We Can’t Choose Trust But Here’s How We Can Cultivate It

Here’s the thing about trust.

We can’t just say we’re going to trust someone and expect it to happen that easily.

It doesn’t work like that.

Contrary to what we’ve been told, trust isn’t something we can just choose to do, or feel. Trust is the product of relationship. We cannot trust someone more than our relationship with them at this time allows us to. It is something that grows the more time we spend in a loving, growing relationship with someone. It is something that grows the more we come to understand and believe we are loved, and valued, and safe in relationship.

This is even more true for those of us who suffered betrayal as a child, especially from a parent or someone we sought to protect us. That kind of betrayal influences how we see the world and whether we can depend or rely on others. It often creates an unhealthy striving for autonomy and independence that can be hard to let go of; we have only known trust to be a dangerous thing and entering into relationship with the expectation that trust should be immediately present is not only unrealistic, but setting ourselves up for failure.

It isn’t so much about someone earning our trust or trying to prove they are worthy of our trust through an impossible list of expectations, but more about the gentle wooing of our hearts to trust the more we allow ourselves to become secure in the love of another. Trust is cultivated with time and patience and the willingness to accept and believe we are worthy of love. When we are able to believe we are loved without condition or agenda or strings, we are able to allow ourselves to surrender to trust within that love.

There is no such thing as trust outside relationship; you can only trust someone to the degree you know you are loved by them. We can’t just choose to trust but must enter into a slow dance where we will find the courage to step closer to another and allow ourselves to be drawn into the safety of their love; only there can our hearts be won over to the fullness of trust.

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