Monday, March 14, 2011

Redefining Trust: Who Has Your Heart?

I've noticed lately that our society is somewhat obsessed with talking about trust.

Every horoscope, every personality test, every 50-trillion-questions-about-yourself-survey tries to define you by your predisposition to either trust or not to trust.

Unfortunately for me, I'm evenly split on every personality test I've ever taken. I'm loud, I'm quiet. I'll spill my life in a flood of everything you didn't want to know about me, and I'll sit in the corner dreading having to speak more than 10 words. I can go two weeks without cleaning anything, and I can be an emotional and mental web of chaos because there are three pens too many on my desk.

There was a personality test I had to take in high school, the DISC test. My result? 25/25/25/25. Very funny, God. Oh well, I guess you can consider my DISC to be well-rounded. (The guy who made us take this test didn't find that joke very humorous, by the way. He told me with a very concerned expression on his face that I was a highly unusual person. No shit.)

"Do you trust people?" Come on. What kind of question is that.

I've realized that I'm one of those people who spills easily, but won't expect anyone to mop it up.

I will give everything, and count on nothing.

I'll show you the inside, outside, and wrong side of my heart, but won't commit you to it's care.

This is where everyone has looked at me and said, "you're the most trusting person I know." And I have to say back, "Yeah? Alright. If you say so."

But this has never sat right with me. I still feel like I trust everyone, yet no one, and I want to know why.

I love dictionaries. So today, I asked the dictionary what trust (and entrust) is:

Trust: Reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety of a person or thing. Confident expectation of something; hope. The obligation or responsibility imposed on a person in whom confidence or authority is placed.

Entrust: To charge or invest with something of value. To commit something to the care to, for use or performance.

Reliance on strength. Hey women, whose strength are you relying on?

Confident expectation. Hey men, who are you confident in?

To commit to the care of. Hey you, who have you committed your heart to the care of?

Trust, I am learning, is not character trait. It's not a checkbox on your personality test. And it's not a passive state of being.

Trust is an active decision. An active risk.

Maybe this is why putting trust on a survey doesn't work. Because when you rely on something, when you entrust someone else with your own heart, there are two parties involved. Trust is something that cannot be defined on your own terms. When you choose to trust, you choose to be at the mercy of the strength, integrity, and surety of the other.

I am fighting with myself just writing this. But I want to be a trusting person. I want to trust everyone. Why do I want that?

I'm going to say it's because I am part of a generation that has been raised to consume, consume, consume. We accept everything, believe everything, listen to everything, watch everything, and welcome everything.

Our greatest fear is that we might offend someone.

Both of these things, the overwhelming desire to soak up everything and to welcome the entire world into your heart, give us a knee jerk reaction to the idea of protecting your core and being slow to trust.

We accept everything, forgetting to passionately believe only a few things. We grab for everything, forgetting to cling desperately to only a few things.

I am learning that refusing to build and protect my core just might be the death of me.

When you spill your guts and bleed your heart, it can be like opening a safe. And when that safe is open, anyone can reach in and grab what they want.

I challenge you to be selective in who gets the keys to your safe. I challenge you to be slow to entrust people with your heart. I challenge you to wait for the people who have integrity, strength, and surety that you can count on. That you can commit your heart to.

I don't want to stop wearing my heart on my sleeve. I don't want to stop sharing all my secrets with every girl who needs or wants to hear. I don't want to stop loving and loving deeply by way of my mistakes, my weaknesses, and hurts. I don't want to stop talking about the hard things.

The good news, though, is that we don't have to.

Because I have learned that God can take the safe your heart is in and turn it from steel to glass. So that everyone can see you, and your love, and your story. So that your heart is visible to everyone, and still displays honesty, vulnerability, humanity, and your need for God.

And we are called to do that. We are called to be a light, to sit on a hill.

But when it comes to trusting? Really, honestly entrusting your heart to the strength, integrity & surety of someone?

That you guard. For that, you are at peace with having higher standards for who gets the key. For being selective, to clinging to what is right and best.

For that, we are called to guard our hearts, for it is the wellspring of life.

Translated to common English: "Protect your heart, because the condition of your heart will determine the rest of your entire life."


Kari Ann said...

This is awesome on so many levels. Great insight, thanks for sharing. Loves.

Heidi said...

Love this post. So much.

"I'm loud, I'm quiet. I'll spill my life in a flood of everything you didn't want to know about me, and I'll sit in the corner and dread having to speak more than 10 words." I felt like you were describing me.

Thanks for the thoughts here. I'm definitely going to wrestle with them.

Anonymous said...

This is something I've been needing to hear. Thank you for posting such inspiring and encouraging blogs!

Matt Herman said...

Just me, but I trust everybody until they prove (again and again sometimes) that they don't deserve my trust. I think the world would be a better place if we could all trust each other, so I try to take the first step and hope they will return my trust.

Mallory said...

I have been wrestling with this very thing lately. What is the balance of trusting your heart with people, but guarding it at the same time. Thanks for your thoughts and encouragement to trust passionately.

katie said...

you are one of the most inspiring people i've ever "read." i stumbled upon your blog through stumbling upon max's blog via a great friend. and i am so glad. thank you for your honesty.

Ren said...

This is a pretty hard one to read, honestly, but I really needed to read it. I am one of those people who craves someone to confide in, and it only takes a bit of encouragement before my guts are spilling!
Still, I do need to learn that bit of wisdom. Thanks for pointing it out.

Anonymous said...

so me :/ im loving your blog it has come at such a needed time thank you x

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