Tuesday, April 26, 2011

There's a Sucker Born Every Minute

This is going to come as a shock to exactly none of you.

I have trust issues. Big big trust issues. (I know. Don't we all?)

The fact is that me and Trust, we don't have such a hot track record, you know? I meet Trust on the street, go oh yeah hey! How's it going? Long time no see! And then find out later what I thought was Trust was actually his twin brother, Deceit (who sure as shit ain't going to 'fess up to not being Trust, you know what I mean?). So what happens now, after years of experience, is that when I start to feel vulnerable, I don't actually trust myself to recognize Trust when I see him.

Lex says that the human brain is conditioned to recognize patterns. And our brains will see patterns when no pattern actually exists (apophenia). We then extrapolate those patterns (of behavior...let's try to be more clear, Jane) and apply past experiences to paste them together and then announce, "TA DA! FACT!" When, in reality, it's not fact and there is no pattern or, if there is, it's a newly emerging one and not one of those zombie patterns from the past.

As a result of this pattern pseudo-recognition, I'm hyper-sensitive to cues that feel familiar...cues that, in the past, have bulldozed right over the top of me as I bedded Trust (figuratively and ahem literally), leaving me displaced and floundering. This is unfair to everyone...even me.

I trust many of you...to take care of my cat, to not vomit on my rug (or if you do that you'll clean it up promptly), to come pick me up from the airport. You guys rock!

But there's only really one person who's seen the whole mess of my intestines (figuratively speaking, of course) time and time again who, only by repetition, has convinced me I'm safe to lay myself completely out on the table naked (again, figuratively) and shaking for close examination, without recrimination and, ultimately, with acceptance, empathy, understanding, and love.

Yeah. It's taken a long time. As it should.

Herein lies the lesson...it's OK to allow trust to build over time. In order to protect ourselves, trust does come with the price of admission. It's perfectly acceptable to dole out this vulnerability or that insecurity a little bit at a time rather than exclaiming that the whole kit and kaboodle has been awarded with little empirical evidence to suggest it's safe to do so.

This isn't a question of anyone's integrity. It's just...smart. It's letting a plant's roots take hold by watering it, planting it in good, nourishing soil, shedding light upon it and nurturing it into slow, gorgeous existence rather than pulling up its roots every few days to see if it's growing yet.

So...I'm adding this to the list of things for me to work on. Understanding that it is OK to trust but not with reckless abandon. It's OK. I'm OK. To trust.

The zen stick has tapped. So it shall be.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Recognize also that trust is a credit account. Did I promise to get you a drink, then forget and leave you drinkless? Small reduction. Did I promise to pick you up at the airport, your flight was delayed, but I still stuck around and waited for you? Bigger increase in maximum credit available. It's over time - no one dramatic gesture buys more than "some".