When we are left behind, we cannot leave ourselves behind

Sunday, January 23, 2011

In the chill of this morning I drove to church and sat among people whom I consider to be dear and good friends—people whose lives and children I admire, people who make me laugh.  I had been thinking, quietly, about the people who walk away from our lives, who no longer need what we have offered, who have found themselves moving past us toward something bigger, more enticing.  I had been thinking, too, about the work I do for others, and how it can sometimes leave me feeling small, and I was sitting in the pews, my thoughts moving in and out, when Victor Wilson, our minister, began his sermon.

There, within his narrative about trust, were words I'd written years ago for a story in Science and Spirit magazine. He'd mentioned, months ago, that he had found the piece, but I had no firm recollection of it, and so was surprised to sit within this echo of myself—the young me talking to the now me, saying these words:

It is so primal, this thing called trust.  So basic to our survival.  Without trust could we attach to one another, could we love?  Could we forge societies and build institutions?  Speak and believe that we’ve been heard?  Would we set up housekeeping?  Trade one thing for another?  Lie in another person’s arms?  Dare to procreate?  Freely slip away to conjecture, to be curious, to dream? We’d be at war every day of our lives if we didn’t trust.  We’d be anxious, jumpy people.   We’d be on-guard, fenced-in solitaires — withered souls with narrowed eyes.

I don't want to live, I realized again today, without trust.  I don't want the behavior of others to take it from me.  I want, still, to believe in what is good, and I will, still, pursue that good, and if going forward some find me just a bit more guarded, a bit less eager to lavishly help, all it means is that I'm waiting for them to earn my trust.


David Stanton said...

I like your honesty. I feel that "trust" either happens or it doesn't; if there is any consciousness intruding between your self and your trust, it's not real. That's why I have a hard time with concepts like "faith" -- because it feels like people are striving for it, or working at it, and I don't buy that. So I agree that trust needs to be "earned" -- I think earning comes through actions. But I don't think you need to hold on to what is good; it will hold on to you.

Anna Lefler said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sarah Allen said...

Beautiful! Thank you for this. I believe that in both our private and our public lives, we need trust. We not only need to trust others around us, but act deservingly of trust ourselves. You make some very good points here, for which I thank you.

Sarah Allen
(my creative writing blog)

Lilian Nattel said...

I'm sorry about the losses, the sadness, and the feeling small--you are not small at all. You live large from my perspective, bold in your literary pursuit and kind and giving. I can't imagine what would be more enticing, but I know that people leave people and friendships change and those are never easy.

Melissa said...

Love this - and needed this today. Thank you!

Katrina said...

This is truth spoken from the heart, so appreciated. I've had these losses too, but also, with each one, it seems that something new and precious enters my life; as a door closes, a door opens. And so we can trust in that process as well, and trust that what we need will be provided.

Erin said...

This was so good for me to read. Trust is something I think about often.

  © Blogger templates Newspaper II by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP