A few thoughts on where to place your trust.
I don’t know about you but in my world I want everything to make perfect sense. When things don’t add up I will spend an inordinate amount of wasted time in lame attempts to clarify the unclarifiable. (Yes I know it’s not a word. But it should be.)
I keep having the same phrase repeated to me by different people in my life and it makes absolutely no sense to me.
The phrase? “Don’t trust me.”
I’m in politics and it’s no surprise that it’s a dog-eat-dog world. I’m convinced that over morning coffee in DC, many people sharpen their knives at the same time as recycling the ones they’ve removed from their own back. I’ve trusted many people in this business only to learn the hard way, my typical way of learning, that I shouldn’t have trusted them.
As a matter of fact, I have a long history of trusting people I shouldn’t. Why? Because I’ve been cursed with the natural base of believing the best in people when I meet them. The difficult part is that trusting the wrong person nearly cost me my life once. You’d think that would be enough to change my perception. But it didn’t. Granted, I worked my ass off to learn how to distinguish who was at least worthy at a shot of earning my trust.
I no longer commit intellectual suicide when it comes to trusting people. Although, even of late, I have been very wrong about certain people. I don’t take full responsibility for that because some people are incredibly adept at not revealing their true selves. The good news is, that the truth ALWAYS rises to the top. Now, if I am wronged by someone I trusted, they are literally dead and gone in my eyes. I cannot give them another chance. This doesn’t always work out to my benefit because I’m not “playing the game” and utilizing the situation for my benefit. I’m all “Nope! Done!” Grumpy cat style.
But what I want to make sense of is why people I trust tell me, “Don’t trust me.”
At first, it makes me kind of sad. I literally have to fight back tears. Then, I get pissed. So basically they are telling me what? That I’m stupid because I see something trustworthy in them?
Or maybe it’s some sort of self-inflated ego and they assume they have some great power over my life and they believe I will fully give them the option to destroy me on some level. How nice it must be to be able to control the whole world? Cough, cough, arrogance anyone?
Maybe it’s a cop-out. Maybe they are covering their asses for any future wrongs so they can have a free pass to harm you in some perceived manner and then utter the words, “Hey, I warned you not to trust me.” You don’t get free passes if you hurt someone but gee how nice of you to warn them first.
Maybe they really are bad people and do have nefarious plans for you. But in my experience, the really bad manipulators aren’t going to sound the alarm.
I’m sick of being told not to trust people. It’s not someone else’s call to make. And you want to know who has ruined that for me? The people I trust. Because I do have a circle of friends and family I would trust to the ends of the earth. Humans are fully fallible and at some point in your life, someone WILL let you down, not because they are bad but because they are human. But I can tell you this, every single one of them would go to bat for me and not blink an eye in contemplation over it. Many of them have helped remove the knives out of my back and help set me on the right road again.
They are beautifully and deservingly, trustworthy.
The late great Ronald Reagan, whose gravesite I just visited this past weekend once said, “Trust, but verify.”
I’m not going to allow the assholes that have crossed my path have the lasting effect of damaging my heart. I love easily. I care too quickly and often too much. And many times that leaves me with a box of Kleenex and a straw in a bottle of wine. But how is being callous and cold any better?
I’ll still trust. I’ll still get hurt from time to time. But damn, at least I’m alive. And alive, is good.