On trust…

It struck me on our trip two weekends ago out to Black Mountain NC (documented in STUNNING detail on tadandmel.com), how much trust came into play. It was almost as if something way beyond any of us was sending a little bit of a signal, not an overbearing one mind you, but a subtle one. Situations, both small and HUGE, forced me to put my trust in complete strangers each day and while I found it completely unnerving, it also grounded me somewhat.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a pretty guarded and untrusting person. And while I can’t exactly tell you where it all started, I do know it all stems from being burned one too many times when it counted, let down by people I cared deeply about and a fairly low self esteem.

No doubt, this attitude is totally to my detriment. I sometimes think about how many passing interactions or even friendships I’ve missed out on because of my introverted ways, but, like many things, I can’t seem to turn it off. It’s a part of me. For better or worse.

But sometimes life throws you a curveball, and, try as you may, you simply can’t avoid it. Hopefully you don’t have to face an abject fear, or do something you dread, but maybe, just maybe, you’ll have to trust someone blindly and completely. Putting faith in a stranger who took the time out of their life.

Took the time for you.

I was recently put in that exact situation with Mel! It forced me to trust people, not just one person, but pretty much everyone we encountered. It wasn’t a cataclysmic event at all, especially in the grand scheme of things, but all the ingredients that cause my head to cave in (aside from air plane turbulence) converged on me almost immediately.

I was, well… I was everything! Angry at myself, sad to be in the situation, afraid that Mel was involved, hungry, you name it… my head was a total bitter cocktail; shaken not stirred.

And then it happened.

That “every once in a while” I mentioned above. When that curve ball I simply can’t avoid gets thrown, where I can’t just “fix it”, and I need a little help. I pass this thresh hold where I make amends with those crazy demons in my head, and I make a deal with them.

If you can be quiet for a few hours, I promise I’ll let you back in.

It’s then that something inside me smooths out and I become that proverbial leaf riding on the gentle current of a stream, bumping off obstacles, flowing beyond the quagmire I’m currently in. Trusting that somehow, something or someone, will show me a way out, placing myself in the hands of strange forces I don’t understand and strange people I’ve never met.

Once I get over my constant avoidance of things “unknown”. Once I get over myself. It, for the most part, has been an intensely rewarding experience. I’m liberated each time and I often learn (or relearn at this juncture of my life) something new about myself, or, and this priceless to me, I make a connection with a fellow human being that I’ll never forget.

And what a wonderful feeling it is. Overcoming all those hardwired inclinations only to find something better!

By far, of all the emotions humans can feel, I treasure love and fear the most. They both make you feel alive in their own way, leaving you different from when they first found you.

Isn’t it remarkable that the simple act of trust, more often than not, contains both?

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