I saw the above picture the other day, it made me stop in my tracks.
And then shortly after, I saw this quote:
“Learning to trust is one of life’s most difficult tasks.”
– Isaac Watts
Putting the two together, I have decided something. I think the quote needs to be tweaked a little. I think the word “learning” needs to be replaced with the word “remembering.” It’s remembering to trust that needs work, wouldn’t you say?
Let me tell ya a little about myself. I may just possibly be the most suspicious, non-trusting, skeptical person you’ll ever meet on the planet. Oh, it’s true. And I don’t just mean about the big stuff (relationships and whatnot). No, I mean about everything.
My kids tell me they’ve had a good day at school? I wonder what part they’re not really telling me.
Someone does something nice for me? I wonder what’s really in it for them.
My coworker says she has a stomach ache? I think she’s just looking for attention.
Oh yeah, it’s that bad. Basically, I’m a jerk.
Oh, don’t get me wrong. Eventually, I believe what I’m told. Eventually. But that first, initial gut reaction? Disbelief. Non-trust. Skepticism. And if it’s like this about something as stupid as a coworker’s stomach ache, then you know it has to be bad with matters of the heart, right?
Now, why am I like this? Why does that picture above describe me (and probably you too, if you’re honest) to a tee?….
Hell, I don’t know.
What? You were wanting some deep-seated answer to the burning question of why people are so jaded? Well, you’re not going to get it from me. In fact, if you figure it out, please write a blog yourself and I’ll post it on here. I’d be interested in reading it, along with the millions of other people who are exactly like me (and you know it!). Oh, now I could come up with a million excuses if you really want me to. I can tell you about the times I’ve been lied to over the years or the times I’ve been heartbroken over believing something to be true that wasn’t. Blah, blah, blah. But you know what else I can tell you? I can tell you the times that I have lied to others. The times that I have broken someone’s heart. If I take the time to start telling you about being jaded because of what was done to me, I need to be fair and tell you about the times that I’ve been the one doing the jading myself. It’s only fair. What I’m trying to say is that I can’t sit here and blame others for making me who I am. I’m just like them. They are just human, and so am I.
No, I can’t pin this on someone else. I have to accept the blame. I have to realize that I have allowed myself to become like the last person in that picture up there. No one else did this – I did it. And it’s time to stop.
So, back to the quote. Like the picture illustrates, we are born with this innocent goodness, or naivety if you will. We start out filled with unlimited amounts of love and trust for everyone around us, because we just truly just didn’t know any better. Years ago, I remember standing at the top of the Space Needle in Seattle, Washington with my friend, Nathan. As we were looking down over the top, we started a conversation about the fear of heights. About how this fear has to be learned. We mused about the certain fact that if a newborn baby were held over the edge of this massive structure, it wouldn’t know any better than to coo and sleep or smile or drool or whatever the heck it was already doing before it was suspended 600+ feet above the ground. It wouldn’t have learned fear at that point. Until you have fallen, or seen someone else fall, you can’t know that it would hurt to do so. Right?
Well, we aren’t newborn babies. And each and every one of us has fallen.
And it hurt.
It’s only natural to be more careful of the fall now, right? But here’s the deal. If you never climb up that high again, you’ll never get the opportunity to see all the beautiful sights that can only be seen from that height. Sure, you are 100% certain to never fall if you never climb, but rather than refusing to climb altogether, how about just taking a look around for a second. See the guard rails. The safety nets. The many, many that have gone before you and haven’t fallen. Sure, there’s a chance that you could fall anyway. I know that. But you have to ask yourself – is it really worth it to stand on the ground and miss what everyone else is up there seeing?
“You may be deceived if you trust too much, but you will live in torment if you don’t trust enough.”
– Frank Crane
Stop blaming others. Ok? Recognize that the fear exists because you allow it to. Start making choices today to help undo the damage that you have caused yourself. Life’s too short for anything else, isn’t it?
Come with me, and let’s climb up there and take a look around, ok? There is sooo much to see.
“The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.”
– Ernest Hemingway