The following and all of the other episodes to come are snapshots of what goes on in my head, now and in the past. There are times none of this will make sense. There will be times when I might get lucky and the blog I post will be well constructed and will flow like a mountain stream to an awaiting lake below. Other times it will seem like the ramblings of a madman and you’ll ask yourself, “What the……?”
You should probably get used to the latter.
EPISODE ONE HUNDRED FORTY: Trust, But Verify. – Ronald Reagan
It doesn’t matter if you’re a Ronny Raygun fan or not, that is a good quote. And pretty damn true. Especially nowadays.
That’s crap, right? It’s always been true since… F-O-R-E-V-E-R!!!
As I have got older, I find that it has become harder for me to trust anybody or anything unless you are in a very close knit of people that I surround myself with. I worry other people are trying to get something over on me.
Let me give you some examples:
I go to the doctor for some ailment and they tell me, not only is that thing wrong with me, this other thing is wrong with me, too. I’m going to need a pill to take care of that.
I go to the mechanic with some issue with my car and not only do they find that thing wrong, but they also find this HUGE thing wrong and that needs to be fixed.
I’m living my life and something bad happens. But then another bad thing happens, then another, then another. My head feels like it’s going to explode.
Yeah, pay up.
Then you go to the doctor find relief from the head exploding thing and… you got it.
Sigh… Pay up.
Some of this is an exaggeration. Most of the time I go to the doctors, I’m taken care of wonderfully (except for that LONG wait in the waiting room) and when my car does have something wrong, it’s usually fixed (after the car sits there for almost a week and I have to rely on my wife to take me to work and pick me up). Of course, those are the sacrifices we have to put up with. Trust me, I get it. I really do.
But I feel like trust is harder to come by, not just for me, but for others. We live in a cautious world. We have to watch what we say so we don’t blasphemy what others believe.
Because it seems to me that it’s more difficult to deal with other peoples differences. It seems that people can’t cope with the opposites others have. They would rather push those people aside or claim they are flat out wrong. It’s so much easier to get along with like-minded people than have to face the situation that they might be able to learn something from what the others believe.
OR YOU MIGHT HAVE BEEN WRONG ALL ALONG.
That’s scary, isn’t it? You might be wrong and will have to face it in a very public way. I’ve been on that side of it. I faced finding out something I said on…sigh…Facebook, and had to eat my words. I felt like an idiot. I wanted to delete the person who called me out. Better yet, delete facebook entirely, pack up, move to the mountains and live in a tree.
I calmed myself and accepted that I can’t be right all of the time, as much as I want to be. Sometimes I not only drop the ball, I’d drop that sucker from a low Earth’s orbit to come crashing into my house while it’s on fire. ON FIRE!!!
It’s in that acceptance where I learn to trust. I admit I was wrong, they accepted it because they know I’m human, the world keeps turning. I dust off my hands and move on. It also helps others trust me when I admit I was on the wrong side of things and say it out loud.
That’s the hard part, isn’t it? Pride gets in the way and the idea of ‘showing your belly’ is too great a fear and we don’t even want to admit to ourselves we’re wrong. Not even in those late nights where we find ourselves awake with worry on our minds. We will fight tooth and nail with our inner selves against the truth. We might even find it hard to trust the person who we really are.
I will admit with some pride (pride can be good in some forms) that I am completely honest with my true self. There are no lies in those late nights where I find myself worrying about past transgressions on others. I think about those things I did wrong and wished I could change, though I know it is way too late. But if it isn’t, I will make it right. Once you trust YOU, you can find it easier to trust others and in turn, those people will trust you. It becomes a chain of trust.
But you have to be careful. Trust can be used by others to be played against you like some high-quality collateral. If you divulge trust to anyone that comes into contact with you, to speak the hard truth, you will get burned by it. And it sucks. You might get burned by people you thought cared about you, blood-related or not.
I’m sure you have heard of doing a trust fall. In case you don’t (where have you been?), I’ll explain. It’s where somebody stands behind you, you cross your arms over your chest, close your eyes, and fall backward. That person keeps you from falling. I’ve done it (a long time ago and when I was thinner) and it’s scary as hell. You want to stop from doing it. I’ve seen people bend their knees so the fall wasn’t as dramatic but then the person behind didn’t expect them to do it and they fell anyway.
We expect close family and friends to be that person behind you with their arms out to grab you as you hurtle backward toward the floor. Odds are, they will. But with others, you should put on a safety line or just shake your head and say ‘No, thanks’ and walk (run) away.
It’s difficult to trust, to fully trust, anyone. Relationships of all kinds are basically a proving ground to test trust. You try it out, it doesn’t work, you modify. Or you go back to the drawing board or just scrap the whole thing and try something else.
I’m lucky to have a few people I trust with my life in my life. I haven’t made it easy. It’s because the fear is still there. But I’m getting better.
Just be careful. Try and give the benefit of the doubt. If they continually break your trust, they aren’t worth your time. Move on. It’s not about quantity (no matter what social media thinks, ‘I have 5000 friends‘). It will always be, one hundred percent, quality.
And verify the trust in yourself, too.
-Loyd Elmore Jr
February 8th, 2019
I’ve decided to keep a blog about how I’m dealing with depression. I’m going to consider this a form of therapy. It might not help anybody else but it might help me.