Let’s talk about trust.
In the olden days of yore, money served one purpose: To exchange your time for goods or services. It was pretty honest, you know? “Hey, Octavius, can I buy that gold filigree toga from you?” “Sure, Romulus! I need 10 gold pieces. And here’s your toga. Great to see you, bro.”
It’s not that simple these days, really. Instead of exchanging your hard-earned money for goods and services (if you’re buying mainstream), you’re exchanging your hard-earned money for promises and dreams, labels and status, and, frankly, a really tenuous sense of trust. Deep down in your heart, you know you really don’t trust that the anti-aging cream is going to make you look like a 20-year-old again. But the commercials are so pretty and shiny. And maybe a miracle will happen, just to you. Maybe.
And that tenuous sense of trust, so very, very often is broken, as so many people expressed in the confusing olive oil situation.
You have no idea where to turn for food and products that are made and produced with integrity. And that’s what you want to exchange your hard-earned money for. Not plastic and empty promises.
We’re fatigued by this, you know? Most people would rather just not think about it, because it really is so very hard to think about. I’m not being condescending. When you have other people to tell you what you should think and feel about their products, it’s easier just to go with it because you have other things you could be doing.
But here’s where it becomes really confusing.
If you decide to go out on your own and start making your own skincare and household products, you’re in new, uncharted territory. You’re at it alone, just you and your ingredients. It feels foreign and scary.
And sometimes things don’t work for you. Sometimes things don’t work for you. So who gets the blame then? It’s different, isn’t it? You can blame the recipe, or you can blame
me the blogger or the author. But ultimately, the responsibility of your own health and happiness lies squarely on you.
(By the way, this is a much more gratifying position to be in, if you haven’t experienced it yet.)
You’ve found an idea for something online, you toil over it, and it doesn’t work for you. So who do you trust now?
Stick with me, because there’s one more point I want to make.
We’ve all been conditioned, our entire lives, to stop trusting. Through deceptive advertising, false promises, and a shadowy cultural belief that “different” means “bad.” We’ve been taught that we cannot trust each other, because hello, nightly news and “uneducated opinions.” We’re told that we cannot trust nature to heal and cure us – and that thinking it will is crazy talk.
But when you turn around and look at the track record of many pharmaceuticals, nearly all factory farmed food, and most skincare products and … well … the state of just about anything corporately produced, you know you cannot trust that, either.
It’s complete and utter chaos in your mind at this point. Until you find the still, small voice inside.
The voice that says “Trust yourself.”
Trust that you’re going to make choices that work and choices that don’t work. Trust that you’re going to buy olive oil sometimes and be hoodwinked. And trust that your ability to refine and make different choices next time will be strengthened by this.
I write all of this as a preface to this last thought:
Everything serves a purpose. The smoke and mirror of unscrupulous marketing has led us into a very dark gray area where we don’t think we can trust anyone. This is good.
Because now, and only now, can we start to trust ourselves in a way human beings haven’t been able to trust themselves in a long time, if ever. Now we get to emerge from the fog and rediscover that it’s not corporations we should trust, but authentic people. That it’s not lofty, mass-marketed promises that we should trust, but our own ability to get dirty, make mistakes, and solve our own problems. And that we can question everything, pay attention and learn as much as possible, and know – fully and deeply – that when it comes down to it, the best thing to trust is our own experience.
Not what other people tell us to think. Or feel. Or buy. Or do.
But our very own food-splattered, oil-covered, joyous experience. Our own experiential connections with other human beings who have integrity and a desire to exchange their authentic goods for our hard-earned money.
And then we share that experience, we connect, because someone else might just trust it enough to try it themselves.
And that, right there, is how we change the world.