The other day, my friend Jean posted one of her words of the day on Facebook: Trust. The list of definitions was much longer than I thought it would be. Themes included expectations being met by others, reliance on others to do what they say they will or produce what you’ve contracted for.
Note the reliance on others to behave in a certain way that’s based on your desires. Dangerous territory, indeed. Considering we are dealing with humans here, we are setting ourselves up for a series of disappointments. Some of those disappointments can be so damaging and so deep that loving relationships are torn asunder or minds and hearts are stunted for life.
I’ve been there. I have both felt the betrayal of trust and been the perpetrator of that betrayal for others.
I take responsibility for my mistakes and I have forgiven those whom I originally perceived as betraying me.
But really. Why do we create these expectations in the first place? We know that we are not perfect, so why do we expect others to be that way for us?
And don’t use the excuse that you maintain the same perfectionist standards for yourself (and torture yourself with them when you fail) so therefore others should live up to your standards. I’m sure you have failed to live up to yours at some point, and torturing yourself with guilt over that for years and years hasn’t made you or anyone around you happy, I’ll bet. So, stop it. Seriously.
I trust no other. But that doesn’t mean I’ve “given up on humanity” or that I live in a world of morbid disappointment ahead of time. Nope. I simply “trust” other humans (and myself) to be…human. To try their best and to make mistakes. I do hope that they will grow into more loving people as they learn from those mistakes, but if they don’t, well, they don’t. My choice to suffer as a result of my expectations of others is just that: my choice. And I’m not just saying this; I’ve been living this sanguine attitude successfully for at least eight years (it took me the other 53 years to fully get to that point!).
To find your inner voice (and that calm space of presence so you can hear it), we can have a conversation (contact me!), or if you’d like to explore some other perspectives, these folks are awesome on this topic:
- Carol Woodliff (From Scared to Sacred)
- Jack Armstrong (Lessons from the Source)
- Eckhart Tolle (yeah, he’s famous, also excellent)