By Christina Kim - September 22, 2014


Trust, the word itself while short, carries a heavy weight in its meaning.

Trust is defined as the 'firm belief in the reliability, truth or ability of someone or something' and belief just translates to the acceptance of the existence of something and the truth in it, even without proof of the existence.

Trust could be relatively the fundamental existence in our lives; from our personal identity to dealing with those close to us (family), and extends to the outer circle of the people we meet and come across in our school/work; basically people we meet on a regular/daily basis due to the social requirements and then there are those complete strangers and acquaintances whom we cross path occasionally.

Everyone starts with that basic level of trust, a little light belief in the people we meet and cross paths with along the way; the moment we step out of the comforts of our home and close circle of family.
Learning to inhibit this fundamental trust is important in the development of our social life, and in our personal growth in the outlook of life in general.
It would not help if one is not able to even place a little trust in that milkman, or regular newspaper delivery man or even the postman to come up to the close vicinity of the surroundings of your home without worrying about the dangers lurking in them.
Of course, that being said, it is still normal to have that doubt in strangers and these seemingly normal people in your lives in today's world filled with tales of terror of that breach of trust in the ever-growing fast-paced development and modernization.

Trust starts from within; it starts from the very root of one's heart and influenced by the surrounding factors such as education, family background and upbringing, society's culture, religion, personal life experiences, and the list goes on. However, all these mentioned are merely contributing factors to shape one's willingness to open up the heart to trust another besides one very own self and it still traces back to the very depth of one's soul/heart on the concept of trust.

We formed our very first conceptual trust when we were in our mother's womb; as we curl in our fetal position and connect to the being carrying us through the tube where our daily supply of oxygen and source of nutrition come from. We were very much protected by the amniotic sac and when we were first exposed to the world outside the sac, we curl back into that fetal position and clench our fists whenever there is foreign touch or feeling. It is just reflexive and natural in that sense.
We warm up to our mother's embrace and familiarize our first few senses with touch, scent, and sound of the people closest to us; which explains why babies or young children are typically uncomfortable and skeptical towards strangers; or people they meet for the first time.
As we grow up in the comforts of our home with our core family; father and mother, and perhaps siblings (if any), slowly extending to the extended family of grandparents, aunties and uncles, cousins and relatives along the way.
We play with our neighbor's children, and we get acquainted with other children our age/size at the playground or even in the nursery and pre-schools.

We are sent off to school; and this is where we witness some of the young children making a commotion when they realized their parents would be leaving them behind in a classroom full of complete strangers; people they have never seen or met before.
It is a struggle with that sense of familiarity; and the compelling force to step outside one's comfort zone.

It is this very same process we are exposed to that we break beyond and form new friendships; bonding with new people and making a few playmates or even best friends along the way.

It sounds like a typical process that everyone will probably go through, and most children deal with this the normal way; having to meet and play with other children probably their age; or even older and younger children. There are bolder ones who could even connect with the adults, unafraid of the differences which just go unnoticed.

These are just the basic fundamentals of the concept of trust from its early beginnings.
However, trust still requires development and could be distorted based on the different life perspectives and experiences which could lead to one forming one's own individual perception on trust.

Some are ready to trust, while some remain sitting on the fence; apprehensive on trusting and yet could trust when need to and withdraw, and then there are those who just find it so hard to trust.
There is no right or wrong in each of these perceptions; as mentioned for everyone has their own fair share of life experiences which have probably moulded them into the way they think and trust the world.

Trust can be rather complex in nature, though seemingly simple at a glance.
I just need to trust the people around me; like my parents, siblings, relatives and best friends, right?
But, what happens when I find that I cannot trust anyone at all? Or who I decide to trust?
Then what happens when the people that I placed my full trust in just shattered that trust by betraying me; deceiving me and hurting me, throwing me into the cauldron of burning fire with all the lies?
There is just no warranty in trust; no one knows when, why, what, or who to trust.
It is all about that gut feeling; an intuition and the basic instinct deep down inside.
No one can say for sure whether they will be right about everything, for even one's instincts could easily be wrong and just lead again, to that fall in trust.
That is when one can no longer even trust oneself.

That is where things should start.
Before one could reach out to trust another being; even if it's their closest (i.e: parents), one needs to learn to trust oneself.

Learning to listen to our own heart, our own mind and that little inner voice is the first brick to lay as the foundation.
Do we even trust what our heart/mind tells us sometimes?
Do we listen to ourselves, when hear the voice telling us "Don't" and yet we went ahead, only to later regret that decision?

Trust in oneself is the very same concept as to love oneself before loving others.
Before one can even learn to trust oneself, there is no way one can learn to trust others.
Moving beyond those who strongly trust in themselves, there is also no guaranteed that one could just move safely past that fence and learn to trust others.
For all we know, those who trust themselves could also be strong safeguards of themselves and trust only themselves; never extending that trust to any other.

It is complicated really; when it comes to the matter of trust.
Relationships are formed based on trust; be it with our family (parents, siblings, relatives, grandparents), our friends or even our life partners/spouses.
The very heart of a relationship; any relationship needs to start with trust and that basic faith for one to proceed and to embark on a much deeper level to connect to each other's soul.

Trust needs to form between a mother/father and a child, friend, man and woman, between husband and wife, and even spiritually; between us and God.
It sounds so basic in our lives yet so complicated to develop and to decipher.

Trust can be extremely fragile; as it takes long to develop yet easily broken/breached unknowingly and before one knows it, it could be gone forever.
A friend could lie to another, and when the other friend finds out; given the nature of the lie, could breach that bridge and faith bestowed upon him/her and it could affect the friend's outlook towards the lying friend.
Spouses could lie to each other about their financial situations, their extramarital affairs or close friendships developed with others besides their own spouses, their family background, etc and it could lead to the constant suspicions and doubts arising in the relationship.

Trust can be given, but with a condition; that it must be truly honored and deserved.
One could try so hard to earn another's trust, but then became complacent and disregard it easily, losing that trust and then struggling to rebuild that trust again.
Well, it may be easier the first time for trust, once broken, is simply almost unrecoverable, depending on the severity of the breach.

Trust must be earned, and must be protected, honored and treated with full respect.
It must not be taken for granted nor to be handled like it was just given because it is a requirement.
No one is required to trust in you; but if you are trusted, treasure it and you will be rewarded in return by the happiness you find in that trusting relationship.

All we need to do is learn to Trust, and Respect that trust given to us.
We can trust anyone we want, but is everyone worthy of our trust?
Make ourselves worthy, and weigh your trust before placing it in another's hands.

Trust could be a burden, but in a positive light, it is a rewarding honor and truly, a gift one could ever give another in the establishment of a relationship.

Trust, please handle with care~

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