To recap, simple trust is the kind of trust that most of us, most of the time, take as our paradigm. It is unthinking and unreflective-unthinking acceptance. It is the absence of suspicion, and demands no reflection, no conscious choice, no scrutiny, and no justification. It is naïve trust.
Blind trust is denial. It is essentially self-deceptive. It ignores the evidence and carries on. It is a misdirected survival strategy.
I think it is very instructive and helpful to reflect upon your life and notice where simple trust and blind trust have had an impact.
As I look back on my life and where I notice simple trust and blind trust have operated, many things come to mind.
One thing I notice is that at times, when my simple trust did not produce the intended result, I would morph it into blind trust. And, I also know that very often, I just automatically made that shift without really thinking about it or being aware or mindful of the potential downfall. I notice a frequent connection between embracing blind trust and also exhibiting unawareness. I guess that should not have come as a shock-after all, it is called “blind” trust. It stands to reason that I often would be blind to how I am holding it.
It seems that looking at my failures are the most obvious arenas to notice simple or blind trust at work.
What is the benefit of looking at this in your own life? If we can become aware of how this operates in us, then we can become more mature and aware in future actions and interactions. We can notice what before we were blind to. Then we can be proactive in having the interaction or relationship turn out.
I think back to when I got married to my wife, Katie, in 1979. I would refer to the first five years or so of our time together-both in our marriage and in our vocation, which at that time was working with a small ministry-as blissful naivete. We were all-out committed to change the world for the better, and I was completely convinced we were on the right track, and loving it. I even went “part time” in the ministry and started a business on the side about three years in. But, I still spent full time hours in the ministry work So, at that point, I was working full time ministry and building a business full time. My average workweek was between eighty and a hundred hours…week in and week out. Plus, we had two boys along the way. I thought that was all great and wonderful. All the way up until both Katie and I hit the wall. We both got sick, and were flat on our back for a period of time. We eventually recovered, but it took some time-years.
I was operating in simple trust initially-just figuring it would all turn out, as long as we were doing our best and working hard and doing good, and all that. But, I think it turned into blind trust a few years into it. I dismissed the insanity of my work schedule, even though Katie brought it to my attention several times. I figured it was working pretty well, and both ministry and business were working, so what was the problem? I even bought a second small business.
This was all based on what I called “faux optimism.” Today, I call it blind trust, not to mention stupid. I didn’t stop to really listen to Katie’s intuition. I thought as long as I worked hard and things were going well, that everything would turn out. I ignored the warning signs-exhaustion, excessive driven-ness, mindless optimism, the normal stress of a growing family. I just ignored them all. Until reality caught up with us, and then we went through what I would say were by far the most difficult five years of our lives.
Over the next several years, I began to recognize the obvious lessons from that time period, of which there were many. But I never really thought of it in terms of trust-simple trust, blind trust. I had not even heard of those concepts, much less authentic trust.
It took a few more significant pratfalls through the years before I finally realized I needed to STOP and really dig into what I needed to learn regarding drivenness, the potential blind spots in boundless optimism, and being in fast motion as the solution to most anything. But, reflecting upon these times and the way I engaged trust, and what kind of trust I engaged, has created an advanced degree for me in how simple trust and blind trust operate in me. This is the foundation for being able to replace them with authentic trust.
Blind trust and simple trust operate in each of us differently, based on our own individual survival strategies and priorities in life-both conscious and unconscious. There are dozens of different primary survival strategies-each of which produces its own tendencies for simple and blind trust. What represented blindness for me may be completely different than what would represent blindness for you. But, it is a powerful opportunity for rich learning if you are willing to consider they operate in you, and contemplate it.