In my experience, I know a lot of addicts that grew up in the "School of hard knocks" with a PhD. in isolation and mistrust. We're continually skeptical of people because betrayal was a feature and not a glitch in our day-to-day experience.
When people encouraged me to "Trust others" and a "Higher Power," my response for a long time was, "Fuck that!" I was a feral human. I had no intention of putting myself at someone else's mercy, especially since people seemed to be so reckless with my personhood when I was growing up.
Predecessors were patient with me. It was like hitting a button on a computer or phone that took a long time to boot up. Slowly I began to trust and have confidence in a few people. They were the ones that consistently encouraged me and didn't guilt, shame, or condemn me when I made mistakes. They were the ones that weren't careless or callous with my personhood. They intuitively understood my limits in a given moment, pushing and encouraging me so that I was a living example of being a work in progress instead of an event.
It was at that point... and not before... that when someone said, "We are the eyes and ears of each other, helping each other to heal our way into a new way of living," that those words didn't think or feel like bullshit to me.
While living my way into trust, as a result of the compassionate support of others, I discovered that I could be trustworthy myself as a friend... mentor... sponsor... partner... father... coworker... neighbor... and dare I say, human being. The spiritual awakening was cultivating and nurturing Healthy connections, surrendering mistrust and isolation.
A key aspect for those of us with the disease of addiction is that we often have a distorted and negative perspective towards ourself, others and our life. It was the healthy perspective of others that taught me to experience myself and others through my values of love, generosity, friendliness, goodwill, and being of service to others.
It was like putting on corrective lens, healing my blurred mental and emotional vision; so that I could see and experience life as it truly is instead of the negative way the disease was telling me it was. That was one more experience of the therapeutic value of one addict helping another, being without measure or parallel.
Just for today, we could make the intentional effort to trust someone that isn't careless or reckless with our personhood.
一We Are the Practice Itself
孚人 | Fú Jin | To cultivate trust in others