Our Pillar of “Trust” is Being Challenged by the Invisible

(by John H. Diepold, Jr, PhD) In this era with an invisible foe (covid-19), many of us may be experiencing a myriad of conflicting thoughts and feelings that shake us to the core.

These are times that we ought to, and need to, be able to “Trust” our healthcare systems to both protect us and heal us as needed. However, healthcare is complexly entangled with the availability of health care providers to the influence of mega-organizations. Consider also hospital availability and medical readiness, influence of manufacturers and labor unions, insurance and pharmaceutical companies, local and state politics, state and federal governments, and world-wide opinion and resources.  

We need to Trust in so much, and in so many. During this invisible assault, our health and survival depends on Trust. However, our sense of Trust is being tested in most all areas of our lives. What can we Trust? Who can we Trust? Who can we believe? Can the “truth” be told, accepted, or rejected? Are our medical and governmental leaders being honest and forthright with us? Are the safety precautions of frequent 20-seconds of hand-washings, social-distancing, and donning of masks and gloves necessary, helpful, and effective? Perhaps all of us have thought about these questions while willingly, or unwillingly, complying with the recommended directives.

Trust (and distrust) comes with a price. Aside from the harsh economic and social consequences, there are also physical, mental, and emotional consequences that exacerbates the situation for all of us. The reality of contending with this invisible foe frequently results in such questions as “will I get it, do I have it, will it kill me or my loved ones…?”  Such worry spawns fear, anxiety, despair, panic, uncertainty, anger, and skepticism that can compromise the immune system and render us more vulnerable. We must be able to Trust in our ability to manage this threat. 

Like covid-19, Trust is invisible and non-tangible yet a highly instrumental element affecting all aspects of our lives.  While it is spoken and written in many places, “In God We Trust”, what do we really understand about Trust?  The ability and need to Trust is ever-present and warrants examination. Consider the following model that describes the ebb and flow of Trust in our lives.

In the English language, the word “trust” is used in daily language and is spelled t-r-u-s-t. However, if we examine the word more closely, we can see the letters that make up the word can have deeper meaning. 

The first letter: “T”

The capital “T” signifies “truth”, which is the beginning of the development of trust. The perception of truth grounds our ability to trust, which is important and necessary in healthy, safe, and mutually beneficial relationships. Relationships involve family and friends, co-workers, social and religious organizations, and also medical and health care professionals, news sources, and political and governmental organizations. 

Trust is defined in many ways and contains elements of faith, confidence, reliance, protection, responsibility, belief, hope and so on. When the experience of Trust is shattered, destroyed, and rendered null, then a state of distrust emerges.

The second through fifth letters: “rust”

When we take away the “T” from trust, what we are left with is “rust.” When distrust emerges, the desired benefits and expectations of Trust begin to “rust”, decay, breakdown, and destroy the confidence and assuredness that was once there or believed to be there. This can result from deception, aggression, assault, lies, repeated disappointment, irresponsibility, and accusations, which can come as a surprise or shock. The resulting injury and damage can be mild to severe, and can have lasting implications.

The third and fourth letters: “us”

When the “rust” goes unrecognized and untreated, the “us” connection, which was once held between individuals, groups, or entities, is seriously destroyed to potentially catastrophic levels. This individually experienced insult of disconnection serves to divide and separate “us” from the attachments we once held deeply, closely, and with unconditional acceptance. The experience of “us” is further shattered by a loss of direction and uncertainty of how to move forward safely in attempt to avoid a repeat of distrust.

The fifth and final letter: “t”

This last lowercase letter, “t”, provides a hopeful turning point that Trust can again be established with an understanding about what causes “rust” and ways to dissolve or remove the rust. This last “t” serves as encouragement about how to go forward and rebuild the sense of “us”, free of “rust”, in order to “Trust” again. 

Lastly, Trust is both individual and universal. Trust is an essential building block for healthy individuals and nations. We must all do our part to develop and preserve our Trust for the betterment of all. We need to recognize and accept that Trust is a fluid and ever-changing state that can be used and restored as needed. Together we must challenge that which attempts to tear the fabric of Trust we all share. The goal is to Trust that we can heal as individuals and as nations in overcoming this invisible foe.

Once again, “In God We Trust”.


John H. Diepold, Jr, PhD, is a licensed practicing psychologist for 39 years in Moorestown, NJ. He is an ACEP member, and past ACEP Board member. John created Heart Assisted Therapy, an energy psychology method.

We invite you to join ACEP as a member and become part of this inspiring community of practitioners from many fields who use holistic methods with their clients. We welcome licensed mental health professionals, coaches, chiropractors, acupuncturists, physicians, nurses, energy healing practitioners and more. Together, we’re working to make these powerful methods available to all. energypsych.org

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