Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Even Greater Than Love

-a flower opens in the heat of a desert day-

Yesterday I had a very difficult conversation with a good friend who was feeling pretty low because someone he trusted a great deal "threw him under the bus." The betrayal of trust was extremely disheartening and a source of intense pain for him. 

Yesterday's conversation got me to thinking about the nature of "trust" among us human beings.  I came across a quote from the 17th century Scottish poet, George McDonald:

To be trusted is an even greater compliment than to be loved

The more I think about it, I actually do believe that "trust" is much more powerful than "love." 

In a famous line from his play, "All's Well That Ends Well," Shakespeare writes: 

Love all, trust few, do wrong to no one

In my life I have loved a lot of people. I haven't always liked the people I have loved (I haven't always had positive or tender feelings for them); but whenever I have acted on their behalf, when I have done good for another, I have "loved" them. 

However, I think "The Bard" offers great insight into human nature when he advises to "love all" but  "trust few."

As I think about it, in my life there are only a few people I have actually, really and truly "trusted." Trust demands so much vulnerability.

When you really trust another human being, you open up your heart to them, believing that you can rely on them to uphold you, to be there for you come what may. When you make yourself vulnerable, you take a risk that you will not be crushed, that you will never be "thrown under the bus" if the person you trusted no longer has use for you. 

There have been many people who I could basically "count on" in my life's journey - people I deemed  unlikely to do me wrong. But there have been only a few people I dared to trust- unabashedly, wholeheartedly trust. 

When we can trust another, we find our deepest joy.  Conversely when trust is breached or betrayed, we feel our deepest pain. Trust is greater than love.

As I sit in my garden once again at the beginning of a new day, I look at a tender little flower that has become so vulnerable by opening up, wide-open to the heat and light of the dawning desert day. 

As I gaze at that one little, tender, and "oh-so-vulnerable" flower, I see such a powerful icon of what "trust" is really all about. 

I have often been asked if I believe in God, but I am always careful in my response because what I want to say is, "No I don't believe in God - I trust God." I don't hold onto church defined "beliefs," required doctrines and dogmas about who "God" is or what God is all about. 

Instead, I trust in the Higher Power, the transcendent universal Holy Presence abiding among all that "is" out here in the desert on the beginning of this new day. Like that flower in my garden, I surrender my heart to the transcendence. I make myself totally, unabashedly vulnerable, knowing that this Divine Presence will never abandon the creation nor ever crush this open-hearted soul.

I am utterly grateful for the people in my life in whom I have placed my trust- people who have never let me down.  I am excruciatingly thankful for the "God" in whom we live and move and have our being -in whom I have placed all my trust. 

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