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Beyond the Fog: What Lies Ahead?

Updated on November 25, 2014
Yosemite National Park, CA.  Photo/Images of Jet Revereza
Yosemite National Park, CA. Photo/Images of Jet Revereza

Not Trusting Enough

In my early years of trusting people, I often get hurt, realizing that they did not deserve my trust, it caused me to believe "you can't trust anyone except yourself." I formed the habit of not asking anybody for help. If it is something I can do, it could be done not only better but right. I kept this mindset of being wary of people, not opening my heart to anyone lest you give them that possibility to hurt you. It was a bad habit to break, not to rely on anyone.

As humans, we interact with other living population and co-exist with them. We attribute trust to our relationships within social groups, i.e., our families, friends, communities, organisations, etc. The degree to which one party trusts another is a measure of belief in the honesty, fairness, or benevolence of another party. This "degree" of trusting is where most of us gets dissapointed, since unwarranted expectation is where we are found to be culpable.

Is it possible not to trust? Believing much in oneself?

It worked for me for a short while, that I thought. However, our social system dictates, without trust, all contingent possibilities should be always considered, thus, leading to a paralysis of inaction. That inaction was never acceptable. It made me inadequate because I did not want to trust. What am I protective of?

We often believe that we risk too much by being vulnerable, but, in fact, the opposite is true. When we build a wall around us to protect ourselves from our fears, we miss out on so much. When we live with the mindset that something may be taken from us physically or emotionally, or that we need to be in control of everything that happens, it makes us cynical, suspicious, and unable to move, blocking the possibility of positive outcomes as well as discovering that your world changes for the better in ways you may never have imagined.

Ironically, my not wanting to trust people placed a lot of self-doubt on my own confidence too. I got lost in the sea of self-doubting even my own motives, capabilities, character, and personality.

Mendocino, California.  Photo/Images of Jet Revereza
Mendocino, California. Photo/Images of Jet Revereza

All I Could See was the Fog

Let me share you this story.

The first woman to swim the English Channel both ways young Florence Chadwick. In 1952, she stepped into the waters of the Pacific Ocean off Catalina Island, determined to swim to the shore of mainland California. The weather was foggy and chilly; she could hardly see the boats accompanying her. Still, she swam for fifteen hours. When she begged to be taken out of the water along the way, her mother, in a boat alongside, told her she was close and that she could make it. Finally, physically and emotionally exhausted, she stopped swimming and was pulled out. It wasn’t until she was on the boat that she discovered the shore was less than half a mile away.

At a news conference the next day she said, “All I could see was the fog.…I think if I could have seen the shore, I would have made it.”

Now, can you relate to what she said? I did. Our lives are like this. Cloud of uncertainty and self-doubt permeates our existence or circumstances. Fog of trouble, worry, doubt, depression, health problems, unemployment, financial uncertainty, strained relationships, and loss of loved ones are not new to us. In one way or the other, we go through such phase. Yet, learning to be vulnerable after deep pain can feel impossible. But it doesn’t have to be. If you consciously choose to stay open and trusting.

What does it mean? Why must I learn to be vulnerable and why not?

“There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are messengers of overwhelming grief… and of unspeakable love.” _ Washington Irving

We need to know we are made of the earth — not of glass — and can survive all manner of difficult feelings. To be vulnerable is all about acceptance of oneself and of others. Actually it is an art form — the art of acceptance. Though few may not buy such thought. It helps to affect change — to "up-shift" and use our resources and talents to work toward the vision of a better future. However, for a truly fulfilling life, we also need to be taught how to "down-shift" into the allowing of our vulnerability. Then can we confidently face an uncertain world that does not meet our every whim. We shall know about resilience and the invincible vulnerability of our own human heart.

There's a misconception that being vulnerable causes pain, but it's in our vulnerability that we are safe and powerful beyond measure.

"There are places in the heart that do not yet exist; suffering has to enter in for them to come to be." _ Leon Bloy

“The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.” _ Ernest Hemingway

Mt. Hamilton Lick Observatory, San Jose, CA.  Photo/Images of Jet Revereza
Mt. Hamilton Lick Observatory, San Jose, CA. Photo/Images of Jet Revereza


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