This got me thinking about trust, optimism and our relationship with trust in this life... How do we look at this world? Do we see people from our own projections or do we experience them in the moment? Do we generalize and put people in boxes or do we stay open and explore?
It's impossible that in life everything would go according to plan. People will disappoint us; they will hurt us and we will feel angry or sad from time to time.
The question is this: will we keep the situation isolated to the person who caused it or will we extrapolate to their gender, race, or any other demographic?
I used to say - "I don't trust men" or "All men are selfish" etc. If you think about it, it's impossible to know if "ALL men" are selfish. For this to be true, I need to experience 4 billion men on this planet, which is plain impossible. Technically and strictly speaking, the people who we experience in our lives are a tiny proportion of the world population so any generalization is most likely not applicable in all cases. But we jump to these conclusions very easily, sometimes after one experience and sometimes after a few.
The brain does something really funny (maybe not so funny) when one says these things to self as absolute facts. Next time, they see any member of that group (in this case a "man"), their brain will interpret it as a threat and cause a fight or flight or freeze response (the intensity of it will vary but nonetheless the response will remain the same). To understand why this occurs, you can read more about brain's handling in my blog The Anatomy of Childhood Sexual Abuse Trauma.
When I was operating from that mode, this is how my life was:
* I was always on guard (ready to fight, flight or freeze)
* My muscles were constantly in an "ON" position
* I was always on the lookout for who would hurt me next
* I didn't get close to people and I didn't allow them to get close to me
* I wasn't vulnerable
With therapy and healing work, my mindset started to change. I started to see the value of "innocent until proven guilty". I learned to recognise that the men that were around me weren't the men who abused me. This was a great realization.
Men who were around me weren't the men who abused me!
I started to relax and started to give men a chance. My adrenaline started to calm down and my fight/flight/freeze response started to improve.
Granted that sensibility and reasonableness is important. If you don't have any reason to doubt then don't. but if you do, then don't keep being in that place.
The important thing is to start that internal relationship with yourself where your ability to discern improves. Instead of a blanket "I trust all" or "I trust none", you could start to listen to your inner sense rather than being driven from the past.
In my next week's blog, I will share how you can listen to your inner voice in the mayhem of millions of thoughts that circle inside our brain. Stay tuned...
Read Part 2: Beginning the Journey of Trust
* Help the abused take charge of their own healing
* Empower partners of the female survivours
* Help prevent sexual childhood abuse