Early this morning I woke, as I often do, with Dylan curled around my head on my pillow. What was not so usual was that in my sleep, I had laid my hand on the pillow, and he was resting his cheek in my open palm.
Thinking about it as the day progressed, I found myself feeling awed by the unquestioning trust I have enjoyed over the years, both from my pets and, for awhile, from my children.
I’m reminded of a quote I once saw: “Anyone can be a father. It takes someone special to be a Dad.”
Anyone can be a parent, whether it’s to a child or an adopted pet. But not everyone is able to cherish those children in a way which truly justifies the complete trust they put into their caregiver.
Do I always feel I deserve that trust? Those times when I thought I did everything I could, but still lose a cat way too soon, makes me question it. But when I’m able, with the help of my vet, to catch a potentially life-threatening condition so early that it hasn’t had time to do any damage? I’m more grateful that I was able to be there than I am feeling worthy of the trust.
Sure, I feel I’ve gone the extra mile when I spend the money for a special treatment, or use some of the healing techniques I’ve learned to make an older, arthritic cat more comfortable. I also feel more useful when I use those same techniques to ease some pain for my daughter. But deserving? That’s a tough one.
As I see it, trust is earned, but when your infant daughter looks at you with complete trust in her eyes, have you really had a chance to earn it, or does she just trust you because you’ve been taking care of her?
For myself, I’ve learned the hard way not to trust to easily as my trust has been betrayed on more than one occasion. Maybe, as a result, I’ve become a little jaded about trust, both from the standpoints of giving and receiving.
As I grow older, though, I’m learning that trust is a lot like love. It’s better to have trusted and been betrayed a time or three than to never have given your trust at all. The two share some pretty tight bonds because, from where I sit, you can’t have love without trust.
We suffer pain from both misused love and misplaced trust. Often, it makes us pull back into ourselves and fear giving either again. But just as closing ourselves off to pain also closes us off to joy, closing ourselves off to loving and trusting leaves us in a hard, cold place where none of the warmth and goodness in life can reach us either.
Everything we do in life comes with a certain element of risk. The question is, do we take those risks, knowing there’s a chance that we’ll get hurt, but also a chance that the experience will be amazing? Or do we wrap ourselves in cotton wool and just plod through life, merely existing?
I’ve tried both and am here to tell you that taking those bungie jumping leaps of faith are a great deal better in the long run…even the ones that make us go *SPLAT*!
My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for the love and trust I receive.
2. I am grateful to have learned that life is dull and listless without a few risks.
3. I am grateful for a lovely evening out with friends.
4. I am grateful for the things I ticked off of my To Do list today.
5. I am grateful for lots of fun plans for July after a somewhat slow and dreary June.
Love and light.