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Sunday, May 3, 2009

"I've got your back."

I am assuring you that I am watching out for you. I'm making sure you are safe because I am watching what's behind you when you're busy looking ahead.

"I've got your back." It's an expression of trust.

Lately I've been thinking a lot about trust. Meditating, watching, learning. Essentially, you will trust me because you have experienced my trustworthiness and because you have faith in human nature, and I will trust you similarly. But trust is tricky because it is both an emotional and logical act.

I also "feel" trust. When I identify emotions of companionship, friendship, agreement, relaxation, and comfort, I feel trust.

Emotionally, it is where I expose my vulnerabilities to people, but believe they will not take advantage of my openness. And logically, it is where I have assessed the probabilities of gain and loss, and concluded that the person (or group) in question will behave in a predictable manner.

So trust means being able to "predict" what other people will do in the situations that may occur. If we can surround ourselves with people we trust, then we can create a fertile present and an even better future. But sometimes trust means making an exchange and commitment when we don't have full knowledge about them, their intent, and the things they are offering to us. That's when I rely on those feelings. Only if they are present, may I proceed.

In trust, something is given now but the return is paid back some time in the future. Feeling trust now becomes particularly important, because otherwise we are giving something for nothing. The delay we have placed in the reciprocal arrangement adds a high level of uncertainty which we need to mitigate through trust. And as long as the feelings of companionship, friendship, agreement, relaxation, and comfort flow, I can feel safe in my relationship.

When we trust other people, we are not only giving them something in hope of getting something else back in the future, we are also exposing ourselves in a way that they can take advantage of our vulnerabilities. So trusting is enabling other people to take advantage of you—but expecting that they won't.

I don't need to watch my back around those I trust. But I do need to trust you to watch out for me when I'm focused forward, forging ahead, blazing the trail for both of us. And you need to trust me not to change direction without telling you I've lost the compass. You don't expect me to change the rules of our relationship. You don't expect me to take advantage of your generous nature, or your willingness to wait for reciprocity. You don't expect to feel abandonment, conflict, suspicion, alert, or discomfort.

So think about trust, meditate on how it works, and carefully, consciously build it. Feel for companionship, friendship, agreement, relaxation, and comfort. Let others know you've got their back. If you do, people will give you the world. But know as well, that if you betray trust, sooner or later you will be haunted to the ends of the earth by the ghosts of your conscience. Trust is a sacred bond.
May you be blessed.


  1. Oshun, thank you for the incisive blog about trust. You know, when you're in a bad relationship and see something that looks better, sometimes you jump into it without really doing the background check you should. You get so dazzled by the promises of the new 'guy' that you dismiss any doubts niggling at your brain. You gloss over the fact that he hasn't got a plan for his future and instead revel in the joy of finding something that looks so right!

    You go into the new r'ship with higher expectations than you had the last time and inevitably the new r'ship can't meet the standards. They disappoint you in ways the former r'ship never did.

    The betrayal is more traumatic because you're still bruised from the last r'ship and you start to wonder if maybe you aren't better off going back to the former. At least he has a track record and you can pretty much predict where he is going.

  2. haflcenturymarkMay 3, 2009 at 1:58 PM

    Oshun ,thank you for this reminder of the trust essential to any relationship.
    Loss of trust has a widespread impact as eyes once shaded by promises of the happiness to come,will narrow to question everything associated with those promises.
    It's sad that people do not realize that without trust,there can be no relationship.It's even sadder when there is no concept of how difficult of a task it is to regain trust,once lost.
    Human nature allows us to forgive,but not to forget.

  3. You truly are a wise woman. Thank you for sharing that wisdom

  4. As I have said before Oshun, you speak from and to my heart. Eloquently put and obviously the truth.

    And anywhere, any time, no matter what circumstance - I got your back.


  5. May 4, 2011... and I've still got your back!

  6. All said with the greatest understanding of the philosophy of trust. Summed up in five elegant words. "Trust is a sacred bond." Said by another "you truly are a wise woman" and felt by so many.

    Thanks for the privilege of your wisdom.