Scott recently wrote a post about Trust. If you haven't read it, I suggest you start there, as it's what got me thinking about this. Since reading it, I've been thinking a lot lately about the idea of trust.
Though Scott's post was mostly about trusting strangers and foreign situations (I'm okay with the former, but "foreign" situations still put me very much on edge), I've been thinking mainly about people closer to me. One thing in particular that he said sort of stuck in my head,
The connections I've made and continue to make from trusting people first has been far more valuable than any cost I may have incurred trusting someone I shouldn't have.
I used to be a lot more trusting. And then the summer before last, some things happened that really wrecked my faith in people. I wasn't sure I would get to a place where I trusted people again. I guess I've become aware that it's a real personal choice to trust someone, and that my trust doesn't necessarily equate to any commitment or reciprocation on the other person's part. As odd as it sounds, I've realized I have to trust largely for my own reasons, sort of in a selfish way, and try and be comfortable with the idea that I probably will have my trust broken again, but that next time it won't shatter my world so harshly.
I think part of making that possible is trusting myself more; my ability to handle things, my decisions, my gut feelings. Trusting myself as much as I trust the people I trust most in my life.
Maybe it has something to do with being an only child and not having blood siblings who are my partners in crime, but the people who I've chosen to trust are really my people. I allow friends to become family to me. I want to trust people, and to be openhearted to new people, but once I let someone in, I care a lot, so I tend to be cautious with who I allow myself to care fully about, knowing that it doesn't imply reciprocation or any kind of safety net.
But this I can say, I have been highly appreciating of late the fact that I have some freaking fantastic people in my life. People who have been helping me to trust, and helping me to appreciate myself, helping me enjoy life and be successful, and helping me not feel like a burden when I am not at my best. Trusting people again feels good, more and more, as I figure out who those people should be. Trusting myself more feels good too, I think I've earned it.