Lately I’ve been reading Iyanla Vanzant’s new book, ‘Trust.’ It took me a long time, and a lot of hard lessons, to begin to understand that in order to trust in others, and in life, I must first trust in myself.
“Self-intimacy fosters understanding. An understanding of yourself supports you in learning to see and understand other people. Understanding people is essential to your ability to trust them. This level of understanding is the result of the many small interactions and connections that occur over time. In the process, you learn to trust people’s way of being: how they show up in the room, in the community, and the world.
…Remember, when you do not trust yourself, you cannot and will not trust anyone else. Instead, you will ignore your inner voice and intuitive inklings and tell yourself that what you feel is wrong. Why? Because your suspicions will not hold the other person in good light. When you cannot face the truth, you’ll find yourself making excuses for the demonstrated bad behavior that provides a clear indication that the person cannot be trusted.
…Often, you will ignore the warning sings because they are simply too stressful or too difficult to acknowledge. Or the circumstances go against what you want to believe, and accepting the truth would create a domino effect in your life. So you dismiss or deny the very clear intuitive and explicit messages you receive by expecting people to live up to a level or capacity of trustworthiness that they simply cannot or choose not to honor.
…When you do not trust yourself, what you feel, and what you know, you will expect people to be who they are not. You will hope against hope that they will do things you already know they cannot do. You will expect them to be who you want them to be rather than trusting what you know about who they are and what they are capable of doing. This is not trust. This is magical thinking, and engaging in it will set you up for a big letdown. Trusting yourself is important when dealing with others because it protects you from repeated violations and devastating heartbreaks.
…When you do trust yourself, you are able to read situations, environments, and people in a way that supports your personal boundaries and keeps you safe. Self-trust also equips you to communicates others clearly regarding what is and is not acceptable. You know what feels right and what does not, and you do not question what you feel in response to what others may do or say.”