Let’s discuss trust. First and foremost, trust begins with me. Deep inside. Do I trust that I am self aware enough to be willing to see my blind spots (OH NO I’M NOT A JERK ON LINE NEVER). Can I trust that I am responsible for ALL my shit, my excuses, my backpedaling, and all the “food” that I put out on line for others to consume? Can I trust that I will breathe in before I blast someone, think first, choose to understand that their mother may have just been diagnosed with Stage Four breast cancer?
Trust is a big issue. However it starts way down inside me. I own my stuff. My shit. My results. If I’m really, really, really brave I will understand that while others may take advantage, lie, cheat, steal, rip off my identity, sleep with someone else (hey, it’s happened), my bottom line is that I can learn to trust that I can handle it. Because when — not IF- this stuff happens, that’s my chance to learn not to blame others for the quality of my life. This is the tough stuff, Siobhan. While I would love to be able to trust a great many institutions, which I know I can’t, what that teaches me is that it begins and ends with me. I can make myself trustworthy. I can have integrity. I can show up. Those things I can control. Not much else. When and if I can learn to take care of myself, set reasonable boundaries (like dumping a huge source of stress by canning my Facebook account), own what I’ve sown be it bad behavior, an insult or just some numb-nuts failure, then that gives me the ability to deal with external influences. We want to trust our parents. Those of us with alcoholics (or opioid addicts)learned otherwise. I trust that big corps will rip me off at every single turn. What I have to do is learn to trust my instincts, spot a scam, find and nurture healthy relationships and not blame anyone else for the quality, or lack thereof, of my day. My work. My life. Whatever.
While on rare occasion someone on Medium will troll me, I can trust that this isn’t personal. Someone has got an issue with themselves, not me. I can learn to use that experience to stair step, or to faceplant on the bottom stair where I can share the basement with said troll. I can learn to trust that I don’t have to respond in kind.
It begins and ends with me. I can trust that Medium.com is just that: a medium. How I play within it, how I treat others, how I show up, are my responsibilities. Good discussions teach. Good readers constantly respond and make me better. But that’s not their job. It’s my job to take their gifts and run with them. If I can trust myself to hear the value in their offering rather than be offended by a POV that differs, a criticism offered to make me a better writer, I can learn to trust myself.
It begins and ends with me. If I have a “trust issue,” Siobhan, and I can only speak for myself, it’s because I’m expecting others to give me what I have to build in myself. Institutions run by people are by definition flawed and fallible.
This is just my POV. Doesn’t make me right. But it does make me responsible.