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  • Writer's pictureDoug Weiss

On Trust

Trust is a funny thing, so hard to establish, so easy to lose. It is the basis for all relationships, whether romantic, professional or otherwise. It’s also something we look for in leaders—political or otherwise, though we are often disappointed to find that trust may not be reciprocal.

When we trust someone and place our full confidence in them, we are giving up a kind of self defense and at the same time expecting them to treat us with respect, kindness, and fairness. Should our expectations be met with anything else we are likely to feel betrayed—and it would take a lot to ever gain back our confidence in that person.

That’s what happens in the case of cheating in relationships, what happens when we negotiate in good faith with someone--say to purchase a car or house or anything of consequence. If we sense hesitance, manipulation, or selfishness in our negotiation we pull back, fearing that we will end up being hurt by the outcome.

Understanding this, the only way to ensure good will and durable trust is transparency. When you have nothing to hide, there is little that can go wrong. You may not end up making a deal—entering into a relationship or securing what you seek, but you’ll know that it was not due to any short coming on your part, and you can be at peace with whatever happens.

Trust is a not very distant cousin to faith. Often when we talk of faith, we convey a sense of something insubstantial—something we believe but cannot prove beyond a shadow of reasonable doubt—as lawyers are fond of saying. Curious then that when we place our trust in someone, we say we have faith in them. Does this mean we don’t quite fully trust them? Are we hedging our bet or is something else going on here? In my experience we are genuine when we say we have faith in someone—we believe in them and take their word that they will do as they say, unless or until we have reason to do otherwise. We give them the benefit of doubt.

We are lot less trusting when it comes to our belief in God or the Universe. Our faith in them is often a good deal less tangible We may want to trust them—but only so far and only to the degree they deliver what we want. If they fail to do as we expect, we feel entirely justified in placing our faith elsewhere—in ourselves, or some other promise. The problem with this perspective is that it makes us a one-sided judge of the outcome. Maybe what the Universe delivers is not what we thought we wanted. We may not know what is best for us—and maybe the Universe does, or maybe what we think we want won’t provide the happiness we thought we would find. In our time, instant gratification complicates matters. We want what we want and we want it now! But time, of which we are poor judges, does not exist for our sake. Sometimes things need to ripen, the butterfly needs to move its wings so that the ripples around the world can manifest what we hope for.

In the interval between expectation and delivery lies doubt. That creepy, nagging feeling that tells us we will never get what we want, never be happy, never find what we are seeking. And doubt robs us of our faith—our trust that things will go well for us if we wait on the Universe. Now readers of this blog will recognize my code language. God and Universe are words I use to describe the same thing, a power beyond ourselves that can and does deliver change to our doorstep. If what we find there is something we regard as good or desirable than our faith has been rewarded, but when we are let down even if it is just in that moment, then we may wonder if there is such a power, and if so, if it really cares about us.

Patience they say is a virtue—one I confess is not my best quality. That’s why I get schooled in the need for it all of the time. You would think by now I would have gotten the message but no—I still find myself trying to assert my will and make things happen rather than waiting on them. It comes down to this. Waiting, waiting with confidence that the outcome will be a good one, is the only way we can truly show our trust. So, if you see me biding my time whistling while I wait for whatever is coming, know that it will arrive when its ready, not one second before, and when it arrives, it’s going to be really good.

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