Have you ever lost trust in someone, been devastated by their dishonesty or disloyalty, harbored anger and sadness, and felt unsafe in their presence?
There is a part of me that doesn’t want to believe the truth, so I ignore the actions, the words, the deceit that are clearly expressed. By shutting my eyes and mind to the deception, I won’t have to ‘do anything’ about it.
I can blissfully skip along, believing the illusion, not wanting to face the reality of being lied to or betrayed.
I remember a friend once telling me he thought my then husband was ‘playing around’ with another woman or women. I waved it off, telling him and myself it wasn’t true.
Some months later, a woman called me to say he had been living with her and her child, but had left her suddenly.
Trust blew up in my face, and I was immobilized. It can’t be true, there is a mistake, we aren’t talking about the same guy. No matter my declarations of ‘it ain’t true,’ it was.
Trust in that man disappeared in a moment, leaving me embarrassed, confused, mad, and sad, but wanting to continue my denial.
As I look back on that time and those feelings, it is clear to me I wanted to save my ego from my blindness, my ignorance, and my stubborn denial of the infidelity.
Surely, I was smarter than this, but obviously not. There had been signs the size of billboards, but I choose not to see them. I didn’t want to have to deal with the changes I would have to make.
That period in my life was a wonderful gift. It forced me to realize what the loss of trust can do to relationships, to individuals, and to the structures we form to protect our beliefs.
I see our nation struggling in the same way I did when confronted with truth. The denial, anger, hostility, threats, tears, and upheaval are shaking the foundation of beliefs in our country
Trust in our leaders, in each other, and in our shared values has eroded, leaving us with questions about what we pledge allegiance to. Are we committed to what we thought our country stood for? Or, have the views and actions of the minority caused us to remove our hand from over our heart and refuse to utter the commitment we once proudly took for granted?
How long will truth be denied? Will it take years, decades, centuries before we embrace the facts and begin the fearless journey to repair the broken connections we had to our country?
Trust is not quickly rebuilt, and often never happens. I’m hanging onto hope we have the courage to look at our beliefs, fears and motivations and see the importance of identifying falsehoods, lies and deceptions.
Reality may be painful, but honesty with one’s self is the bedrock of our sanity and morality.