“We’re never so vulnerable than when we trust someone – but paradoxically, if we cannot trust, neither can we find love or joy”
The human life is full of twists and turns, disappointments and successes. Life has taught me many lessons, all of which I am so grateful for. Trust has been a hard earned lesson that I cherish.
Maybe it’s my nature to be skeptical of others and slow to give the benefit of the doubt. More likely my distrust of others stems from nurture. Childhood experiences shape us faster and easier than any other experiences in life. Friends of ours have adopted children. All of their adopted children have similar quirks, particularly surrounding trust and love. This isn’t to say that once the damage of childhood is done there is no hope. Everyone can change.
Love is hardwired into our systems. We need it, desire to give it, and certainly crave it when love is absent. But what is love without trust? Many things fan the flames of love but that element of trust deepens the emotion.
Steven R. Covey said, “Trust is the highest form of human motivation.” In the recent past I have realized the number of people in my life who see me as I can be and not as I am. I feel a sense of trust from these people and want to live up to their expectations. Think Jack Nicholson, “You make me want to be a better man.”
A dozen or so years ago the thick barriers I had fortified around myself started to come down. This change was the responsibility of one man. He quickly slipped into my life and I have never let him go.
Enter Heath. Our story can be found here.
He has taught me so many things. The greatest lesson I have learned from Heath is how to trust and give my whole heart to love. As Walter Anderson’s quote points out, it is a vulnerable position to be in. But I have learned that unless I surrender myself to the vulnerability I will never enjoy the rewards.
I thought I knew how to love others. Now I realize that that love was on a smaller scale. Isn’t it the Greeks who have several different words for love since there are so many levels to it? I had never been in love until I met Heath. One of the great side effects to being in love is it benefits every relationship. As I learned to trust my heart with another person I learned to trust everyone more. My friends, my family, everyone.
Heath and I have been married for 12 short years now. A happy dozen. The time has flown by. It doesn’t feel like we had to put in much trial and error to learn how to work together as a team or even to communicate effectively. I wouldn’t say we just knew those things. We still had to learn but it seems to have come fairly quickly for us. We know couples who have been together longer than us who haven’t yet mastered these essential relationship skills.
The trust has been an incredible lesson to learn. I remember soon after we celebrated our first anniversary that I felt myself actually start feeling complete trust for Heath. How sad is that? That’s the amazing thing about him. He is so patient. He sees who I can be. He believes in me and he will patiently wait for me to become who he believes I already am – under many many layers of fortification rubble.
One thing Heath and I both agree on is that when we got engaged we knew nothing about each other. We both agree that logically it made no sense to promise to spend not only the rest of our lives, but all of eternity with each other by being sealed in the temple. Yet in our hearts we knew it was right. We knew we had found our soul mate and we trusted the Lord knew it and had blessed us with the confirmation of His Holy Spirit. The more anniversaries we celebrate the more we realize how right we are for each other. I can’t imagine being with anyone else.
It is strange to think we started out trusting a gut instinct and soon learned to love and trust each other completely. A dozen years. It’s crazy but it has been so wonderful.