“When people show you who they are, believe them the first time.” – Maya Angelou
Be alert for the Intangible
The red flags, that nagging feeling, an uneasiness in gut,…
Something is not quite right. But you are unsure of what it is…
Everything looks good, all the t’s crossed, i’s dotted.
You are paralyzed… Something is holding you back.
He is neatly dressed, well groomed, teeth sparkling, manner impeccable… Yet your skin crawls.
She comes highly recommended, credentials top notch, experience unparalleled… Yet, you sense she’s not the right fit.
Everyone has an opinion about trust. We are to trust no one. We are to trust everyone. We’ve all been burned at some point and the trauma keeps us conflicted. Whom do you trust?
Why do we trust?
So much at stake… The heart aches for connection and yet falters, remembering the pain of betrayal.
Do you know the whole story?
Some appear untrustworthy… Happy, positive people presumed flaky… Sober-minded people, presumed cynical or sour.
How do you know?
And that betrayal… Was it intentional? Was it a mistake?
Risk Vulnerability but be Discerning
“The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.”
― Ernest Hemingway
Is trust the chicken or the egg? Do we trust first and then see what happens? Or do we remain skeptical until that person is proven trustworthy by earning your trust?
Risk Vulnerability. Risk emotional exposure. Bare your soul.
But pay attention to whom you expose yourself…
Be Discerning. Listen to your gut. Pay attention to your body. Be still. Set good boundaries.
Take your time.
Trust is the bedrock of relationships.
Brene Brown talks about Trust and the Marble jar. Trust is built slowly, incrementally over time. We have to take the time to identify trusting relationships around us. And we have to identify specific behaviors and experiences that contribute to building trust. When friends behave in trustworthy ways, they earn marbles. And when they behave in untrustworthy ways, they lose marbles…
Usually trust building behaviors are “small, mindful gestures… It’s the small moments, those intimate gestures of connection.”
When I did my Daring Way facilitation training this summer, I was asked whether I had marble jar friends… I said that I didn’t.
I had an unhealthy cycle of picking friends that were not healthy for me… I have an inclusionary bent so I kept getting myself into relationships in which I would be devalued, betrayed or constantly under-minded by so-called friends… I always gave people the benefit of the doubt even when all red flags and alarms were going off.
So I decided this year, (due to my commitment to the Wholehearted Revolution and my work in the Daring Way) that I was deserving of love and belonging. I am worthy of healthy, positive and reciprocal relationships, not one in which my beliefs were mocked or undermined.
I let go of my fear of rejection, fear of judgment and fear of being gossiped about and just let go of toxic relationships… I needed to make room for my tribe. I wanted to be appreciated and accepted as my authentic self.
I am many things. I am a mother, musician, coach, physician, theologian, poet, writer, speaker, facilitator, global citizen, bohemian, academic, etc. These are only labels but I have spent a lot of time hiding various identities to fit in. But I done with apologizing for who I am. I don’t want to hide anymore. So, I am choosing to show up as my authentic self.
And I am choosing to belong, not fit in.
I have learned this year, that there is a place for even me, a progressive eclectic Jesus Devotee who just wants to rock out and inspire others to live their ideals.
And I don’t want to do this alone any more. I want to do this as part of a positive community who accepts me and supports me. And I am willing to bare my heart, to show up, be seen, live brave.
I am allowing love to find me, and I am embracing this love. It means being vulnerable. Allowing others to love me. Allowing others to help me. Allowing others to be there for me instead of being the lone ranger and doing it all myself. I have decided to let go of my need for control and perfectionism and fear.
I choose to trust.
Trust God. Trust myself. Trust others.
There are people out there who genuinely love and accept you. Will you let them in?
I used to believe I didn’t have any trustworthy friends. I would only allow people so far… As soon as I saw those red flags, I would shut down.
But I had blind spots. There were people around me who genuinely cared about me, loved and accepted me but for some reason, I easily overlooked them.
I have spent some time thinking about this… It was because I didn’t think I was worthy of their love and acceptance.
When I started doing this work, really believing I was worthy of love and belonging, an interesting thing happened. I began noticing trustworthy people around me. And I began allowing them into my life instead of holding them at arms’s length.
It is true what they say… Change your thoughts, change your life!
All will be well.
God has my best interests at heart. So do I. And so do my marble jar friends.
How about you?
Do you have marble friends? Or is past betrayal holding you back?
Be Mindful, prevent Betrayal
“I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
What happens when people betray you? It hurts… sometimes the trauma is too intense to bear… You swear you’ll never trust again.
But we are human. We are hardwired for connection.
The thing to do, I am learning, is to learn the lesson, take time to grieve, spend some time in self-care, exercise self compassion and then slowly allow others in again.
We trust people who have earned so many marbles over time.
When someone betrays you, don’t repay evil for evil. Move on. What goes around, comes around. Say a blessing for them and move forward. I am learning that I don’t know the whole story. You never know what is going on behind the scenes.
If that person is a marble jar friend, chances are, even though they lose some marbles for the betrayal, there will still be some marbles left in the jar – meaning the relationship is worth saving, if you are both willing to do the work.
I still choose to believe the best about people until proven otherwise. This works well for me.
Mindfulness is key. Pay attention to your relationships. Pay attention to the sliding door moments. Those moments when you can choose to engage and connect or choose to walk past and disconnect.
John Gottman’s research shows that when you walk past and don’t pay atttention, not only does this not build trust, it is also a form of betrayal.
Pay attention to your relationships.
Be the Change
“Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.” – William Shakespeare
We all need to be surrounded by people we trust. To do this, we need to become the one people trust. Be the change you wish to see in your life. The results will shock you, pleasantly!
Cultivating Trust in Others
1. Do you have people in your life you consider marble jar friends?
2. What behaviors do people in your life have to exhibit to earn their marbles?
3. What keeps you from having marble jar friends?
4. Have you experienced betrayal in the past?
5. How did you address the past betrayal(s)?
6. In what ways can you cultivate discernment?
7. In what ways can you cultivate vulnerability?
8. Are you a trustworthy person? In what ways are you a marble jar friend?
You deserve to be surrounded by people you trust. You are worthy of love and belonging. Take time to cultivate trust this week and answer any of these questions in the comments section. See you next week! 🙂
Yvonne Whitelaw writes for Yvonnewhitelaw.com where she blogs about her quest to grow into her ideals in her “Live Your Ideals Project”. By sharing her lessons along the way (every Monday and Thursday), she hopes to serve and inspire a tribe of wholehearted warriors like you, to “live your ideals, live your calling and change the world.”