All progress comes at a cost.
Riding the BART train the other day I saw a young boy hugging his fathers legs, he was probably about 5 years old and barely came up to his fathers waist. He looked around uncertainly as the train moved on, but clearly unafraid. His father was the strength, certainty and wisdom needed to deal with this situation, he needed nothing more.
As our eyes narrow with age and our experience broadens, we lose the ability to trust and accept unconditionally the comfort of that trust. It is both tragic and inevitable. Each lesson over time teaches us, sometimes painfully, how far we can trust others. We establish boundaries and historical references, these frame our future trust relationships and reign us in from granting unconditional trust.
When we are children we have limited capacity see the end from the beginning. We have yet to learn all the ways we can be let down, disappointed, or simply have others fail for us. Over time we learn to trust ourselves and guard against others. Protecting what is ours and keeping out those that would threaten it. Sadly, I believe this is a required skill here.
This doesn’t mean that we need to stop trusting. Life is a balancing act and in our daily lives we are always walking the tightrope between trust and exposure. Learning to both trust others and protect ourselves is a challenge all adults must face and seek their personal balance.
But seeing that moment again between the child and his father. Knowing the energies shared…
It reminded me of what I have lost.
And it made me weep. Partially with joy at the beauty of the moment, and partially at sadness for my loss.