I saw the above picture the other day, it made me stop in my tracks.
And then shortly after, I saw this quote:
“Learning to trust is one of life’s most difficult tasks.”
– Isaac Watts
Putting the two together, I have decided something. I think the quote needs to be tweaked a little. I think the word “learning” needs to be replaced with the word “remembering.” It’s remembering to trust that needs work, wouldn’t you say?
Let me tell ya a little about myself. I may just possibly be the most suspicious, non-trusting, skeptical person you’ll ever meet on the planet. Oh, it’s true. And I don’t just mean about the big stuff (relationships and whatnot). No, I mean about everything.
My kids tell me they’ve had a good day at school? I wonder what part they’re not really telling me.
Someone does something nice for me? I wonder what’s really in it for them.
My coworker says she has a stomach ache? I think she’s just looking for attention.
Oh yeah, it’s that bad. Basically, I’m a jerk.
Oh, don’t get me wrong. Eventually, I believe what I’m told. Eventually. But that first, initial gut reaction? Disbelief. Non-trust. Skepticism. And if it’s like this about something as stupid as a coworker’s stomach ache, then you know it has to be bad with matters of the heart, right?
Now, why am I like this? Why does that picture above describe me (and probably you too, if you’re honest) to a tee?….
Hell, I don’t know.
What? You were wanting some deep-seated answer to the burning question of why people are so jaded? Well, you’re not going to get it from me. In fact, if you figure it out, please write a blog yourself and I’ll post it on here. I’d be interested in reading it, along with the millions of other people who are exactly like me (and you know it!). Oh, now I could come up with a million excuses if you really want me to. I can tell you about the times I’ve been lied to over the years or the times I’ve been heartbroken over believing something to be true that wasn’t. Blah, blah, blah. But you know what else I can tell you? I can tell you the times that I have lied to others. The times that I have broken someone’s heart. If I take the time to start telling you about being jaded because of what was done to me, I need to be fair and tell you about the times that I’ve been the one doing the jading myself. It’s only fair. What I’m trying to say is that I can’t sit here and blame others for making me who I am. I’m just like them. They are just human, and so am I.
No, I can’t pin this on someone else. I have to accept the blame. I have to realize that I have allowed myself to become like the last person in that picture up there. No one else did this – I did it. And it’s time to stop.
So, back to the quote. Like the picture illustrates, we are born with this innocent goodness, or naivety if you will. We start out filled with unlimited amounts of love and trust for everyone around us, because we just truly just didn’t know any better. Years ago, I remember standing at the top of the Space Needle in Seattle, Washington with my friend, Nathan. As we were looking down over the top, we started a conversation about the fear of heights. About how this fear has to be learned. We mused about the certain fact that if a newborn baby were held over the edge of this massive structure, it wouldn’t know any better than to coo and sleep or smile or drool or whatever the heck it was already doing before it was suspended 600+ feet above the ground. It wouldn’t have learned fear at that point. Until you have fallen, or seen someone else fall, you can’t know that it would hurt to do so. Right?
Well, we aren’t newborn babies. And each and every one of us has fallen.
And it hurt.
It’s only natural to be more careful of the fall now, right? But here’s the deal. If you never climb up that high again, you’ll never get the opportunity to see all the beautiful sights that can only be seen from that height. Sure, you are 100% certain to never fall if you never climb, but rather than refusing to climb altogether, how about just taking a look around for a second. See the guard rails. The safety nets. The many, many that have gone before you and haven’t fallen. Sure, there’s a chance that you could fall anyway. I know that. But you have to ask yourself – is it really worth it to stand on the ground and miss what everyone else is up there seeing?
“You may be deceived if you trust too much, but you will live in torment if you don’t trust enough.”
– Frank Crane
Stop blaming others. Ok? Recognize that the fear exists because you allow it to. Start making choices today to help undo the damage that you have caused yourself. Life’s too short for anything else, isn’t it?
Come with me, and let’s climb up there and take a look around, ok? There is sooo much to see.
“The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.”
– Ernest Hemingway
Thoroughly enjoyed reading your post (and coming to terms with the fact that thoroughly has only one “u” and does not have a “w” in it. Thanks spell check.). The topic of trust is one that really speaks to me. I can definitely say that I am just about as un-trusting of others as you are. I am not quite sure about the rest of the non trusting community, but I believe it has a lot to do with our experiences. We take any experience with trust and become a little bit jaded by the negative ones. Like you, I have jaded many myself But I think the difference between the real “jerks” and the people like you or I, are that we care enough to recognize that there is something wrong, or that a change should take place. And like you say, the best way to change what we don’t like is to, well, change bits of ourselves first. We need to start by trusting ourselves and “Be the change we wish to see” right? Happy blogging Melissa! ❤
Thanks for that perspective. And thanks so much for checking out my blog. Nice to be reminded that I may not be such a ‘jerk’ and that there are others like me out there.
Hmmmm, remembering…what an interesting concept. Actually, IMHO and personal POV, it’s not that far fetched. Let me explain; While I’m sure you have realized by now I am not exactly your mainstream run-of-the-mill individual when it comes to religious perspectives I do however,in much of my beliefs give some credence to Christian ideas the one specifically in this instance is the idea of The Tree of Knowledge.
Consider what the “Bible” says about it:
Genesis 3:4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. 6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. 7 And the eyes of them both were opened….
So here’s my personal take on this whole thing:
#1 The “serpent” WASN’T lying…more than likely he was stretching the truth…
#2 Eve and Adam DID eat of the fruit AND….
#3 Their eyes were open to the knowledge of good and evil and from that point forward the DNA of mankind was changed…from that point we (mankind) received the knowledge of the gods.
#4 Mankind EYES WIDE OPEN was then shamed by the God of Christianity and because of our shame we have forgotten everything that made us “in our own image” (Genesis 1:26
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…)…we have forgotten that we know everything because of our ancestors (Adam and Eve) ate of the tree of knowledge.
All that said lets get back to the “remember” concept…
I believe if any of this is true then the truest of realities is that we do NOT learn anything new. It’s already there in our DNA, in the fact that we are made in the divine image of the gods and in the fact that A&E ate of the forbidden knowledge tree. Instead of learning anything we simply unlock memories….WE REMEMBER!!!
Oh and btw…now that I have climbed down off my proverb….remember to trust and love and breath…wink
Good stuff, Chris. Goooood stuff.
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