I don’t want your silver.

Dear Pogue,

I think one of the things in life that I find hard is trusting people. I am sure that this trait has been preceded by a lot of life experiences on all levels.

I don’t trust easily. So when I tell you that ‘I trust You’, please don’t make me regret it.

Anon

I ask myself whether, in life in general, I have found that trust given has been an investment well made? The answer has to be “Not really”. Just take a while to listen to the news broadcasts. Political figures who say one thing and deliver another, if, indeed, they deliver anything at all. Commentators who, full of conviction, try to draw me into their agenda. Advertisements more concerned with monetary gain than anything that could be mistaken for integrity. Celebrities whose own ego proves far more important than being trusted. Don’t they say, “never meet your hero’s”?

But I can live with all this.

I am able to withdraw from the wider world. I can do introvert for a while allowing me to regroup and realign. Although there will always be exceptions I hope we can agree that the world is not an overly kind place. Thank God for the exceptions. Till now I have been able to handle the world. What I have occasionally failed with are those relationships that I have allowed to come within my space and then have proven untrustworthy. Now those really suck!

I don’t know. Maybe you’re the type who can let people in and then hold them just beyond that place where you could be hurt. You’re certainly more social than I am. Me, I am slow to consider a person a friend. I will grow or evolve into that relationship. The long game. But as I play the game things are getting deeper, more personal, more transparent. And my expectation is that these things will be reciprocal. Not that I want “tit for tat” if you understand what that means? It’s not about I gave you this, so, now I want a return of similar. I fully appreciate our capacities to share, to be possessed of deep feelings, to own our own sacred truths will vary from person to person. You’re not me, and me, I’m not you. But doesn’t the verb ‘reciprocal’ sit within the definition of relationship? Ok, so I give you gold and you gave me silver, but that was the thing of greatest value that you possessed. I can honour that.

However, if you want to come to a place where I am going to give you gold and, despite having plenty yourself, you’re offering me silver, I am going to start asking questions. I need to be asking those questions.

Just so you know, I am speaking to myself at this point. Why? Well it’s in my nature to think the best of people. To talk to the best parts of them and…well I guess I have come to learn that there is a real need to talk to the worst parts as well. There is a real need to be prepared to say ‘No, I don’t think this is working because…’ and then name that behaviour, attitude, deed, whatever.

If I get anything other than an honest open engagement at that point, I’m outta here. Life really is too short to spend it on those who will use you and abuse your trust. Those that really have far less interest in you than you have in them. They need to go.

We end up in toxic relationships because we don’t stand up for ourselves early on when red flags occur. We let them slide because we fear losing a companion. How long do you let disrespect & neglect go? At some point you have to develop healthy barriers for how you’re going to be treated.

Sylvester McNutt III

Then there’s that new method of diminishing a relationship. Sit in any social setting where there are people and see. See the device placed in easy reach and then watch how often a particular persons eyes are diverted from their companion to the screen and if a text or tweet appears, well that other person is put on hold! For me, as soon as another person places a device in view a statement has been made concerning how much they have, or are willing to invest into this relationship. It’s gold and silver again except this time it may be gold and lead! So, if my presence only fills the intervals between a variety of digital acquaintances, is the establishing of trust even a possibility? Think. If your only playing a poor second when you are in their presence, how important are you to them when you’re not there? And if you’re not important to them why would trust even be a thing?

Relationships are harder now because conversations become texting, arguments become phone calls, and feelings become status updates.

Www.holiness.tumblr.com

Trust is the fine membrane that holds a true relationship together. And, here’s a question, do we even use the term ‘relationship’ too lightly? Does the term cover off too larger area of human interaction with the intimate interaction I’ve been writing about sitting at one end? If relationship is a spectrum should trust even be considered at the lowest end? Is trust applicable only once a certain level has been reached? To be sure, there exists a point at which a relationship will progress no further without trust. That’s when things should be reciprocal, when vulnerability and risk take the stage. That’s the point at which we need to measure whether the investment of that ‘other’ is matching ours or are we bearing the cost? That’s when we reap the reward of shared intimacy or we find the pain of unfulfilled promise and we need to act.

There is a verse in the Bible I believe, that says about not being unequally yoked, believer with unbeliever, the imagery of the oxen pulling the plough which, if unequally matched will pull the plough to one side. This instruction can be applied across most of life where unequal pairing will inevitably lead to diminishing performance. So with relationships and trust. If both parties are not equally invested. If both have riches and one gives gold and the other silver the thing will never run true no matter how much desire or effort you invest.

Relationships are about trust. If you have to play detective, then it’s time to move on.

Anon

Cut your losses and walk away. Live to have relationship another day.

Yours, sounding a little cynical,

Wic

2 thoughts on “I don’t want your silver.

  1. I also usually want to appeal to the best in people. It doesn’t always go as planned and I would wish to have that soft trusting heart hardened a whole lot. I agree with toxic relationships being prolonged because we don’t have the courage to speak out for ourselves, always holding on to the thought that the beloved will changed even though change seems slow in coming.
    I like the quotes you add to the post, drive the point home. Well-thought out post, Wic, I don’t think you are in any danger of sounding cynical yet.

    Liked by 1 person

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