Humanity thrives on trust, and crumbles into ashes of burning violence when our security is breached. 

We must build more certainty in innocent, well-intended, harmless behaviour through the bridge between vulnerable, influenceable, even traumatised memory and future-oriented hope. We associate past experiences with present occurrences to simplify thinking, to organise our perception of the world into clearly defined shelves. Unfortunately, this can skew the reality as it is now in this very moment. Judgement based on distant past, on someone’s family or racial background is fundamentally unfair. Expectation corrupts thinking and behaviour, therefore we better shed the weight of prejudice, high hopes, any skewed preconceived ideas to open our minds.

contemporary photography Lee Ufan art Arles, France

Trust means that you open the gate of your confidence towards the outside world

By joining forces we accelerate, reciprocating success in an inclusive, equal measure that espouses a more sustainable success. Within a trusting environment we feel good. Mutual aid benefits not just the needy but the world as a whole. I do not promote freebees like unlimited social support on the disproportionate and demotivating account of some hard working fortunate few. While greed is bad, stripping one’s wealth involuntarily more often than we like to admit seeds in anger and not much gratitude from the beneficiaries who expect to be given without effort. Look at the tensions within the US today. Mutual means cooperative, either side working towards a common goal, prosperity, progress, learning, inventing, existing together in a more fruitful environment as well as inner comfort. Utopia it is not, it works in Switzerland. Everybody is motivated to work.

Swiss nature

It seems to me that religiously inspired charity has more beneficial effect on the believer’s psyche than socially enforced giving away. Further, the recipient of voluntary support may be more motivated to contribute, to grow personally when they know that the alms were given intently to stir creativity, industriousness and reciprocity. Of course, some level of checks and balances is useful in building any trusteeship. Naivety does not pay off.

To whom will you give your mandate? Not politically, even though one of the dirty tricks of politics is stirring dissent by cutting off the tightrope of trust in anyone/thing that competes against ambitious authoritarian leadership. Yet, collaboration, working together openly rather than undercutting each other is what advances society in a more balanced way. As if some of us did not share the same body, mind and fate in meeting death at some point in our life curve, scavenging for victory over the weak people at any cost. Humanity can be as cruel as it can be loving. Yet, in synergy we thrive as a genuine, beautiful joy is only free to expand through our chests when we feel trust.

Mao and Lenin

American art

Through random recent occasions I faced the delicate question of trust. In a high altitude yoga room with other mindful beings, during an intimate sauna conversation, all the while witnessing contemporary distrust in those in power as well as in the media, I realised that our relationship with others can be cracked into an open leak if we do not address openly our feelings of confusion, even betrayal. We need to talk, as individuals, as well as a society.

While humanity does not come short of flaws and vanities, one does not need to have high expectations of others and oneself to value trust. It is an assurance of allegiance, of good hearted manners and integrity.

interfaith wedding

True love is trust

To me trust is connected with commitment, faith and fidelity, all active components of a grown up, mature adult living in a healthy human society. This form of security in relationships is dependent on behavioural history, current signals of dispersed interest in others than the person in the mutually trusting relationship, and on clearly communicated boundaries of what telling truth means to you individually and how seriously lying disrupts trust in the liar. I just read a praised debut novel by a playwright Julia May Jonas that touches upon trust. Her Vladimir is about a more complex relationship and desire, and I recommend anyone intrigued by today’s wokeness and perhaps excessive caution, even discouragement from trusting others, read it. Trust features in many best-selling stories. Verity by Colleen Hoover topped the fiction charts for months for a reason, it topples trust in a most shocking way.

It is not just a cultural phenomenon or a religious cliche, but faith is important to humans in close-knit relationships. Usually, we trust more those we know well, for long enough than a random stranger hyping you to bungee jump off the cliff. Relationships are constructed of solid building blocks of small events that in their total sum make a strong foundation for stable edifice of certainty. Who likes uncertainty in relationships? Only extreme adrenalin lovers, perhaps.

Caring about other person is a display of safe-keeping. We are protective of our kin and those we love. They can count on us when in need. An independent and strong adult does not need a guardian, but cooperation is a binder that makes us feel that we are not alone in all what we do. It makes us stronger together.

