Trust and honesty are a funny thing. We are the ones that have an internal representation of what trust and honesty mean to us as individuals. Our value system around trust and honesty differs greatly from each and every individual around us. Our expectations of how truthful or honest we expect another person to be greatly relies on our view of the world and greatly relies on our experience of trust and honesty. Our view and experience of the world is created from our filters.
Filters=experience+perceptions+knowledge+understanding+state of mental flexibility. Our filters determine how we see and experience the world around us. Think about how your filter altered the experiences, interactions, thoughts, and the perception of each experience during it and after it. Every single experience, word, thought, and belief, from conception to now, make up who you are, influence the choices that you make, and how you make them. It is amazing how quickly we can trust another person and how honest we can be with another person and equally amazing how quickly trust and honesty can be broken. It is also amazing at how long it can take to rebuild it, if ever for some. I think the reason for that is once we have learned that another person has the capability of lying, being dishonest, hiding the truth, or whatever else you want to call it, it tends to makes us question their integrity, their character, and to question our expectations that we set for that person. The thing to think about is, are we questioning them or in many ways are we questioning ourselves as well? I think is a very strong mix of both.
It can be easy to point the finger at another. But think about the times that you have lied, either to “save/protect” another or yourself. Think about the times you left pertinent information out to sway the story or to elicit different emotions from the other person and yourself. Justification is a slippery slope. An expectation of honesty and truthfulness can add momentum to barreling down that slope. It is no different than when we idolize someone, we are the ones who put them on the pedestal they did not put themselves there, we did, and then when they do something to “knock themselves down” we end up extremely disappointed in them and feel let down. Our thoughts then become that of intrigue, questioning, apprehension, and an underlying mistrust. It is difficult to realize that people, all people, are capable of lying, all people are capable of being dishonest, all people are capable of mistrust, just as all people are capable of honesty, truthfulness, integrity, and trustworthiness.
So, the question is, where does the issue lie? Is there some part of it that we blame ourselves for at an unconscious level, for trusting that person or do we blame that person all by themselves for lying, being dishonest, or hiding something? None of us are immune to breaking trust or being dishonest, I would venture to say that every single person on this earth has done it to another individual and/or themselves at some point in their life. For many, if not all of us, trust and honesty have somewhat of a sliding scale and the measurement varies with each person and from situation to situation. One person thinks they are doing the right thing and the other does not see it that way at all. Once honesty or truthfulness has been deemed to be broken, what happens next? Who is the one that seems to suffer from that infraction? It depends on how invested each person is in that interaction, relationship, or situation. Both parties can experience hurt, anguish, guilt, and sadness due to that experience. How does one rebuild? What is the next step? How can the deepest healing take place? We each want forgiveness and to “get past it,” right? So, how come it is so hard for us to show that to another person? How do we completely forgive dishonesty, lying, or broken trust? How do we change that filter that we are perceiving that person through? How do we get back to the place of being able to trust that person again? Does it start with fully trusting ourselves, fully trusting our own discernment? Does it depend on the other person’s actions and words, and how long do we have to hear and see the “right” things before we are able to instill a level of trust towards that person once again?
Only complete forgiveness allows us to truly let go of something, to rebuild, and to heal at the deepest level. Forgiveness is for the sake of our own well-being. To forgive another is one of the strongest and most courageous things we can do for ourselves and I think there is one thing that completes it all, forgiving ourselves as well. Forgiveness is a process and one that can be practiced over and over again, the more it is practiced the deeper it goes and the stronger it makes us, enabling us to be more and more courageous and free from feelings of being hurt, devalued, resentful, or angry. Forgiveness does not mean that what the person did is okay. It is allowing you to pardon that person for making a mistake. This does not mean that you have to continue in any sort of relationship or interaction with that person. It means that you are only acknowledging the behavior and moving on from that experience, either in relationship with that person or not. Either way is okay. Forgiveness is also about learning, learning the patterns and behaviors of each individual we interact with. Not every individual holds the same value system around trust and honesty as we do, and if their value system is too far from ours and we experienced an infraction, then it is our duty to forgive them, and forgive ourselves. We then take that experience, those “learnings” and those lessons and we move forward. We let go of the past and let go of negative emotions to move forward. If the person’s value system matches ours and/or if their behaviors and words have changed to match ours and we feel comfortable moving forward in relationship with that person then we get to move forward without the past baggage of any unforgiveness. When we decide to forgive, we get move forward with lessons, “learnings,” and a platform on which to build an even stronger relationship with ourselves and the other person. If you feel you are unable to forgive, maybe take a look at this: Are you putting yourself on a pedestal? And if you are unable to forgive, do you truly know what forgiveness is all about?
If you want to learn more about forgiveness, click here: Forgive
Form a ritual of forgiveness by listening to my “Forgiveness Process” recordings and read “The Pursuit of Forgiveness.”