Before getting into the subject of trust, I would like to refer to the way this word translates into Spanish: the word for trust in Spanish is confianza. However, confianza may also translate into English as confidence. Trust and confidence have somewhat different connotations, and the Spanish confianza encloses them both. Hence so necessarily does my concept of confianza.
When I ask myself about Trust instead of answers I get only more questions: Is trust a thought or a feeling? Is it something in-between? Is it necessary to know something in order to trust in it? Or can we trust in the face of the unknown? Why do we trust? These are some of the questions that arise in my mind and capture my thoughts.
Sometimes I think that fear is contrary to trust, but then not always so. Trust is indispensable in order to confront fear in all its guises: as thoughts, as insecurity or anxiety – though, on occasion, it can also serve to moderate our impulses. But we should not give in to fear, we must trust, trust in something, something that we consider good, but trust at all costs. Every day we encounter situations in which, if we hesitate and stop to consider all the implications, we may be assailed by fear. However we somehow develop a degree of confidence to deal with such situations. Let’s consider the following example: We have to cross over a road with which we are familiar and we have crossed before. It is a wide road with several lanes, it is a very busy road, where vehicles circulate at high speed. It is dangerous to cross it. On this occasion, the traffic suddenly thins out and there’s an opportunity to cross the road, there is enough time. Only one truck is moving towards us, at high speed, but nevertheless it is still possible to reach the other side safely. We know that if we act fast, without any hesitation, things can go all right. We feel a bit uneasy because the truck is moving fast, but we don’t indulge in any thoughts about the possibility of an accident or the risks our action involves. We just do it, like every day, with no problem. We know how to do it and we are used to doing it. The light anxiety we might feel does not affect in the least our determination to cross over the road. We move across at a fast pace and succeed in getting to the other side, as if pushed from behind, without thinking about it, as if suddenly we have forgotten that we are mortal.
We could then say that we succeeded in crossing the road because we did not think about it, that we did it unconsciously. But ¿Could it work the other way around? ¿Could we be confident to cross the road just by summoning confidence in our minds? ¿Could we think confidence, decide that we can get to the other side of the road because we trust ourselves? ¿Could we summon trust in our minds, could we trust rationally?
Trust can be shaken when it is invaded by thought, but it can also grow in excess when it is sustained only by feeling.
Let’s now imagine that one day, like any other day, we find that, by a trick of magic, we cannot cross the road because we don’t know how to, we have forgotten, and so we cannot think how to do it. We don’t know what a truck is, what a road is, but we do know where we want to go. We have forgotten how we used to do it, we have lost the confidence we had, and we have no idea how to get to the other side. Is it possible to trust in the face of the unknown? To move beyond knowledge and not avoid confronting the unknown? To let our intuition guide us, to feel confident, and thus succeed in crossing the road, not just on a mere hunch but out of trust? To dispel all fear and let ourselves be guided by the desire to get to our destination? To listen to our heart, to feel trust?
We tend to trust things that we know and which we are certain about, but we should also be able to trust when the opposite is true. In times like the present, dominated by uncertainty, it is on us to find certainty, and that can only be achieved through trust. To trust the unknown is to be able to shake hands with your eyes closed; to give in order to receive, without knowing what; to move forward towards something we cannot see, not knowing what will happen, trusting in the future and in our destiny, with confidence that everything will be all right, trusting that everything will be all right. I believe that trusting the unknown is the most valuable and honest act of trust.
Trust is the essence behind every action. It is the fundamental element when making a decision, performing an action and bringing an idea down to earth. It is fundamental for accomplishing anything. Let’s picture a seed: we can see the seed, its husk, its texture; we can provide a favorable environment for it to grow, and then see it sprout. But what we cannot see is its inner force. The inner energy that made it grow, and that allowed it to achieve its goal, despite any obstacles it might have encountered. That energy that we cannot see in the seed is the equivalent of trust when bringing an idea into reality. Something we cannot see, and we might even be unaware of, is however indispensable and essential in order to turn an idea into an action.
Actions can also be prompted by fear and we should be able to discern when we are acting out of fear or out of trust. I don’t know if fear is the opposite of trust, but I do know that it often goes against trust and either defeats it or diminishes its strength. Furthermore, fear has been, from time immemorial, the ordinary tactic of rulers, people in power and other individuals who find no other means to be obeyed, impose their rule and achieve their goals. I dare say that this is happening at present more than ever before. This can only be combatted with trust, trust in ourselves, in the future and in what we believe to be right.
The great battle of trust, individual or social, is against imposed fear. A fear that hangs over us like a dark cloud, hiding the sky and preventing us from perceiving the shining stars, distinguishing between the sun and the moon, knowing whether it is day or night, leading us to believe that there is no way out. But this is not so. We must clear that cloud. All we need is confidence in order to remove the veil that covers our eyes.
Let me now bring up Love in my reflection about trust, because there is no love without trust and no trust without love. Moreover, in a certain way love envelops trust like the outside orange light of a flame envelops its yellow center. And we, to round up the metaphor, are lanterns. We are the carriers and protectors of that flame, of that fire. There are two kinds of trust: one is like an offering, a token of love, that we give to those we love or to those who we know can protect it. This is a flame that is shared and that should be propagated. The other kind of trust is an inner flame, a fire that sustains us and that we should be able to rekindle when necessary. Our goal is to take care of that flame that we offer or receive, and to see that we always fuel our own fire.
To trust in trust, to believe that it is possible to trust. To trust as a separate activity, different from thinking or feeling, but related them. To be able to summon trust when we need it; find it with wide open eyes after removing the veil, or taking a step into the void with closed eyes. To be able to cross over the road without fearing the approaching truck. By delving into and getting to know ourselves, to find our inner force, which will sprout in due time. To carefully preserve our own fire and that which is given to us, and to share our own. We, lanterns, carriers of this precious fire that warms us inside when it is cold and lights our path in the midst of darkness, we have a duty to keep it alive, to look after the flame, for as long as there is one lantern on, there will be light.