TRUST. A five-letter word, that is complex and often hard to explain.  Now I want you to think of the people in your life, who give you happiness, compassion, laughter, and a warm heart. Now, why did you pick these particular people or things? Words can only briefly describe how the feeling of trust develops over time, and is selective to our individual identities and who we place trust with.  By embracing the trust we have in ourselves, we can extend that feeling towards others as well. Building trust is important in any relationship that you share with others, but also with yourself.  Over the years, I have grown to see how trust is such a vital part of teamwork, relationships, and personal growth.  Without that sense of confidence in others and within our own hearts, I would not have such meaningful experiences as I do now.  

As discussed in my previous FOFV article, I talked about my own experiences as an individual who is perceived as always being positive and happy, yet has the fear of expressing sadness and vulnerability.  Being afraid to share emotions and to have the fear of burdening others with these feelings, is something you should not be ashamed of.  Embrace the ability that you have of demonstrating empathy, compassion, and realness with others, while instilling trust in others that you feel most true with. Strong and meaningful connections with others, while building a foundation of trust and respect is something I think about each and every day.  To trust someone or something (like my dog Ocean!), is like having your heart being freed and embraced.  As a teenager, I found it challenging to be raw and real with the people around me, because I hadn’t yet developed a sense of trust that would foster the comfort of ‘opening up’.  High school friends were the only people that I shared connections with, outside of family which created a lot of dependency on them when it came to sharing secrets and stories.  Once I started university, many of those friends left, and it became a new life challenge to find new people that I could trust.  

Imagine a timid, shy, and unconfident 18 year old girl, entering university for the first time… I am in fear for this girl as I think about it, but I was her just a few years ago.  Now, fast forward to the new, older, and more confident version of Wave.  It took a couple of years to build my own inner confidence, before I began to move forward in seeking out others who I could develop trusting relationships with.  After my first few semesters of university, I felt uninvolved and alone.  I hadn’t made many friends in my classes, and did not join any on-campus clubs or attend any events.  I was afraid to put myself out into the campus world, and challenge myself to meet other people on my own. There was no one to share all my personal stories, exciting updates, and experiences with, because many of the people I met were there for just the semester.  I was frustrated that I did not have many close friends to share the meaningful conversations with, because everything felt surface level.  I could not bear the sense of emptiness, lack of emotional investment, and disconnection with people that I couldn’t have deep and meaningful conversations with.  I was continually seeking for fulfilling, loving, and meaningful relationships, where I could have important and deep conversations.  

How do you describe that feeling when you’re around someone that you trust?  Warmth? Compassion? Connection? Over these years, I have crossed paths with incredible people that make me feel like I am in a safe place, and create a space where I can be myself and only express the true person that I am.  In their presence, I feel a sense of security, warmth, comfort, and happiness. The walls that I would often build up in front of me would crumble, and I am able to release all that my heart and mind are tightly holding onto.  The people that I can create these deep connections with, are the ones that remind me to continually grow and become stronger each day. To each and every single person that I have shared a story with, or to be blessed with one of their personal stories, thank YOU. Your courage, trust, and strength is empowering. To every single heart to heart talk, car conversation, long bus ride moment, café/food day and park bench session that I have been a part of, I want to express my immense gratitude for the people that have made this possible.  

Thank you for being genuine, vulnerable, authentic, and real alongside me. Thank you for caring for how I feel, listening to what I have to say, and offering to always reach out when I need it the most.  Most importantly, thank you for being a supporter, an inspiration, and a safe space to be myself.  You will know when you find the people that are your safe space, because that feeling will appear out of nowhere. It may not feel like it at this moment, but that time will come.

“Trust the timing and it will come. You know the trust, by the way it feels”.