Over the years i’ve wavered from trusting everyone, to distrusting certain groups of people, to sort of trusting everyone again then not trusting anyone at all. It’s as exhausting as it sounds.

The idea that we shouldn't judge someone we’ve just meet based on experiences with some unrelated person is a good one right? It's better to give everyone a chance isn't it? Though some might say 'No one should be judging anyone!', the reality is that we all judge each other -  it's basic human nature. Throwing stones is a different story. But we observe others and make predictions to help decide who we will let get close to us and who we prefer to keep further than arms length.

I once had a friend from a particular country who offered to keep my belongings for me while I went home for the summer. I came back to discover that while I was gone she turned into my enemy, refusing to return my things then finally returning some by leaving them on the side of the road! It’s hilarious to recount, though at the time I was quite distressed! I still have no idea why she did this and I probably should have asked her when she emailed me a couple years after the incident like we were long lost friends - apparently she wanted to catch up, she missed me 'so much' and it had 'been way too long'. I never replied.

For years after that mêlée, anytime I met anyone from her country I would immediately recoil, still somewhat shaken, confused and hurt by what had happened. Even though I knew she wasn't representative of the character of everyone from her homeland, I decided it was better to be safe than sorry so I quietly avoided anyone from there. 

Our experiences help us to examineand determine the best ways to navigate and make the most of our lives and by recognizing life lessons we they occur we can learn from them, and so not make the same mistakes repeatedly. And over time we hope to know better and do better. 

Still, there sometimes seems to be a thin line between friends and enemies and it's maddening not knowingwho to trust. How can we be open minded and open while simultaneously protecting ourselves from those who secretly wish to do us harm?   

Now, I don't expect to be immune to every bad thing that could potentially happen to me, in fact some of the most terrible experiences have evolved into the sweetest jokes, but is there a way to filter through and avoid situations or people before the get the chance to malice you for no reason. Today, try to maintain a health amount of skepticism of mankind in general but it’s a daily endeavor to keep it balanced and not alienate myself from everyone. 

The key to this balancing act seems to be that one should have faith that their own intuition will guide towards and away from situations as is necessary to protect ones harmony, and sanity. 

Some people say you should 'trust the universe'. I think you should know yourself and then decide to trust yourself.