#BlogElul 11: Trust

(for the Jewish month of Elul, which happens to coincide pretty perfectly with the month of September this year, I’m going to try to blog once a day about one of the themes for the month to prepare for the upcoming Yamim Nora’im or High Holy Days. I will most likely blog in the evenings, so it will technically already be the next day in the Hebrew calendar, but I’m really going to try to keep up with this! you can pop on over to originator Rabbi Phyllis Sommer’s blog for more details about this project.)

when I first thought of trust, I struggled to figure out what to write about. I tend to be a trusting person in my personal life and have been working to improve my relationship with people with whom I feel our trust has been breached for whatever reason—and there wouldn’t be very much to write about in that case. but I just was talking to someone about how my department at work doesn’t really trust each other very much right now, and I remembered something that I hear a lot, especially at work: trust the process.

it sounds so simple, and indeed upon even first examination it doesn’t seem like a complicated concept—just settle down and trust that the things put in place precisely to deal with the situation you’re stressing about, right? except we’ve found at work that, often, our trust has been misplaced—the process either isn’t executed or it doesn’t work and, since we never really end up repairing the harm or trying to rebuild trust, a lot of us are just going through the motions at work and we cannot trust the process. part of that is just due to dysfunctional state of this country’s educational system, and part of it is due to the hot mess in our district… but there are definitely things at work that haven’t been addressed and it just has made it really difficult to be trust between teams. many of us have become insular, defensive when people look at our work and protective of each other, and it’s hard to collaborate when that’s the environment.

so, what does this mean for me this season? a part of what I am trying to do is to rebuild that trust that has been lost at work, particularly by serving as a bridge between fractured factions. I am also continuing to work on trusting myself—listening to myself and validating my feelings and trusting my judgment, which is easier said than done after years of gaslighting but I think I truly owe it to myself to work on that. I’m also going to make sure that I am being mindful of the trust people place in me, so that I do not betray it inadvertently. and after this season? well. then the real work of sustaining this work begins.

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