Defining Trust by Toni Monsey

In this two-part blog series on trust, let's start off by defining trust since we may have different perceptions of what trust is.  This will lay the foundation for the powerful connection of the Mutual Awakening Practice (see Patricia Albere and Me to We Workshop) and the restoration of trust (see Mutual Trust course).  

Trust is the invisible foundation that affects our relationship to ourselves, others, and to life itself. It's what allows us to feel safe in our relationships, to relax, to feel confident, be resilient, to act with power and effectiveness, and to feel free to love and create together.

Below are three types of trust that are present in our everyday lives:

Basic Trust is a primal, pre-conscious conviction that we are one with the essential goodness of existence, and can never be separated from that. It’s a belief that the universe is ultimately good.  

We are born with basic trust, this innate confidence that we will be held, protected, nurtured, understood and loved -- much like the assumption a flower has that there will be sunlight and rain.  We feel at home in the universe and trust that this is our natural condition.

However, as we develop and grow in our families, we all lose this effortless connection with Basic Trust, to one degree or another.  The good news is that we can recover our relationship with it because it is inherent - it is part of us.

While Basic Trust is unconditional, Relative Trust is conditional.

Relative Trust is the kind of trust we most commonly experience - the trust between ourselves and other people.  Relative Trust depends on our integrity, our intentions, our behaviors, our humility and our capabilities.  It is what we create and nurture in relationships through competence and character.  When present, the people in the relationship are aware of each other's needs, expectations, and desires, and are willing to support each other honestly and with love.

The final kind of trust I want to talk about is Mutual or Evolutionary Trust. This kind of trust is based on mutual commitment, and it includes the recognition that we will have breakdowns in trust, but that when we do, we will discover together what is needed to restore and generate greater trust.  It’s also a commitment to continue to develop our capacity to relax into basic trust, together and individually.

In this blog, I'll focus primarily on Basic Trust.  It is the type of trust that begins to be restored when we do the Mutual Awakening Practice, a practice we will explore deeper in part two.  

As I said above, Basic Trust is invisible, so how do we recognize Basic Trust when it’s present?

When Basic trust is present, it:

• allows us to feel relaxed, at peace with ourselves, and with the situation that we're in.

• we feel a kind of unquestioned confidence that the universe will provide us with what we need, and that the things in our lives are workable.  It may not be perfect, but we feel we can work with the unfoldment of our lives, and that we're an integral part of the unfoldment.

• we can let go of our position, our viewpoint more easily.

• we're able to take risks without fear.

• and even if things are disappointing in our lives, we feel like we can rally and carry on and create the next thing. There's a kind of resilience and a sense that life and we are in a dance that works.

Without Basic Trust:

• we live our lives very defensively, and we're in conflict with ourselves, with other people, and with life.

• we become more selfish and more self-centered…. more "it's all about me."

• we get busy with trying to make sure that we have what we need and that we're going to get what we want, that it's going to work out, that we're going to be protected.

• there's a sort of driven quality to our existence, to our daily life.

Without Basic Trust, things don't work smoothly in our lives, and our relationships are mired in a struggle, tension, and misunderstanding.

See if you can begin to “see” where Basic Trust is present, and where it’s missing.  

Because we lose Basic Trust through relationships with others in our early life, the only way it can be restored is through relationships with others in our lives now.  We need one another in order to restore this kind of trust.  The Mutual Awakening Practice is one way we can begin to do that for ourselves, and one another.