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“A psychic just called me gullible,” I thought to myself, “Now isn’t that just a tad bit ironic?” She’d asked me if I was into that “online dating crap” and then warned me away with the words, “You trust too much, you believe that they are who they say they are.”

Talk about a slap in the face from someone I’d never met. It’s not every day that I’m essential called gullible and by a psychic no less. However, if I’m being honest as I always try my best to be, I cannot say that no one has ever used that or similar term to describe me before. Hell, I even wonder about that myself on occasion. Strangely enough that next morning I found myself in the bathroom, looking myself in the mirror, and telling myself that my persistence in trusting wasn’t the problem. It was other people’s unwillingness to be honest with themselves and by extension me. Of course it couldn’t be me. Except it could most definitely be me and if I wasn’t to blame entirely, I most definitely had something to do with the equation.

There have been several experiences in my life that have left me questioning my obstinacy in trusting an individual, especially when I know that they are not to be taken at their word. Either in regards to specific instances or in general, the fact remains that the person in question had shown themselves not to be trustworthy. Yet, I persist in believing the very best of others. It doesn’t seem to matter if they are strangers, friends, acquaintances, lovers, or exes. I fail to listen to my intuition and end up being taken advantage of in one way or another. Perhaps I trust too readily because I am oh so aware of my own failings as a human being? Either which way the end result is negative and it’s not something I wish to continue.

There are negatives and positives to realizing the level of someone’s trustworthiness. I say levels because like so many other things in life it isn’t as black and white as many of us would like to believe. No, there are many shades of gray on the spectrum. Some people can be trusted in business, but not personal matters and the reverse for others. Some people cannot be trusted with your heart, but they can be trusted with your mind. So on and so forth. Rarely are people completely untrustworthy in my opinion. Anyways, the obvious negatives in realizing someone is not to be trusted are myriad. Everything from fear to heartbreak to anger and all sorts of other terrible emotions usually result from the final truth. However, optimist that I am, I see that there is a great positive as well. Once you know how far you can trust someone, you know their true colors so to speak, you are free from any hold they may have had over you. And that is truly a wonderful experience. It can range from miniscule to earth shattering depending on how well you knew the person, but it is freeing to finally let loose of your misconceptions.

So, what exactly do I do about this overly trusting mindset of mine? According to the psychic I need to meditate and learn to listen to my intuition. I’ve also been told that I need to stop trusting anyone, because everyone is out to screw you. In the past, I’ve basically given people the carte blanche when it comes to trust. I believe them, I trust, and I forgive. Repeatedly. In fact, I can count on one hand the amount of times I have cut someone out of my life because I don’t trust them. Sadly, most of those times are within the past several years. It’s even worse when I am involved in a close relationship with someone, be it friend or lover, oftentimes it will take me years to realize the reality of the relationship. Very often to my detriment.

I think the problem is that I tended to view trust as something very black and white, especially in my younger years. You see, I have fought against the urge throughout my life, not necessarily unfounded, to become one of those bitter, suspicious people that believes everyone is out to get them. I was bullied pretty terribly as a child, the worst of the lot was someone who was supposed to be my best friend. So, I’ve always had a bit of a compulsion to lean towards the extreme untrusting side of the coin. On the other hand, I also have the compulsion to give everyone and their mother twelve million chances to do right. Fairly typical Jen, right? Both sides of the coin because one would be too easy.

Sadly, leaning both ways has done nothing but lead me astray. I believe people I shouldn’t, forgiving them repeatedly, while remaining unforgiving towards others who deserve to be forgiven and their transgressions forgotten. Do I have any answer to my issue? Of course not, as usual I’m flying by the seat of my pants hoping and praying I’ll get it right, but I think starting to listen to my intuition and maybe even meditating a bit is a good first step. If I’m being forthright, my intuition has rarely steered me wrong, I just have the unfortunate habit of drowning it out with my more “logical” mind. Apparently I need to learn to extend the same amount of trust towards myself as I extend to others…