This picture was taken last Friday on my way to work in the morning. The route I take, which largely involves Fairfield Road, is very scenic. It cuts through a few towns and I see many wonderful forest preserves, wooded areas, and wetlands on my trek. Seeing everything covered in ice and snow makes me long for the days where the heat and summer sun make their way back to the Midwest, the days when I can ride my bike and run through these beautiful places. It will be here before I know it.
This snapshot in particular is of wetlands near the crossing of Fairfield and Bonner Road in Wauconda. I have biked by this location many times and have taken a picture of this very area during the summer months, but have always wanted to capture a morning scene. Even though it took until winter, which is my least favorite month, I am glad I was able to see what I saw. The sun made its way through array of breathtaking, blue clouds and reflected off the frozen lake in the coolest way possible. The three bare trees stood still, like skeletons of what used to be, just waiting for a time when they could be filled with life again. Despite being a miserable time of year where being outside is downright unbearable at times, there are instances where beauty shows its face. This was one of those moments.
Being the thinker (at times over-thinker) I am, I often find my mind wandering to an area many of us struggle with. This area is known as trust. Trust is a very complicated thing to explain, as its intricacies delve deep beyond our surfaces and into who we really are as people. Despite being difficult to explain, trust in its simplest form involves reliance, care, belief or confidence in something or someone, faith, etc. Trust is something that allows us to us to feel safe, something which, if violated, can prevent us from entering that arena ever again. If we somehow find our way back into a place where we can trust again, it is because we have allowed ourselves significant time to heal and have come to a place or have encountered someone who has allowed us to feel like we can trust again. The tricky thing about this is that there is no time table for when this trust can be re-gained. It is up to the individual to know when they are ready.
When it comes to my past, my insecurities, and the inner struggles I have dealt with over the years, trusting other people is something that has always been extremely difficult for me to do. I have always had my guard up and been afraid to allow people to know me on a deeper level, not because I had been hurt before, but because I did not love myself fully. I always had a big heart and so much to offer, but I never thought it was enough due to the unrealistically high expectations I had set for myself. The lack of love I had for myself not only distorted the view I had of myself, but really held me back from establishing trust with people.
There are others who are unable to establish trust for a different reason entirely. The most common reason I see is a violation of trust, meaning they once allowed themselves to trust someone, laying everything on the line and being so openly vulnerable, only to be crushed in the end. These people were betrayed in such a way that caused them to become skeptical of everyone who walked in their lives moving forward. They keep their walls up, their armor on, and every potential trustworthy person at an arms length, as the sting of another possible heartbreak seems unbearable.
Whether you have been in my situation, a situation where you have had your trust violated, or both, it is important to know that it is possible to trust again. How do I do that, you ask? Well, the only way this goal can be accomplished is by taking a risk and getting yourself out there again. Believe it or not, there are some pretty great people out there who do not have any ulterior motives or a hidden agenda. There is nothing they need from you. They will not use you and leave you broken and alone. The only thing they want is to see you prosper. They want to be there for you and support you in everything you do. They want to show you that you can be appreciated for who you really are, not someone you pretend to be.
Trust like this may take some time to develop, but isn’t the happiness and comfort that comes along with it worth the wait? I think it is. So if you find yourself in a position where you are struggling to establish trust, do yourself a favor and get back out there. Take the plunge with both feet and allow yourself to go there again. You will be happy you did, and who knows, you may even encounter a joy you never thought existed.