Every Day Can’t Be April Fools’ Day

[Word count: 604. Approximate read time: 2-3 minutes]

They're not gonna laugh at you. What are you so afraid of? No one's out to get you. You're among friends. Why so serious? People are good. People love you. They want to see you succeed. Let your hair down. Have some fun. No one is trying to lure you into a zombie apocalypse.Skeptics, go on high alert. For 24 hours, tricksters will hunt the gullible. Stay in your house all day. Don’t do anything or go anywhere. Trust no text message, tweet, telephone call, e-mail, instant message, news report, police bullhorn, or crowd of hysterical people running toward the nearest mall exit. Don’t believe anything. It’s all a conspiracy to take you down.

That’s me. I am that anxious, ever-suspecting dude for whom every day feels like April Fools’ Day. I have seen my general level of distrust rise like the water level in a Poseidon adventure. It’s hard to take anything at face value now. This is not okay. Have you ever:

  • Asked someone to tell their story and then called their credibility into question to dismiss the validity of their experience?
  • Had someone plead their case although you had already pronounced them guilty in your mind?
  • Gotten a compliment you wanted to hear, but decided the compliment giver wasn’t sincere enough?
  • Been treated nicely by someone, but decided they had an ulterior motive based on their association with someone you perceive as a threat?

If you have, you are as much your own problem as I am. Your inability to trust can block you from receiving wisdom, truth, encouragement, kindness, affection, or all of the above. How broken is your faith if you decide you can never trust anything anyone says? What kind of two-faced unscrupulous people have you known that make you believe this is the way you have to be to survive?

“If you ask me to come, I’ll say ‘go’
If you say you love me, I’ll say ‘sure, if you say so’
Whatever you tell me, I won’t believe you.
—Leigh Nash, “Along The Wall

I’ve seen antagonist older cousins bait an unsuspecting neighborhood fool with a compliment, then eat their self-esteem whole, and spit out the bones to pick their teeth with… all for a laugh. I remember how the “cool kids” would pretend to befriend their schoolyard inferiors so they can spend the afternoon cackling about why they are so much better than them.

For me, it’s part of an irrational fear of being taken advantage of. No one wants to be the butt of a joke. No one wants to be ridiculed because they left themselves open. You vow to never become that person, but then the maintenance on keeping your promise becomes more trouble than it’s worth.

“When you’re little, you adopt survival mechanisms. But then they last too long. They last beyond their usable time and they become impediments to growth.” —Jane Fonda

C’mon, people. C’mon, self. Paranoia is not safety and hypervigilance is not security. Who wants to live that way anyway? I’m tired of it myself. In order to live a healthy, balanced, life, you have to have at least a modicum of trust in something. If I don’t want to become a victim of my own thought process, I have to consciously rebel against the protective patterns I developed. If your apartment building is burning down, you do not want to be the maladjusted hermit who, thinking it’s an attempted kidnapping, attacks the fireman trying to rescue you.

Trust someone and give them the chance to prove they’re worth it. Be bold and risk being wrong. If you’re as far on the opposite extreme as I have been, the consequences will probably pleasantly surprise you.

However, if anyone tells you Prince is releasing a much-needed deluxe remastered boxset of 1987’s Sign “O” The Times, do not believe them no matter how convincing the press release and accompanying photos. Thanks a lot, ?uestlove.

Do you have trust issues? Have you started to work through them? If so, please share how in the comments section below!

To read about the process of unraveling specifically church-borne
trust issues, check out:
Lay Your Weapons Down.

5 thoughts on “Every Day Can’t Be April Fools’ Day

  1. No definitive answer on my part….. only that I too am learning to let go. The more I let go, the more I have free hands to take up the things I would rather be doing. Healthy things. Dreams. A particular quote that came across my world is this:

    “Training is an option; will is EVERYthing. The will to act.”

    The defense mechanisms? Those are all just training… to never to caught looking or takeb advantage of. But what of my will? Where do I wil to go? Who do I will to be? My wit- like defense- is an instinct. No willpower needed.

    But what of my will?

    The will to act.

    That’s where I am now…

  2. Trust issues: I believe I have them. I believe I have always had them. Perhaps they stem from insecurity, being the ugly duckling school girl, too skinny, too kinky hair, crooked teeth, braces, glasses, NERD. Maybe it was insecurity about my home life: father fighting with mother, mother cowering, brothers and I with weapons of our own design at the ready. Maybe it was a first boyfriend in high school who pressured me for sex then stated, when I would not oblige, “If you don’t, someone else will.” Maybe all of the above destined me to a life of insecurity. Maybe two failed marriages and myriad issues understanding myself added to the cherry topped thing. Maybe I was born this way. Maybe I did this to myself.

    April Fools…who are they? Maybe I have been one all my 43 years. Maybe the jokes have been on my or I am the prankster, making fun of all those who made fun of me, one victim at a time. Perhaps I sound malicious but then again you’d have to know me. I think I’m harmless.

    What of my own defense mechanisms? Precaution. Hesitancy. Not necessarily distrust but more of a lack of security, something like a tightrope walker who wonders if the net below is secure. Maybe I’m more of a person who feels less that the world is out to get one over on me but more that I won’t get one big enough over on the entire world.

    Am I a reclusive person? Now I am. I just thought about it for a moment and decided that I’m either extremely private in my own way thought I tell the world everything about my life. Maybe I’m telling the truth: maybe I’m not. I suppose, again, you’d have to know me. All I know right now is that I don’t go out in public without, for the most part, hiding my identity under something of a cap or some headdress to keep my hair in and concealing at least a small part of me.

    What part of myself do I conceal — what part of me is left to hide in the safety of my own recesses?

    I don’t know — maybe I do — maybe, one day, I’ll tell you.


    • Wow. It’s amazing to think something as seemingly insignificant as wearing a hat when you go out has roots in something much deeper. Personally, I hope you go out and let your hair fly wild and Chaka Khan free as often as you tuck it under a cap.

      I’m trying to train myself to distrust my trust issues. I don’t want to have them forever. I hope you don’t have yours either. We need to be challenging them often in our own little ways. I think that’s God’s way of making us all more brave.

  3. I KNOW I have trust issues and they differ by the sex. My trust issues with men stem from sexual abuse. It’s also difficult to know whether someone is truly interested in getting to know all of me and aren’t just stuck on my physical appearance. This is why I often tell guys, “You think you like me, but you really don’t.” I tend to feel this way most of the time and specifically with younger guys. I’m afraid that one day I’ll miss out on getting to know someone who is genuine because of my suspicions.

    When it comes to women, I cherish genuine bonds. I’m not one who tries to avoid relationships with women, instead I encourage and embrace them especially with older women. What I have encountered lately are older women who think they have me all figured out because I’m young, with looks and a strong personality. I don’t think my name, “SultryFreckles” makes it any better. I’m pretty sure they consider me to be a young, hot, flirty, and boy crazy when I’m actually the opposite. I’ve been hurt and disappointed by the recent treatment of women I’ve looked up to and loved. This has caused me to put up extra thick walls and I’ve become a bit of a jerk because of it. I catch myself saying mean things and throwing big shade because I’m hurt. I’m also more sensitive about things and I take notice of how I get treated compared to the others.

    All of these things annoy me. Have I started to work through it? No. The wounds are so fresh. I am trying to accept that everyone will not be able to hang with my personality. I am also praying God will remove this STRONG ” **** you heffa” out of my heart.

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