I was talking to a friend of mine tonight. He went through a pretty bad breakup with another friend of mine. It's been a tough time for both of them. I'm grateful I've been able to keep them both in my life.
In this discussion with my friend, we were talking about trust. One of the reasons why we have stayed friends is because he is able to talk to me about his life and I keep it just to me. He was saying how hard that was to find.
In yesterday's musing, I talked about rumors and gossip. Sure, it's easy to sit with a friend over coffee and say "You know what I hear about so and so?" and off we go. I have been absolutely guilty of this in the past, dear readers, so I write as someone who has bit their tongue after speaking.
There is something about spreading news that we seem to love in this society. Look at the gossip shows that are out there. And the gossip magazines are full of people that betray each other to sell their story. The trust that was once had been between the two is gone in the breakup or falling out and now all that information is fair game.
Once secrets get told, they are no longer secrets, even if you say, "Don't tell anyone." The sacredness of the information is gone because you broke the bond of keeping it silent. It takes on a life of its own, sometimes a twisted one.
Trust is a gift that is not freely given. In this society, we talk about many people with "trust issues." Well, isn't that because of betrayals or hurts inflicted? Enough of those happen and then the guard and the wall goes up. Connections are superficial and people are truly scared to place their vulnerabilities in other's hands.
But what if we looked at trust as a sacred gift? If we thought about what people tell us in confidence as a fragile, beautiful care package, we can hold on to it and let the other person know they have comfort that will take care it like they do.
Imagine if we could trust each other to tell each other the truth and treat our relationships with care, love and respect? Even if we delivered feedback or criticism with honesty and care, the other person would know that we are presenting ourselves in truth. All of these qualities - truth, trust, love, care and respect help relationships to flourish beyond what we think we are capable of.
Think about when you're about to say something - is it helpful? Is it hurting someone? Is it going to tarnish what relationship you have? Stop for a moment before sharing. Maybe that trust someone placed in you is more important.