaching out to hold someone’s hand but somehow never quite getting your fingers to unfurl and intertwine with theirs in just the right way.
As a child, I was always excited about connecting with new people. Whether it was someone at the park or a new student at school, I would come home bubbling over with ” GUESS WHAT??? I met a new friend today”. My excitement of telling every unique detail I could was always squelched with the same reply “There are no friends. Don’t talk to strangers. Behave yourself. Mind your manners.” After a while I stopped being so open and started questioning who could be trusted.
As the years went on, life bruised my ego and broke my heart. I was operating in survival mode of the highest degree most of the time. I didn’t have the energy to sort through who was or wasn’t worthy of trust on an individual basis anymore. It was easiest to just level the playing field and take trust completely off the table for everyone. The hurt had me building walls, only able to hold on to the belief that while people were mostly well-intentioned, they were also very fallible.
As it turns out, living behind walls isn’t realistic for long. We really are made for a certain level of human connection. We deeply need each other. I was very fortunate to find people who weren’t intimidated by my walls. The truth is, I needed these people in my life at that time like I needed air to breathe. They peeked in, climbed over and walked with me through rough places. It wasn’t easy but it was easier together. Subconsciously, I expected them to leave. They proved themselves over and over.
It was kind of like the scene from Aladdin…. except my moment of hesitation was much longer. Years longer.
There is something about this scene worth noting. Jasmine never actually says the words “I Trust You” out loud. She only makes an acknowledgement of trust. For some these words just don’t come easily. I have learned that there is also something about saying them out loud that is SO powerful. When trust is offered, acknowledged and accepted from one person to another there is a bond that is formed. Maybe it’s stored in the heart and that’s why it hurts so much when that bond broken. I believe being able to trust someone fully awakens part of the soul.
That soul awakening is just what happened when I met Gini ( you can find her on Snapchat @ginicanbreathe) and was introduced to the I Trust You movement.
I have to admit, at first it was tough to embrace this concept with open arms. Which is sort of problematic since hugging seems to be a big component of this whole thing. Hugging? I had always required a certain amount of familiarity with someone to offer a hug or physical contact of any sort. So the concept of letting a stranger into my space… I just didn’t know if that was something I could honestly commit to.
But why did it bother me so much to be open and connected? I just couldn’t let that go. I didn’t mind going into the dark places with others. Sitting with them in their space and living life with them. Loving them unconditionally was comfortable. I just didn’t want to let people in my space. What was so personal about my space? What would happen if I really let someone in? It took me a long time wrestling with this concept. As I thought about it more and more, I discovered it wasn’t just a matter of letting people into my personal space. It was a matter of letting people into my heart without putting up the walls. I didn’t know if I wanted such an open floor plan. I was still afraid.
“There are no friends. Don’t talk to strangers. Behave yourself. Mind your manners.”
You see, while those words continued to echo in my head, my heart knew none of that was really true. ALL of those statements were rooted in anxiety and fear. Fear of each other. Fear of being judged. Fear of being abandoned. Fear of rejection. Fear of not being enough.
The reality is, we are all just people. People that need each other and need connection. It is through the trust that connection is built and our fears dissipate.