Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Last night, I had one of those amazingly lucid light bulb moments that seem to come far and in between lately, with the lights in my brain kind of flickering on and off due to a multitude of distractions.
I was having a conversation with someone and I suddenly realized that I questioned whether or not I trusted this person. It was a weird sequence of events. I started thinking that I didn't trust them to behave rationally and in the healthiest manner when it came to conflict. And then, suddenly, I had a flashback to someone essentially telling ME the same thing. That I was unable to be trusted. Then, the light bulb went off. I suddenly understood that my own definition of trust and my defensive reaction to being questioned in the past really stemmed from not understanding the true meaning of what it is to trust someone.
In addiction, trust is not the most prominent trait in those who are afflicted. Personally, I have had one hell of time learning to trust myself. In the past, I've lied, made up reasons and justifications to fit my own behavior. Trusting myself came far down the list of reasons not be so self-deprecating. And in turn, I rarely paid attention to the actual meaning of trust as it applies to emotional well-being. When I was told I was not trustworthy, it was so much more than just not stealing or lying, my own interpretation. And, because I was so defensive when told, I never even bothered to ask for a definition as it related to a given situation. I sit here and shake my head at my absolute ignorance.
I spent some time looking up various definitions of trust; confidence, absolute certainty in trustworthiness of another, belief, faith, reliance.
Whereas my definition of trust bordered on naivety (you trust someone not to steal your belongings), I suppose it's been defensiveness that has not allowed me to look at myself and what others could possibly interpret trust as.
I see now that trusting someone means that you know that they will be able to handle themselves with rationality and strength. That trust comes with being open to someone else and learning what their needs are, communicating fears and hopes without defense or reaction.
I'm simply amazed that I just never got this. I've had it explained and talked about so many different times in so many different types of relationships. I just adamantly refused to acknowledge that trust comes deep within and starts with oneself. What an exhausting epiphany it's been in the last twenty four hours!
And so begins the process of just trusting the emotions I have first and foremost. That my strength and will to be in my life will manifest itself through the actions I take. That when things get bad, I am fully capable of handling a situation with the grace and esteem that I have truly come to possess.
And in doing so, trusting others will be a constant shining instead of the flickering light that's been in serious need of a bulb change.