Tuesday, May 18, 2010

You can't trust a man...

I've learned to trust myself, to listen to truth, to not be afraid of it and to not try and hide it. Sarah McLaughlin
When I was a little girl growing up my mother would always caution, "Don't trust strangers." As I grew into my teens she became more specific, "You can't trust men."

That's silly, I thought. Don't trust men is like saying, don't trust people. And I live in a world where trust is an essential ingredient of working harmoniously with others.

And I continued to mature and grow and age and live my life as best I could. And as I grew and aged and lived, I carried with me this underlying belief that I didn't even realize I had -- I carried with me the thought, I can't trust men. (They're only after one thing -- and we all know what that is don't we!)

Several years ago, in an attempt to smooth out the rough spots (of which there are many) in my relationship with my mother, I decided to ask her to tell me her life story. She met my father during the war. She was born and raised in India and he was there on a month long leave from the war where he was serving in North Africa. They met, two weeks later married and one week later he went back to the war.

"Weren't you scared?" I asked her.

"Oh yes," she replied in her soft lilting voice. "The nuns told us not to trust these soldiers. They told us they would come and take advantage of us and then disappear."

I was startled. It wasn't quite what I had meant. "Weren't you scared he might get killed?"

"Oh. I guess so. Hadn't really thought about it."

What she had focused her thinking on was trust -- or rather lack of it. And unconsciously, in her constant reminders not to 'trust men' had transferred her belief onto me.

Yesterday, as I was thinking about the 'situation' with C.C. I asked myself the question:

As the source of my current experience, the person who has created my current worldview, what underlying belief was I trying to prove?

And the answer was -- You cannot trust a man.

Pretty powerful stuff that!

Because I believe -- consciously believe at least -- that I can.

But within me exists this thought, this idea, this belief deep within my psyche, that I can't trust men. And so, I act out my belief by creating an experience for myself that proves it true. -- Actually, I've got a pattern of experiences that when I look at them with open eyes today, demonstrate how I was creating experiences to prove my belief -- I can't trust men. They're only after one thing.

See, in my 'inner speak', that monkey mind chatter place where I busily squirrel away convoluted thinking that trips me up in everyday, I tell myself -- I work hard at being open and honest. I know how to communicate. I know what it takes to be in relationship. It's 'him' who doesn't. It's his stuff that's making it impossible for us to have an intimate relationship. (This is a universal 'him', not a particular person him -- and that's the challenge of underlying beliefs rotting in my psyche. They are not particular to a situation. They are global in their attributions and affect upon me."

Uh huh.


Whatever you say kiddo.

Reality is -- I cannot create someone else's experience. I cannot be accountable for someone else's journey. Like me, they are responsible for their path. And like me, they have their own beliefs that inhibit them from experiencing life differently than what they're getting -- or not.

And the reality is -- my belief which I hadn't really identified before, at least not in its power to create my reality as something I don't want, interfered with my being loving, caring, honest and compassionate in any relationship. It kept me from being trusting and trustworthy as I hammered away at someone else's walls -- at their perceived, through my eyes, inability to be what I wanted them to be -- How can I trust a man who doesn't open his heart to me?

Conversely - how can someone open their heart to me when I am creating an experience to prove he can't? -- ask my former husband and he will confirm, this was a common theme in our relationship.

I have been operating on a deep level triggered autopilot -- and now, I get to decide... do I want to keep that belief or not?

We seek to prove our deepest beliefs true.

I didn't know I believed, deep within me, that I couldn't trust men. In my knowing today, I get to explore what I want to do with that belief.

What to do with it is pretty simple. Get rid of it! It does not serve me well. It does not create experiences worth living it up for and it does not create trust within me and around me.

The how to releasing it comes when I live fearlessly in the now. By creating my experience today to reflect what I believe is true today -- We are all connected. All on this journey of our lifetimes. Seeking to be joyful. Seeking to love and connect and know our true selves.

Today I embrace my truth. I am a woman of worth. A magnificent human being on the journey of her lifetime, getting real with creating an experience of joy and abundance in her life today. I am a gentle woman trusting in her capacity to create experiences in this moment that reflect her beauty with love and compassion.



Joyce Wycoff said...

Oh, those early voices how powerfully their soft whisperings shape us. Good for you for listening to your own voice and trusting it.

Billy Coffey said...

Trust is such a difficult thing to both give and receive. Experience will teach us at some point that we can't really trust anyone, and that's a lesson some people unfortunately learn earlier and with more damage than others. I was like that once. But then I realized that if I couldn't trust, then I couldn't love. And if I couldn't love, I couldn't be loved.

That was a great post, Louise.

S. Etole said...

Funny how we can hold such deep seated beliefs and not be aware of it ... heart blessings for you as you journey.

Maureen said...

Great post, because it speaks to a place deep inside each of us and calls out that place to be acknowledged and finally let go. Trusting ourselves to let it go.


Anonymous said...

i think that we can not trust any person to be everything that we want. but, we can trust them to be what they are.

i think we can love someone the way they are. but, we can not always live with them.

but, for two people to live together, both have to be willing to live-with what the other one is.
and to really be able to accept that, and be able to live with it.

i married a dead-head concert goer, engineer. now he is a classic music listener, winemaker.
he is a different person, and i have changed on him as well.
i believe in Jesus, he does not.
it is difficult at times.
he loves me.
i love him.
we can not completely trust each other, because we are human.
i am not everything he wants, he is not everything i want. but, we are here, together, getting old, caring what happens to the other as we go through it all.

you are truly a woman of worth.

when i have heard other catholics or ex-catholics talking, it sounds like some nuns had this way of looking at things. i can guess that there are many reasons why they became nuns. and that can be a lot of research within itself.

my mother, a catholic as a child and sexually molested by a stranger in a library when she was seven, had some issues. i also seem to remember her warnings about men. it came from her past,
but, i think now, that she said it because she cared about me.
yet, like you say, it moves forward to the next generation.
some of her reactions and thinking i am sure came through to me.
also some of her mental problems.
i am sure i have said some odd things to my daughters at times.

i think that you are right about living in today, in moment. not letting fear rule. seeking to love and connect and to know the truth. to find compassion and love and to share it as well. to recieve light and reflect light into the darkness. to love and to be loved...

and put trust where we think trust should or can be.

and i agree with susan e.

Kathleen Overby said...

Processing for goodness in your future. :) Brave girl.

Anonymous said...


one question to consider, as you look back on these days from a different vantage point many months from now, is whether the things you do, write, say and act-out right now are the best things for you, ones that serve your best interests in the long term?

as for your treatise on trust - I suspect the same debates on trust and how we get what we want from each other without giving in or giving away all our strength .. has been going on for about 40,000 years, from the days when grunting and groaning were the primary communication tools

now, we have blogs, on which to post thoughts - a public pillory of the modern era, a place where we can hoist ourselves and others on a pitard for all to see

when you do that - about your past and 'that bad man', I fully understand

but right now, why the spilling? is it for you, for him - or for his nose to be rubbed in it?


Jeff Jordan said...

For some reason, (maybe a half-empty perspecitve) I tend to always distrust first and believe only when there is no other option (men or women). Maybe it's ghosts of my past, maybe it's more nature than nurture, maybe it's because I can't trust myself.

It's a hard way to live...damaging to those around me I'm sure...maybe my greatest vice.

Glad I read this today...now. I needed it...and you are a person of great "worth-a magnificent human being." I wish I could believe that about myself...still have some time...I hope.

knoxy said...

This spoke to me in so many ways. Thank you so much for trusting us to share yourself so openly. xo