I’ve gotten to the point I almost start to sweat when I hear someone say, “Just trust me.”
I suppose it’s from all the disappointments and surprises I’ve experienced when I believed that phrase.

Several years ago I sublet a space to a guy to teach Karate three days a week. When we were setting up our agreement he said the magic words, “Trust me, this will work.” I was just young and naive enough to believe him. After he enrolled three packed classes of students, accepted their parents first month payment, he disappeared. I realized too late, he most likely didn’t even know what a Dojo was.

Since then I have been more cautious with trust. Webster defines trust as the firm reliance on the integrity, ability or character of a person or thing; to have a confident expectation of something or someone. It’s sad to admit, but I extend trust very cautiously.

My mom used to say, “I don’t trust him as far as I could throw him.” She weighed 110 soaking wet, so that wouldn’t have been too far. She also said, “If you want to make sure, without a doubt, something gets done, do it yourself.” I used to think she was a bit cynical, but after being stung a few times, I walk a little more cautiously understanding what she meant.

My heart literally hurts when I hear story after story of trust betrayal in marriages, friendships and families, businesses and even in churches. I’ve seen them all crumble to nothing because of lost trust. Then the betrayed put up invisible walls of protection around themselves keeping all relationships at a distance.

Sadder to me than the actual betrayal is watching the wounded carry around the anger, hurt, and hate for, sometimes, years. I want to hand them an anonymous note that reads: “Put it down. You’ll feel so much better.”

I was so angry with the pretend Karate teacher. Actually, I was more angry with myself for letting someone dupe me. First I had to forgive myself then, I imagined using some moves Mr. Miyagi would be proud of. I put it behind me, and moved on a little wiser.

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