February 2018
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openness & trust


This is a response to a question someone asked me a long while ago in some community:
If you can be completely open, can you also be trusting?

I think to be completely open is to be trusting -- they go hand in hand. If you can't trust someone, can you bring yourself to be completely open with them? And if you can't be open with someone, do you trust them at all?

I consider my openness to be a product of my trust in God -- that 'all things work together for the good of those who love him', not in people I know and the random strangers that happen by my journal. I've been burned a few times because of my openness, and it hurt, but living in truth more than makes up for it. I trust God to heal me and to make me strong enough to brush off naysayers. And learning to be open and honest has made me stronger than ever before -- it's a wonderful freedom to not worry about your mask slipping.

Some might say that isn't really trusting people, just God. To argue, I have to give my definition of trust. I believe that trust means sharing your heart with someone. Trust means allowing someone to matter to you -- being vulnerable to their humanness. Trust is saying, "I am giving you a piece of my heart -- you have complete freedom to do what you wish with it. I hope that you will keep it safe and exchange a piece of your heart to fill the space it left in mine -- but that is your choice." Trust is not a one-size-fits-all unit; you must use wisdom in deciding how large a part of your heart you wish to share. If you are continually giving away your heart to people who give nothing back, you will suffer. But if you give small pieces to test, and then give larger pieces when you know that they will respond equally (or nearly equally), you will grow. Sometimes you will give a large piece to someone who gives nothing back -- but you can rebuild what is lost, through love and time and other people's generous gifts. The amazing thing that I have found about giving your heart is that if you give it to the right people who reciprocate your gift, both of your hearts will grow. There is something magical about sharing a bond like that.

Openness is a certain kind of trust. It's a trust that gives very small pieces of your heart to people who show interest. It gets easier and easier as you go along, because though you give out tiny pieces of your heart (which feel large at the beginning), people do tend to give back -- and then you expand. As your heart grows, you feel the tiny gifts less and less, and the rewards feel more and more sweet.

The other day I was on break and Shamaila asked me why I had left work for several months, only to come back. I told her that it was a complicated story and asked if she was sure she wanted to hear it. She said yes, so I told her about the abuse and the healing process. Because I have been open for so long, that was really easy for me to do. A year or two ago, it would have felt like I was tearing my heart in half and giving half away -- but now, it felt like such a small gift, so easy, so simple. And I know she appreciated it. She said something that could easily have been hurtful -- "Well, at least it wasn't your dad, that would have made it so much worse" -- but I heard that she was trying to be comforting and understanding, I felt her intent, so it didn't hurt me. It was such a victim thing to say though, that I wonder and worry about her. She has all of the symptoms... I hope that if she has been wounded in that way and wants healing, that my sharing will make it easier for her to seek it.

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Comments
kevloid ══╣╠══
you're really a very special person :-)
belenen ══╣loving╠══
aww, thank you. *smiles blushingly*
camilleyun ══╣╠══
That whole comment thing with your coworker made me think of the exchange I had with the person online who is no longer on my friends list and resulted in my changing LJs. Something exactly like that is what triggered the whole brouhaha and no matter how much I attempted to clarify myself, it didn't work.
belenen ══╣gentle╠══
well, no matter what your own wounds are, they are never an excuse for inflicting wounds on another person. She was wrong to attack you, especailly to take it to the length she did. *shakes head*
ex_alariya46 ══╣╠══
I love you. Not just I-love-chocolate sort of love, but I-want-to-be-there-for-you-till-the-sun-dies sort of love.

Thank you for being you, and thank you for being my friend. You are a great blessing to me.
belenen ══╣amused╠══
you're welcome! heh heh.

You're a fabulous blessing to me too!
trenchmeister ══╣╠══
Openness
You're able to be open with other people because you do not put your trust in people. You have your trust with God and you are able to live openly because of your honesty and integrity - this makes you a free soul.

If you were to try to just be open with people and trust they wouldn't hurt you it might be considered naivity. However, in your case it's a little different. You've strengthened yourself by opening in a positive way. People can't hurt you as easily as they could before. You're no longer a fragile little girl - you're a woman who is able to put off the shallow and absorb the deep. Remember that those who are in misery will try to pull you down with them. Congrats on rising above that and turning this situation into a positive for her.
belenen ══╣gentle╠══
Re: Openness
Thank you for this comment -- you really understood what I was saying and it is SO nice to feel such an accurate communication.
mscrescendos ══╣╠══
what you say has made my heart flood and swell. thank you for being you, first and foremost. intrestingly enough, you have been an lj friend that i have not yet really engaged with a whole bunch .. and even i have thought of going ahead and taking you off the friend list from time to time simply because that's what happens in lj land - you friend someone, see how it goes and sometimes it grows and sometimes it was just a nice passer by.

how glad i am that you are still here. and obviously most trusted because i have put you on the list of this new journal i have..i value you a great deal. i think you are increadibly profound as a vessel for God and watching your Walk has helped me and I can see that in the future, knowing you may grow to be spectacular!

this is the part that i thought twice about saying ... but the post is about openness...and so i it should be openess.

