Reader Asks: How Do You Trust?

This is a question asked of me a long, long time ago. I kept wondering, “Well, how do you trust?” Really. How? A reader asked that and I never knew what to say. Maybe I never really understood it myself. Shrug. I’m no guru. Just a chick with some time on her hands. So, here’s my kick at the trust can.


Trust is everything. I learn this more and more with every year that passes by. But I’m learning it better after the age of 30 than I think I ever could have before. With age comes perspective, I guess.

I wrote last fall one time (I’d link to it, but I don’t recall which of my hundred or so posts had it, so) about how I believed I had become better at trusting people and able to do it faster. A reader asked me “how”.

There ain’t no “how” in trusting. It’s like breathing, walking, eating, talking. You do or you don’t. You trust or you don’t trust.

I don’t have the trusting thing down pat. Not by a long shot. I’m definitely on Fear’s Christmas card list, and maybe on Doubt’s too.

Therein lies the complexity, though. Every time I’m not trusting, those times when I’m scared or overcompensating, the one thing that the person on the receiving line can never know is the “why”. More often than not, they haven’t much to do with the “why”.

Each of us is the sum total of our experiences. If the worst breakup of your life happened on a pier, maybe you’d have something against piers in the future. A lover wants to take a walk down a pier with you, you snap that you don’t want to leave the promenade, and they think they’ve inadvertently angered you. Instead, what’s really happening is that you don’t want to go there because it’s a flood of bad memories. Maybe, just maybe, you tell them how you had a horrible break up on the pier. Instead of allowing you to walk away from it, they lead you down the centre of it, then plant an earth-quaking, boots-shaking kiss on your lips, and melt you then and there. Trust yields wonderful bounty.

Of COURSE there are times I don’t trust my friends and lovers. Often, it’s a result of baggage I’ve never unloaded from times long past. Hell, I’m just another stupid human. It’s what we do.

It’d be nice if we could get a big disconnect from our emotional receptors when it comes to tripping down memory lane, but that’s not going to happen without a lobotomy and a crack addiction, all right? So, we cope. We brush things off. We don’t allude to the story behind the story. We say “it’s nothing” and we move on.

Little shit like that’s what prevents trust from happening.

What causes it to reverse, though, is when you get into the story behind the story. Remember, then tell. Not only is it a catalyst for release, it’s a catalyst for relationship building, too.

Trust is a verb, man. You gotta just do it. Trust: Brought to you in part by Nike.

But seriously, whether it’s you lying there bound before your relatively new lover in a session of bondage, trying to trust that you’ve made the right choice and they’re going to bring you places you’re wanting to go rather than places you secretly fear, or it’s you trying to tell someone you love the real reason you have a deep and biding hatred for the holidays, it’s about taking that chance and leaping without looking too long.

There ain’t no science, no magical step, no keener’s quickie route to Trusting 101. Stop thinking about your fears and annoyances and uncertainties, and speak to them.

I found far more support than judgment, and those who break my trust are far outnumbered by those who almost seem to cherish it.

I look forwards to seeing what taking more of these chances might lead to. Life’s full of far more surprises than I had her penciled in for and this dance is nowhere near done.

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