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I want to write a post about trust. Trust issues in relationships and regarding trusting ourselves.
Why am I writing this? I feel this is a tiny bit remedial for anyone who maintains a high level of ethics and morality, but I think a return to the basics can be very vital and necessary at times!
I am going to start out by naming the 4 Stages of Trust that I learned in a conflict resolution workshop at the Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Virginia.
1st Stage of Trust – “I trust you mean me no harm.”
2nd Stage of Trust – “I trust that you are willing to listen to my needs.”
3rd Stage – “I trust that you care about my needs and my interests.”
4th Stage – “I trust you care enough about my needs and interests that you would even represent them (and me) when I am not present.”
As I mentioned above, these Stages of Trust are important both within relationships and within ourselves. Has anyone else ever had a rough day where they could eat any junk food in the house (or is that just me)? Well I’ve been there! At that particular moment, I don’t know if I trust myself enough to clear the first stage, not to mention any of the other three!! It seems that at least for a few minutes, or half an hour, or a few hours there that I might be willing to harm myself through eating too much sugar or pretzels or… [fill in the blank].
So… I think most of us need to look closer at this list. What are my deeper needs? What am I actually interested in? If I had the resources – time, money, support – what would I be interested in? I think these are important questions to ask. And of course, trust issues will arise at least on a weekly basis in most relationships.
Does your partner do what (s)he says they are going to do? Are they manipulative at times? Do they truly care about my needs and interests or are we just in a mutual sexually satisfying acquaintanceship? These are very important questions and for some people, just getting past the first stage will take lots of time.
If someone has a history of trauma, then they might have some unresolved fears and anger and terror and resentment, etc! So there are many layers to work with and strands to untangle! Be gentle with yourself, but if you think your partner can handle it, I would recommend mentioning these in a skillful manner.
Deeply trusting someone is important for authentic intimacy. How can we possibly open our hearts more fully to someone whose sarcastic remarks cut us to the bone? Not going to happen right? So we need to have a language of trust, to be able to communicate our needs and desires and to try to compromise to make a win / win situation come about, if possible.
I guess what it might come down to is, are you content with your inner landscape (do you trust yourself – do you practice self care, eat well, etc)? And then, once that is established, are you content with your present love partnership? If not, then what are you doing? Why are you dragging your feet?
Now I’m not suggesting you get up and get out of Dodge immediately, but if you know you can be happier, then what are you waiting for? At least start the dialogue about ways you could become more happy!
Explore trust. Work with a qualified therapist or bodyworker or coach to learn more about trust. Then when you are ready, you can play with resting in trust. Opening to trust. And finally trusting the Universe and letting go…
Aaahhhh… Big sigh!
Thanks for reading!