How does the one who was being lied to feel? Betrayed.

A friend who always promises but rarely sticks by their word is not a genuine friend. 

A parent shall consider being being the most trusting example to their offspring.

black artist

The mental safety belt of trust

Insecure people hardly let anybody else into their inner life. Safety concerns can uproot trust in strangers. This attitude stirs enmities, discord, racism, violence, wars. In fighting more than one side are involved, so mistrust rusts on either line of unsafe existence. Therefore to prevent conflict we must focus on ensuring safety of all parts. Nobody should be left out when personal security is concerned. Anxiety rises in our mental state of distrust.

Individual insecurity can fog one’s perception of others, trustworthiness including. Past behaviour and experience gauge our trust sensors either to a more open, allowing attitude or a wary state of constant alert. Relay on yourself, yet do not refuse others care if you really need help.

Trust is like the winter road, it can be snowed in, but deep under we know it is there as the map and signs above the ground show.


Beyond hope and assumptions: trust your healthy gut

Trust in others is something quite different from trust in oneself, otherwise known as confidence. Beyond skewed ideas about others, insecurity is a complicated symptom of something deeper, like self love. If you value yourself you are free of self-harming. Relate to your emotions with warmth, not incessant self-criticism, as well as try your best so perfectionism does not swallow your heart but encourages you to improve upon previous achievements.

Gratitude never harmed anyone. Trust in oneself is believing in your capabilities and conviction of the value of your existence by contributing somehow to the greater whole.

A wise mind once said: “What you focus on grows, what you think about expands, and what you dwell upon determines your destiny.” In the context of trust this rings bright and sharp. If you are suspicious, afraid of losing someone, the anxiety will nest in the dark corners of your mind and rust into the remaining light inner space. If you judge yourself unworthy of others’ attention, your self-worth won’t expand. Flipped, if you demand too much, nobody can sustain that pressure. Selfishness never built happy relationships.

Life symbols

Trust is more than the Self

Intuition can become an adventurous guide in our life. Trusting it as a companion to reason, a complementary force to a more whole truth. Something beyond the puzzle just fitting together. Memory often helps us to solve puzzles, but there are also riddles requiring a different kind of intellect. That type we call imagination. As the poet and renowned engraver William Blake wrote: “Man by reasoning can only compare & judge of what he has already perceived. From a perception of only 3 senses or 3 elements none could deduce a fourth or fifth.” Indeed, the next, the new, the invented was beyond our common knowledge, until it was created or discovered it was hidden from our awareness. Blake concluded: “If it were not for the Poetic or Prophetic Character, the Philosophic & Experimental would soon be at the ratio of all things & stand still, unable to do other than repeat the same dull round over again.” We need imagination as its span expands beyond rational science. The spiritual element deepens the meaning of human life. Without creativity, science cannot progress. Reason alone is stale. Art can assume indefinite forms of expression and reality, and in so lifting the marine layer of ignorance.

French sculpture

These various forms of trust can be related and do not have to be. What is important though is that one is aware of one’s own shortcomings in terms of self-love and clear about others’ intentions. The later is perhaps the most challenging aspect of any committed relationship. An open discussion is healthy. However intense, honesty shall not harm a worthwhile relationship because if you really care about the other person you listen to them and accept their breadth. Good and bad.

“Let’s talk” is the most direct remedy for clarifying potential misunderstandings. Uncovering emotionally immature personality unaware of the effect their behaviour has on others, discussion allows for getting to know the other more and deeper.

Chelsea galleries

Trust may feel like vulnerability, so does love. Are all the great things doomed to make us feel unsafe? They do not have to if you are not attached to them. Rather, open your arms when you are offered theirs. At he same time focus on building your inner strength independently on the giver of pleasure. On your own, you are able to generate joy. You are your only sustainable well of happiness. Coexisting means equality, thus do not ever devalue yourself through the wand of a selfish lover not worth loving.

Like sun playing music through its light on the surface of the land, caressing warmly even the steepest mountains and deep gorges, move the hearts of others. Stand by them genuinely, so they can trust to embrace you with the bright comforting blanket that feels good. Your liability is up to your faith in trust.