so many times when i read your words, i am made to feel inferior. i feel like you are so well spoken and organized in much of what you do. not to say that you don't have flaws at all, but this inferiority complex makes an envy arise. a healthy envy because i know God, but sinful none the less and it sure doesn't feel good. i feel this way often when talking with people - especially women of God because i feel that i will never be anywhere near where they are. now this is a cliche thing for me to say and i know that God is growing me all in His own time - now i don't know how well you know me or how often you read my journal...but if at all, it is clear to see how set apart i am from most of society.

when i share my heart...which i do more often than i'd like, i am ashamed. my heart is big and loud and, well it can be obnoxious. i am not graceful. but i share my heart none the less and the people who can see me through the muck..they love me much.

anyways, i wish this was not public...i feel so foolish and studpid for saying all of this...and also for talking about myself in response to a absolutely beautiful post...but this is what stirred in my heart.
belenen ══╣loving╠══
wow... this comment just blew me away. Thank you.

And honestly, until VERY recently, I didn't feel much of a connection with you either and considered taking you off of my list, but like you I'm really glad that I didn't. ;-) In fact, this has given me a new outlook on connections with LJers... thank you for keeping me and thank you for opening up to me. I am honored.

I'm sorry you feel inferior. :-\ You're not, you know. I don't know if there is anything I can really say to convince you -- I struggle, I fall, I'm rude and selfish and greedy and proud sometimes just like everyone else -- but I don't know how to help you see us as equals. We all have our own strengths and weaknesses and we are all on different levels, none comparable at all to anyone else... I used to feel inferior a lot too, and I think the only way to escape that is to train yourself not to allow yourself (or anyone else talking to you) to compare any person to another person -- not even a 'better version' of yourself. That was the thing that I fought with the most -- I was always hating myself for not being the 'better' me that I envisioned. And I never really started growing into that person until I started to accept myself the way I am right now.

I hurt for you about you feeling ashamed of sharing your heart. Your heart is beautiful and a glorious gift to behold, and I want you to see that. I don't think there is any muck -- just baby fluff instead of grown feathers. Different, not wrong. And side point -- my favorite people are BIG and LOUD and (so they say) OBNOXIOUS -- they seem to glow with energy and I ADORE being around them because I feel invigorated and alive! And I love them also because they have a hard time lying and my favorite trait is honesty. The bolder and more honest (blunt) and open they are, the more I love them. I can admire graceful people, but they don't really excite me.

Please don't feel foolish for sharing all of that, I really treasure it and love you for trusting me with it. But if you are uncomfortable, let me know and I can screen your comment.
sidheblessed ══╣╠══
Your openness is partly the inpsiration for me to become more open.

I consider my openness to be a product of my trust in God -- that 'all things work together for the good of those who love him', not in people I know and the random strangers that happen by my journal. I've been burned a few times because of my openness, and it hurt, but living in truth more than makes up for it. I trust God to heal me and to make me strong enough to brush off naysayers. And learning to be open and honest has made me stronger than ever before -- it's a wonderful freedom to not worry about your mask slipping

I really agree with that.
belenen ══╣loving╠══
Your openness is partly the inpsiration for me to become more open.

oh what a beautiful thing. *loves you*
eternitywaiting ══╣eyelashes╠══
I agree with a lot of this...the only addition I'd really make for my personal definition of openness is that it became necessary for me - I had for so many years hidden myself because I was told I wasn't acceptable the way I was. When I finally started to be myself, I had a lot of people who wanted to shove me back in that little corner, and I rebelled - my openness sprung from my refusal to hide myself. I didn't want to make excuses anymore, to pretend to be something I wasn't. I also don't feel that it's my job to protect people from the aspects of my personality that they might not like. Openness was a healing process, and the only way I learned to start accepting myself.

I've been burned a few times because of my openness, and it hurt, but living in truth more than makes up for it.

I agree completely. I don't want to live a lie ever again, hiding parts of myself makes the implication that I'm somehow less than I ought to be, unworthy of approval, and I'm not willing to accept that. And along what you said, although giving out small pieces of yourself to people who don't reciprocate can be hurtful, the growth and love you recieve from those who do reciprocate make it worthwhile.
belenen ══╣beautiful╠══
I also don't feel that it's my job to protect people from the aspects of my personality that they might not like.

Angelina once said, "It's not my responsibility to have a personal life that everybody's comfortable with." I love that quote.

I'm glad to know you. You are so amazing. ♥
free2be ══╣╠══
Thanks
I found your journal while looking through a friends listing of friends recent posts. I look forward to reading more of your entries; they are so unique and therefore helpful.

Openness and transparency are important to me as well because I am happiest when I am most "me", however at times I feel as if I am on display and become uncomfortable. I started a livejournal to explore this and other parts of me.

This entry of yours is I think one of the best writings I've found in a year of livejournaling. I'm adding you so I won't miss your entries and I'd appreciate any comments on my journal as well.

I don't know if you will receive an email on this comment as livejournal has been having trouble recently sending out emails. Oh well, we'll see!
belenen ══╣garrulous╠══
Re: Thanks
Thank you for the lovely compliments! I will be sure to check out your journal. ;-)
on communication, social justice, intimacy, consent, friendship & other relationships, spirituality, gender, queerness, & dreams. Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.
Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.