On January 1st, in the spirit of everything zen, I made myself a list of mantras to repeat this year. They are meant to guide me toward achieving greater personal peace in 2012. I printed the list out and stuck it on my closet door as a daily reminder. My seven mantras are:
2) Be Grateful
5) Be Still
6) Practice Acceptance
7) Listen Beyond the Words
I plan to blog about each of these seven mantras at some point during the year. Today I am struggling mightily with the idea of trust, so it gets to be my first victim.
I am a trusting person. I want to believe the best about people. Most times I’m not disappointed. Sometimes, though, I get kicked around for trusting some who should not have been supplied the benefit of the doubt. To combat my very trusting nature, the universe provided me with a defense mechanism, the ability to not care what most others think of me. When most people break my trust, it doesn’t bother me. In my life, there are a mere handful who are capable of hurting me by pointing out or taking advantage of my weaknesses. Unfortunately, some of the handful have pushed me to a point where I doubt them.
And, this is why trust is on my mantra list. Sometimes I feel like Charlie Brown with that stupid football. He knows in his heart that Lucy will pull that football away each time. He tries to be strong, to deny her the opportunity. He knows he will end up feeling like a fool. He knows she thinks he’s an idiot for falling for it repeatedly. But, Charlie Brown is ultimately a kind soul with a trusting heart. He gives in to his optimism, and let’s Lucy hold the ball for him. Of course, she does pull it away at the last second and laughs as he lands on his back with a resounding thud. With the people I love, I am Charlie Brown. I want so badly to trust them that I give second and third and fourth chances. It’s careless. Sometimes I get hurt and wind up cursing myself for not trusting my instincts and protecting myself against what I was absolutely certain would happen. But, I’m Charlie Brown, so I give in to the idea that people can change and that what has happened before may not necessarily happen again.
What I am pondering today, though, is this: am I optimistic for giving second and third chances to people who’ve repeatedly proven me wrong or am I insane for putting myself time and time again into the same situation and expecting different results? I suppose there are plenty of people in my life who would opt for the insanity defense in my case. But, I can’t help but think that what keeps me giving people the benefit of the doubt is that I deeply want them to rise to the occasion and not kick the crap out of me again even though they know they can. I’m still waiting for that moment of triumph when I know that my risk in trusting was worth it.
I guess I am too much like Charlie Brown, doomed to endure those ridiculous, epic-fail place kicks at the hands of that conniving Lucy. Even though I get hurt, I’m simply not ready to close myself off and give up on the people I love. It might be a trifle hippie, love-child, Woodstock-ish, but I’m just going to sit around singing Kumbaya and participating in trust falls until the day I don’t fall flat.