When we trust another, we know our trust over time, over many moments, over different circumstances. Trust in another does not magically happen when we begin to know someone. It is in knowing someone that we gain trust – or not. When trust is broken, a true break occurs in the relationship. It is wisdom, I think, to remember when trust has been broken, to mend our own feelings, and to observe whether or not trust is broken, again. Broken trust cannot magically be repaired. Feelings remain: betrayal. Broken trust will have to be honored in us when it happens. We owe it ourselves and to The Other.
We earn the trust of another person. We earn the trust of another by how we honor their experience of us. Will we be honorable? Can we be trusted? Are we true to our word? Do our actions match our words? We earn the trust of another over time. When we have broken trust, we have to be honest – with ourselves, and with the other. We need to look at ourselves, then, to look deeply into ourselves, to discover what it is that has caused us to be less than trustworthy. If we are honorable – to ourselves, as much as to The Other – we will be interested in why it is that we broke trust. Why? Look deeply, look deeply.
When I was younger, I did not pay attention to the feelings of betrayal that marked some of my relationships. I did not pay attention to that place of vulnerability in myself that felt each betrayal, that knew it was so. And I suffered because of that. And I did not call another to accountability. That hurt both of us. As I grow older – and hopefully wiser! – I acknowledge, often only to myself, the feelings that arise when I have suffered a betrayal. I listen to myself. I honor myself. That is the beginning of trust. Can I trust myself?
I know that God/theUniverse/Spirit can be trusted. I know this from experience. The experience of trust I know, even when it seems to me my world is slipping away, is, ‘surely, God is able.’ “Surely, God is able,” the old hymn sings. Surely, God is able. Time may not be what I would prefer, but time and again, I have been shown that God is able.