Holidays for many people are fraught with mixed messages and mixed emotions. Traditions can trap us in activities which are negative, force us to interact with people who hurt us, put us in vulnerable situations and tell us how to feel so we can fail when we don’t. Yay! Pass the eggnog.

This can be confusing since at the same time things seem to be going wrong we’re being told by every venue available that we’re supposed to be full of love and joy and connected with family. We’re shown generosity porn on YouTube and Facebook, every news portal is doing personal interest stories about good works, and yet real life goes on with people being…well…real.

It can be difficult to get clarity on why we can’t get in sync with, seemingly, everyone else, but part of the reason is broken trust. Just like relationships, trust is built on the little things, the individual moments and for many of us those are exactly when things go badly wrong, when we are negated again and again and again, then told “well, it’s the thought that counts” or “Don’t sweat it, we’ll fix it later” or “Don’t bring the group down, it’s just a little thing.”  But joy and love can’t exist where trust is damaged like a crushed glass ornament.

Brene Brown does an amazing job of delving into what trust is and what we can do to foster and defend it in her talk: