The famous singer/pianist Tori Amos sang in one of her songs, “…the sexiest thing is trust” and I’m certainly not one to question her authority. The sexiest thing is most definitely trust. Trust that someone will put your best interests on the same level as theirs, never purposely hurt you, never keep things from you, and have your back during even the most trying times. Yup, that is definitely sexy, no doubt about that. But trust can also be a slippery little bugger that adamantly refuses to be half-assed. You can’t trust something or someone a little bit or partially. No, it’s an all or nothing deal. At some point in life, there may come a time when you rudely awaken to the harsh, un-sexy reality that your relationship completely lacks it. It’s presence may have been assumed but never confirmed; its existence was never agreed upon by both parties; or maybe the other party has been burned by trust one too many times and now has no respect for it. Any way you slice it, when trust abruptly leaves, it can and will shake you to your core. This moment feels akin to non-stop groin kicks; however, the absolute worst part is realizing that you can no longer trust yourself. Your once sound decision-making skills have all but left you. In order to move on, you’re forced to wade through the rubble of several demolished relationships: the one between you and the other party, perhaps the one between you and the other party’s entire gender, and certainly the one between you and yourself. You desperately turn over each piece of evidence searching for the foundation of what went wrong. Eventually, you realize that it was your own judgment that led you so far astray. You’ve finally located the seismic epicenter where all the aftershocks of self-doubt and questioning have been rippling from. There were so many ignored signs that you refused to see which are now all too obvious in hindsight. You’re shocked to realize that your judgment stealthily high tailed it out of there even before trust showed up to the party. Once you move past the existential blame, you look inward and YOU are called into question. All of your senses involved with making a good decision are highly suspect at this juncture.
Now that you’re reminiscent of nothing more than an emotional heap, you have to face a critical crossroads and what you do with this lack of self-trust can be the determining factor in your road ahead. You can choose to go the victim route by wallowing in past unpleasantries and fashioning a nice little crutch from regret, blame, and entitlement. You’ll more than likely pursue the affections of emotionally unavailable people in order to validate your self-worth–trusting that their affections will be enough to heal the rift between you and your commonsense. And then, when the same cycle is repeated, you’ll spend the bulk of your time wondering why you weren’t good enough for someone else. So before this ends up being you, please eject yourself from the ever spinning tilt-a-whirl, pixie dust yourself off, lift your chin up, and proceed in an upright zig-zag away from this s&m ride.
Take a breather and work on re-establishing the trust that matters most–your own–knowing full well that the validation you’re seeking cannot be found externally. Do not entertain regrets but instead see past mistakes as sometimes ugly but necessary learning experiences. Realize that all actions are informed by our extremely individualized past histories so don’t judge your worth by using someone else’s yardstick. Stay true to your own history and the inherent value of it. There are lessons in there that you need to learn, grow from and overcome. This rich history of follies and foibles is the foundation of your judgment. Remember to use it by choosing to forgive yourself and others. No one is truly perfect. We’re all a little messed up in our own way and sometimes our ways simply don’t jive with those of others. Leave them unharmed and gravitate towards those who challenge you to be a more joyous and giving person. Accept the wrong that’s been done to you and move on, vowing to be a better listener and follower of your inner voice the next time around. For judgment and self-trust are both fleeting things if not firmly gripped; however, they will never cut and run again if you maintain this intention of being your own best advocate. Remember that trusting someone else is a leap of faith but trusting yourself first is the only way to provide a solid platform to make that leap. More than anything, keep your chin up and never give up on yourself and others. You will be pleasantly surprised!