I was driving home today when this came over me. People have commented on my innocence. I try to cultivate innocence. I cling to a child-like sense of wonder and awe. That’s how I want to encounter this world. It’s not ignorance. It’s a choice. It’s what’s helped me bounce back from everything that’s knocked me sideways in my life. The joy of living this way is… what I live for. It’s something I actually work at, because there are so many things going on that could make me bitter and cynical. There would be no joy for me in that.
All of these thoughts tonight congealed around the notion of trust. Whom do I trust? Well, for starters, I’ve been known to have some angry, one-sided, rebellious-teen-ager type yelling matches with God. For a while the only way I could tell I did believe in God was that I was incredibly angry at Him, and blamed Him for where I was in my life. But I always knew that He’s a loving parent, and I could never damage the love He has for me. That it wasn’t even a matter of forgiveness, because that was mine already. Held out freely. And this trust in His love is what saw me through the worst crisis of faith I’ve ever had. I still don’t like everything about where I’m at, and I still pray that he will lead me along the best paths SOON. I prefer my time to His. But I’m willing to accept His, because I trust Him to be right. Even when it hurts.
I also thank Him every day for giving me the ability to trust myself. I know myself better and better each day, and I’m not sure that’s something everyone can say. For a long time I was more interested in changing myself into what I thought I should be than in finding out who I actually am. Like my trust in God, my trust in myself has hit a few snags lately. It’s hard to unmake decisions you were so sure were the right ones. And having to do that shook my faith in my ability to make good decisions. But I know now that I can trust myself to make the best decisions possible with the knowledge, the wisdom, and the love that I have, and that I can’t do any better. They may end up not working out. But I will do my best. Always. It’s who I am. I have a lot of faith in that.
And I trust my closest friends to love me even when I screw up. Everyone’s been so supportive of me, even when I waffle and whinge and whine about the same things over and over. I know they wish they could help, just like I wish I could help them in their troubles. I’d give a lot to fix things for everyone I love. And they do help me so much, just by being there. So I trust them, and I’ve never been let down.
Who else do I trust? Who do I not trust? These are more difficult questions.
I have made a habit of believing that all the people I meet are caring people. And I tend to assume that people are like me in many ways, and getting to know someone has a lot to do with discovering where and how we diverge. Honestly, I’m fascinated by the divergences. I feel like everyone I meet gives me a new perspective, and expands me into something a little bit more than me. There are differences that come out immediately, but some things I only learn slowly, and they can be a surprise. One of these surprises lately has put me into a new sort of crisis of faith. How on earth can I maintain that child-like trust in other people, people I don’t really know, now that I know how badly I can be mistaken?
You see, being single again, I’ve started poking my nose out and sniffing the winds of the dating world. I’ve never really done this before. Since I was about fourteen, the longest I went without being in a committed relationship was measured in months. And each new relationship was with someone I’d known or at least known of for a while. Now it’s been over a year since I really had a someone, and I’m not likely to find a someone among my close friends. Those winds out there can be pretty darn dry and searing, I find. And just when I knew I could trust myself, and was ready to open up my trusting little heart to that world, certain that I could protect it, I got kind of turned upside down.