Beliefnet
The Bliss Blog

Yesterday I was watching a rerun of Oprah-created SuperSoul Sunday in which fellow social worker and researcher turned author and speaker, Brene’ Brown was expounding on a topic that snagged my own heart and soul; trust and friendship and the ways those two intersect. Her daughter had come home from school talking about an activity that her teacher used in order to invoke teamwork and cooperation. She took a jar and added marbles each time someone did a positive act and took one out if they did something negative.  Her kiddo had also expressed sadness that someone she thought of as a friend had betrayed her trust. Brene’ thought of that as a teachable moment. She reminded her child that each person who comes into our lives is like an empty marble jar. They are an unknown. When they are kind and loving, we add a marble. When we find that they are reliable and in integrity, we add another one. When they show up as needed, yet another goes into the container. Conversely (and it will happen in even the best relationship from time to time), if someone acts in ways that betray our trust or are unkind, we remove a marble. It isn’t about tit for tat; but rather holding others accountable for the choices they make. Trust accrues one marble at a time and it erodes the same way.

I have many full marble jar friends who call, write, listen and hold space for my growth. They have walked through the fire and slogged through the mud with me. They have, as Brene’ Brown would say, “earned the right to hear my story.”  I would like to think that I am a many marble friend for them too. On the flip side, there are those, sadly who have had me lose my marbles as they have taken away theirs. Blessedly the first list is far longer than the second and my jars remain full.

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