Trust, Transparency, Honesty, and Mental Health

Trust is an interesting concept—when we open ourselves up and trust another enough to show him or her ALL of our unsightly spots (however many or few there may be) and ALL of our secrets and develop transparency, we are also thereby surrendering control.  No longer will we be in the power position of being the only one able to watch and oversee and monitor all that we say and do, and thus only be accountable to ourselves, we will have now exposed ourselves to another—our partner or spouse—and thus we are also voluntarily making ourselves accountable to that person as well, and to his or her standards.

When we trust, we are, on the one hand, trusting the other person to be fair and just and reasonable in his or her standards and expectations, because we are opening ourselves up to the other person’s feedback, ideas, perspective, scrutiny, questions, even criticisms. 

On the other hand, when we trust another, we are also trusting ourselves to be consistent and to be able to maintain our identity or sense of self and not to be so fragmented or compartmentalized and internally divided and inconsistent that we’re always fighting ourselves such that our right hand doesn’t know what the left is doing, or that we’re always reverting back and forth between our healthy self and our sick self.  Trust, first and foremost requires—as well as helps to reinforce and foster—a consistent and coherent sense of self—a consistent and coherent healthy and growth-oriented self. 

Lack of trust in a relationship is a serious issue.  If we are in an intimate relationship and we honestly can’t trust our partner because he or she is unreliable or un-conscientious or un-principled or unstable and or has burned us repeatedly in the past and has done nothing to take responsibility for those violations of trust and correct them and re-earn and re-establish trust, then how truly intimate—or healthy!— can or will that relationship ever be?

And if we’re the person in the relationship who can’t trust ourselves because we’re internally divided and inconsistent and have not yet developed a largely coherent and integrated self or identity, then by being in a relationship and not being honest, open, transparent, and seeking to become more and more trustworthy, we are simply hiding out and enabling the sick and weak part of our self that wants to keep us internally divided and inconsistent.  Because, ultimately in such a situation, trust is a matter of conscience—it’s inexorably connected to the growth and development of a healthy conscience—and so to opt not to try and become a person worthy of trust is to be making the choice—either consciously or unconsciously—to forsake growing up and maturing emotionally and developing our conscience and developing a healthier self.


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