Why Trust Is Worth It

Ze Frank talks about the importance of trust in this mesmerizing video featuring Cirque du Soleil acrobat performers Alya Titarenko and Gael Ouisse.

Here is the transcript from the video, so beautifully wrought:

Why Trust is Worth It

Alya and Gael have to trust each other.  As acrobats in Cirque de Soleil they sometimes literally put their lives in someone else’s hands.

Trust is a confusing thing.  It seems so simple but when you try to pin it down, it can be elusive.

I think of the way my body sits on a surface that’s new to me – unknown – and how my muscles remain tight, anticipating anything.  I am constantly aware of that surface.

Over time with familiarity, I can relax and start to lean back.

For many of us that initial tension exists for so much of the time.  We expend so much energy watching, calculating.

Trying to predict

Reading signals in people – Ready for anything to change suddenly.

Preparing to be disappointed.

So much energy spent.

We talk about trust as something you build as if it’s a structure or thing.  But in that building, there seems to be something about letting go.

And what it affords us is a luxury that allows us to stop thinking.

To stop worrying that someone won’t catch us if we fall.

To stop constantly scanning for inconsistencies.

To stop wondering about how other people act when that are not in our presence.

It allows us to relax part of our minds so that we can focus on what’s in front of us.  And that’s why it’s such a tragedy when it is broken.

A betrayal can make you think of all the other betrayals are waiting for you.  Things you haven’t thought of.  People you rely on.

And you can find yourself tightening up. Bracing. And in the worst cases, resolved to trust no one.

But that doesn’t really work.

Trust is your relationship to the unknown – when you can’t control, when you can’t control everything.  And it’s not all or none.  It’s a slow and steady practice about learning about the capacity of the world.

And it’s worth it.

To keep trying.

And it’s not easy.

Alya says that trust is like a fork. Not one way, but many ways.  Physical, emotional, and maybe something else.

I almost imagine trust as these invisible hands that we stretch out in the world looking for someone to hold onto as we walk into the unknown future.

Alya and Gael began practicing together as friends.  And now, they are a couple.  It took time.  Someone who you trust – how you can grow it?


 In Sanskrit, the word for Trust is “vishwas” – which translates literally into “breathe easy”.

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