Monday, February 17, 2014

Trying Trust

    While I like being quiet, I don't like being shy.
    Although, to call me shy is a bit of an understatement. I've been known to freeze up in front of my parents. Yeah. That's happened. Uh-huh.
    Thus, I freely admit I was terrified to post my last update. Mostly because I didn't want people to know how much I hid. I didn't want them to know I was (am) scared and that I haven't trusted them, even though I love them.
    And yet ... they - you  - are my friends (Even if I don't know you, I still consider you a friend because why not? Hi!). I love you all, I really do. Last Thursday and Friday I got to experience anew how beautiful and trustworthy and kind and good you all are. And I regret not trusting, which I think is the root of my shyness: I don't trust love to override judgement and I don't trust forgiveness to cleanse. And so I barricade myself in my pride because pride is my last defense when my trust falls.
    There are reasons trust is a struggle for me, which partially stems from a bunch of unfortunate, complicated events that happened while I was growing up, including misunderstandings that left me either betrayed or devastated, and always crying. So because trusting others didn't work out, I learned to protect myself from snap judgements by either shutting up or acting stoic. Do that for a long time and you lose the ability to be who you are, who you were made to be. You're frustrated because deep inside you know who you've hidden, but you don't have the ability to unlock her (or him).
    But somehow, simultaneously, relationships have begun to grow and unfold, like a blossom in the muddy, tangled spring (that feels so far away here in Boston). And in these relationships I see trust begin to glimmer. Like my first semester of college, when I confessed my eating disorder for the first time and assumed people would judge, but instead there was only love and prayer and care. Like my sophomore year when I nervously apologized to my friends for virtually nothing, and the two of them told me flat out I didn't have to be scared in front of them, and no one had ever said that to me before. Like when I pissed off a friend junior year by bowing down to fear and she challenged me, and in the wake of our argument was only love and  forgiveness, real forgiveness, and I began to see that forgiveness can be true. When last week, I say I've been struggling in depression and you say I'm beautiful and loved and I can talk to you.
   You know, when we get close, you see more of me and much of it is messy and then you could judge and hurt me, and I could do the same to you. Opening myself up to you requires a lot of trust I'd honestly like to hoard to myself. But if friendships are good, and I firmly believe they are, then they're reflections of a Judge Who, despite my fears, is neither me nor you, but - but maybe, maybe, I'm tentatively starting to believe, I want to believe - Love.
    And so maybe now is time for the trial of trust, when I free my trust and treat you as the friends you have (or will, should I not yet know you) been/be to me. When I allow my trust to diffuse into the openness between people, because people are inspiring and intricate and wonderful and heartbreaking and deep and oh-my-gosh I could go on but I'll just leave it with a quote from J. M. Coetzee "We are miracles of creation."
    But, anyways, back to trust. Maybe now is the time when I reach out to you and you grab my hand, or maybe you just smile at me because, after all, smiles form emotional bonds as strong as grabbing hands forms physical bonds. And then maybe someday,  through practice and tears and probably throwing my hands up and declaring I give up, okay - thanks - bye! before arising and trying right again the next morning, I'll no longer grope around under the shyness.
    Until that day, which may never arrive but I hope for sure it does, my trust is meager and fragile, a wisp of what I'd like it to be, but it's all I have to give and I'd like you to have it, if you want.
     I will trust you, because you're people and you're worth trust.


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