July 2017
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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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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.