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Basic trust is fundamental for every relationship, including the one we have with ourselves. Perhaps it’s easier to talk about how others have broken our trust or cannot be trusted. And these are important considerations. But we must also account for our ability to trust ourselves, which might be the more important task.

Of course, trust is initially external. Even before our conscious awareness, or ability to confidently move our own body, we learn to trust our parents will provide for our basic needs. And it’s this trust that allows us to thrive as an otherwise helpless baby. But as we mature we also start to trust our own capacities and learn to stand on our own two feet. An internal trust of ourselves is being forged. And it’s this trust we must continue to build.

For instance, in relationships we often speak about our ability to trust each other and honor our mutual commitments. And while this is something we must still do individually, the focus of trust tends to remain on the relationship and the potential of letting each other down. As such, we might miss the need to practice trusting ourselves.

In many ways, trusting ourselves is simply living with our own integrity, but the emphasis is on the relationship we have with ourselves rather than with others. For example, it is trusting ourselves not to blow up when things don’t go our way, not saying Yes to things we know we will regret later, or not faking the peace and staying in situations that are clearly not okay. Whatever it looks like, it’s a commitment to follow through and honor the values we’ve established for ourselves, regardless of others.

Much of our relational resentment and bitterness might be traced back to breaking our own trust more than any shortcomings in the other.

In the end, be trustworthy in all your relationships, including the one with yourself. Confidently trusting yourself frees you to continue loving others well without resentment.

Photo by Zen Chung on Pexels

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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