There is a quote from the movie Secondhand Lions that hit me hard the first time I heard it: "Sometimes the things that may or may not be true are the things a man needs to believe in the most."
Isn't that odd? Who in their right mind decides to believe in something simply because they want to? I thought this was such an outrageous idea when I first saw this movie. Too many times when you have faith in people, they will let you down. How can you learn to trust them again so easily? But at the same time, after hearing him say this, I wanted to be like that!
At the time I saw this movie, I was struggling with my own ability to trust the people around me. My sister and I had been living together for almost three years and after another move, we started fighting a lot. She was having a really hard time finding a decent job so she couldn't cover her half of the rent. I tried to cover her half as well as my own, but fell short and it made me really angry. I started blaming her for the whole situation. In a really immature way I told her she needed to cover her half, and it was not my responsibility. It was a really difficult situation and we both let it convince us to sell our lease and move to separate places after that.
I feel horrible about how it ended. I could have been a lot more understanding about her job situation since finding a good job these days is near impossible! We could have laughed about it, and things could have ended a lot better. Luckily it didn't harm our relationship at all and we're still best friends. But the point is at the time I felt betrayed and lost all my trust in her. I felt like she didn't care that all my money was covering the rent. I didn't trust her enough to live together anymore and therefore we didn't. I was really stupid.
After that, every time someone did something selfish or unkind towards me I added it to the pile of reasons why I didn't trust people. The next apartment raised the rent $100 after 6 months, my brother told me he couldn't pick me up when my car ran out of gas, a guy I really liked didn't like me back, and the many dates I went on with other guys afterward didn't turn into lasting relationships. I became quite the victim and angrier and angrier as time went on.
And yet in general, I couldn't understand why I was so unhappy. I loved my life and overall things were going quite well! I was accomplishing difficult goals, discovering new hobbies. I loved my job, dance was wonderful and there was always something fun to do on a Friday night. But every now and then, something was getting me down and it would hit me hard, almost out of nowhere each time. It would happen once a week, sometimes more, sometimes less. I'd get emotional and feel very alone and yet, the next day I'd be happy again and feel so silly for how I'd acted the night before.
I'm not sure when it happened exactly, and it didn't happen overnight, but I began to realize that when I doubted people and questioned their intentions, those were the times I felt the worst. I would dwell on the facts at hand and all the proof I'd gathered that people were terrible and did not care how I felt. More than anything else, I was angry I hadn't had a successful relationship with a guy yet and had convinced myself that I would never get a chance. All the men I'd dated were insensitive and indifferent and I didn't believe I'd find anyone better.
When I realized that doubting these things was the cause of my sporadic depression, it was like a huge light bulb went on in my head. I remembered that quote from "Secondhand Lions" and realized that I could decide to trust people even if they weren't trust worthy. I could trust that people were basically good and did not intend any harm. I could trust that God would one day bring the right guy my way, even though all my experience so far made that impossible to believe.
I've learned to trust that things will be okay, even though I have no proof. Everyday I look around and the world literally looks brighter than it used to! It's like the sun has been hidden behind a cloud for years and now its rays are warming me inside with wonderful thoughts and hopes for the future. I walk past a stranger and see another child of God, instead of someone who I want to avoid. Instead of isolating myself all the time, I volunteer rides to other dancers and hang out with my family more often. I trust that people enjoy my company and that I have something to contribute to make their lives just a little happier. I've also started going to the temple once a week and I feel the spirit stronger in my life than ever before.
It's amazing the difference a little faith can have in your life. You stop dwelling on how or when things will happen because you don't need to. You don't demand anything from anyone, and therefore simply enjoy their company. You trust that everything will work out in the end, so for the first time you start enjoying the time you have now. More importantly, you give people the benefit of the doubt, even if they haven't earned your trust yet.
As I always say, wisdom can come from anywhere. Amazingly for me, a simple quote about faith from Secondhand Lions changed my life!