In his book ‘Winning with People’, Dr. John C. Maxwell describes relationships and trust beautifully: “Relationships can also be described as being like a painting. Trust is like the frame that surrounds it and holds it together. It provides a context in which to view the work of art. Trust defines its boundaries. Trust secures it to the wall so that it can be enjoyed. Trust provides emotional structure.”
There can be no relationship without trust. If it is true that love is the root of all relationships then trust is the ingredient by which those roots can grow deeper.
Many people find it difficult to build and sustain healthy relationships today because their trust was breached by someone earlier in their lives. They were cheated on and perhaps betrayed by someone who used to be close to them. As a result they build walls around them so that they wouldn’t have to go through the pain of broken trust all over again. Broken trust creates fear in people.
In the movie ‘The Stepford Wives’, the wives in Stepford were systematically replaced by robots that looked exactly like them. The husbands could count on precisely the behaviour they wanted from their cyber spouses. No uncertainty. No frustration. No need for trust.
Can you imagine a spending your life with a robot? Life would become so predictable and boring because the same thing would keep repeating itself.
Trusting someone is like taking a journey with them. It opens us to learning new things about ourselves and the other person. Trust honors the freedom, the dominion and the dignity of the other person. Trusting people is allowing them to fail. Trust opens the door for forgiveness, mercy and grace. It is the way to intimacy and depth of a relationship.
There will be uncertainty and frustration but over time just like the farmer who keeps adding ingredients so that the plants would grow to yield fruit; we too would be able to see the fruit which would be fulfilling.
Author Jack Frost said it well, “Basic trust does not mean the ability to believe or trust one another. It is the capacity to hold your heart open to others, especially if you believe another’s motives or intentions are not pure. Basic trust is having an open heart. It is when you risk being vulnerable, even when it hurts you to stay open and not to close your spirit. You are able to risk being childlike again and receive love and nurture. Basic trust is foundational for building healthy relationships.”
Take Away Principle: If love is the root of all relationships then trust becomes the ingredient by which those roots can grow. It helps us to discover ourselves and the other person creating a way for intimacy and depth of the relationship.
Tips on trusting people:
1. Trust yourself. You cannot trust others if you cannot trust yourself. Come to terms with what your shortcomings are.
2. Approach a person with an open mind. Don’t judge them based on their past. If you want to trust someone, you must first change your view/ perspective about them.
3. Make yourself vulnerable. Give every person the benefit of your trust. Trusting people is allowing them to fail.