Thursday, October 25, 2012

Who Matters Most in the Circle of Trust

In 2007 when I started my eternally valuable stint in therapy, one of the first things I told my doctor was that I wanted to work on the trust issues I had with my boyfriend. I hated that I didn't fully trust him—and he did, too.

After all, trust is the foundation of any successful relationship. Particularly those where love and fidelity are involved.

My therapist may have seen the writing on the wall, but he served me with endless compassion and plenty of suggestions to try to improve the trust I had in my beau.

When all my fears were realized and I discovered the boyfriend was, in fact, not trustworthy, the doc and I had to embark on a new endeavor together: Getting me to trust myself.

It had never occurred to me that trusting my own judgment—my own instincts—was the most important piece of the puzzle. 

I'm not talking about listening to my anxiety or the un-evolved, reptilian part of my brain that likes to broadcast defeatists tirades. I'm talking about that quiet, inner wisdom that rests inside my very core.

No matter how much (or little) we trust others, when we can learn to trust ourselves, we can relax into living, knowing that someone will always be there to take care of us, no matter what happens. 

In 2007, this was a bit of a novel concept to me. I thought there was nothing I could do to protect myself against untrustworthy people. If one made his way into my inner circle, I might find myself powerless against his toxicity. I might get hurt. I might get my heart broken. And I might not know what to do about any of it.

Learning to trust myself was like suiting up in armor and shedding it at the same time. I could let go of defenses like cynicism and sarcasm because my best defense would always be intact. I could count on myself to size up people and situations—move away from the ones that elicited the ick factor—and find ways to deal with unexpected changes, while staying true to who I really was.

I hope that I'll never have to take a dip in the dating pool again (because I very much adore my Mr. Wonderful). But if I ever do, I'll be eternally comforted by the trust I have in myself.

I think a girl's own gut is the best wing-woman she can ever have.    


  1. You know, that voice of intuition is not just important in the dating realtionships. I've had to listen to that voice and make some hard decisions about friends I didn't feel I could trust anymore. I also heard the greatest story last night from one of my patients, who just didn't feel right. She wasn't in pain, and she couldn't put her finger on it, but she knew something was wrong. She had someone take her to the hospital, and she was in the middle of a full blown heart attack. She says she never had any of the symptoms you hear about - chest pain, shortness of breath, pain in her arms or jaw... Just that little voice inside her telling her something was very wrong. I like to think my intuition is God whispering in my brain. Whatever it is, I know it is real and valuable.

  2. Sister - I think intuition is God, too. God and our souls are inextricably connected, right? So when we hear ourselves, we hear Him (or Her) too.

    I think intuition and trusting yourself is important in painful times, but it's also hugely important in steering toward the things that make you genuinely happy. Only you know what those things are, so it's really smart to tune in and listen to that truth!