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Do We Learn to Trust Ourselves by Learning to Trust Others?

I came across a revolutionary thought today about the nature of trust.

In Stacey Lindsay’s article in Maria Shriver’s Sunday Paper, Lindsay profiles Atlanta pastor and Founder of City of Refuge Bruce Deel.

The theme of the article is about rebuilding and honoring trust, things we desperately need in our country. The section, however, that really caught me off guard was the exchange about whether we have to trust ourselves in order to trust others. Deel put it this way when asked the question:

Absolutely. But I actually trust those who I serve or walk with more than I trust myself because I know my history more than I know their history. I know how many times I’ve let myself down. I know how many times I’ve let people around me down. We have to trust ourselves, but more importantly, I believe we learn to trust ourselves better by trusting others.
It may be a bit of a reverse from what this question implies—that we may have to trust ourselves first before we trust others—but I think it is actually the opposite. As I have learned over these 23 years to trust others, I’ve been able to trust my own instincts more. I’ve been able to trust my own motives more. To trust my own drive and why I do what I do more because of what I’ve been able to invest in others in the form of trust.


To learn to trust yourself, first trust others. Rather than looking at ourselves in the mirror and getting comfortable with our own reflection, we must put the mirror down and look out at the world, at our fellow human beings, even at the physical world all around us. Then as we embrace the world and others outside us, we find a way to trust ourselves, too.

So that’s how we heal our country?

Who would have thought it?

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