Truth and Trust

Trust is tantamount in any relationship. It takes a long time to build and can be destroyed in a moment. In a best friend, you trust that person not to talk behind your back. In a spouse, you trust that person never to lie to or cheat on you. In a parent, you trust that person to always be there when they say they will, for complete honesty and for unconditional love. If you can’t trust those people in your life, the world can seem a bitter, cruel place full of uncertainty and disloyalty.
I want my girls to trust that what I tell them is the truth and that they can depend on whatever I say to be honest. Sure, the occasional white lie is acceptable. “You are the greatest singer in the world.”. That’s really not entirely true, but there’s no one’s voice I’d rather hear. I’m sure people will tell me, “you look great!” after surgery with that shit eating grin that means they’re politely lying. Those are acceptable because I can trust that it’s all done with the best of intentions.
I remember one of my brothers telling me in high school, “don’t be a gossip. No one likes a gossip”. I brushed it off but always kept it in the back of my head. I secretly love to hear gossip, but you won’t find me spreading it. I don’t know if it’s really true.
So I’m not sure what to say to my girls when I go for my surgery. I want them to know that I’m going to be back in a few days and that I’m going to be fine. But what they’ll see after won’t necessarily seem fine to them. Will it make me not trustworthy after that?
When I was little, I would ask my mother to sit next to me while I fell asleep (a history that is repeating itself now as my big girl demands the same – you got your wish, Dad). One of my parents would always help me fall asleep but I would then take it a step further and say, “Promise you will stay the whole night”. Mom wouldn’t. She would tell me that she never made promises she didn’t keep and that when she said “I promise”, I could always trust her. In all of my 30 years, she has never violated that promise. I want to make sure my girls can trust me the same way that I can always trust my mother.
Trust is too important to take lightly, flinging little lies here and there. They eventually take their toll. I have to come up with the right, most truthful and trustworthy way to explain my surgery and recovery in three year old terms. How do I keep our trust while accounting for the uncertainties that lie ahead? Isn’t that the conundrum in all relationships?

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One thought on “Truth and Trust

  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on trust. I had a wake up call when my son, 6 years ago, gave me a card for mother's day that said: 'Sometimes she keeps promises'. When I asked him what he meant, he said 'you just don't keep your promises. His example – one weekend when I said we'd go to the movies, and then didn't go because we got busy and people popped in. When I said 'but that wasn't a promise' he said 'But I thought it was'. As I thought about all the times I say these throw-away lines, y head started to spin. I asked him 'what happens when I do that? How does that make you feel?', he looked me straight in the eye and said 'I don't know when I can trust you!'. It killed me, well, nearly, but it did make me stronger! Now, it's all I do – I travel the world teaching people a very simple, and memorable, way of trusting, of being worthy of the trust of others, and reminding people that 'trust is fragile – handle it with care'.

    Please, feel free to check out videos and articles, and you can download a free ebook called 'The simple truth about trust' at http://www.entente.com.au.

    Stay strong.

    Vanessa

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