Perspectives: Trust
Workin' With TRUST...

November 10, 2009 Print version       Other articles by this author

There is much to be said about trust. I've felt it's presence. I've been in the absence of it. I've prayed for it and I have abandoned it. I'm immediately taken to thoughts of what happens often for me during prayer and meditation. I have adopted a chant in rhythm with my breath that repeats the words: I TRUST YOU. I TRUST YOU. I TRUST YOU. Somedays when I've said it, I have meant and believed it more than others. The truth of the matter is that I can go from feeling confident, peaceful, and sure one moment to being neurotic, anxious & confused in the next. When I look at those moments in hindsight I am clear about the fact that the polar opposites which those emotions represent are absolutely necessary in order for me to be who, where, and what I am in this present moment.

My observation of trust was originally born of a very real albeit surface experience having to do with a personal relationship. Months later, what I recognize is that this particular experience has merely served as a window into much more deeply rooted issues of trust that I still have. That was my way IN...so to speak. This is how a number of significant things have come about for me. It starts off one way with me thinking about something only to discover shortly thereafter that things are a lot more involved and complicated. Dealing with my trust issues relating to my relationship led to my issues of self doubt and not trusting my self or my instincts. Knowing how and when to trust my instincts led to an even deeper examination of my issues trusting God.
I really had acknowledge that on a pretty frequent basis, I've doubted the outcome of certain situations.

Here's a not so big secret: I worry a lot sometimes. Many times even despite the fact that things always work themselves out somehow, when I'm faced with a challenge or with not knowing HOW something will turn out, I've allowed my mind to race and swarm with "worst-case scenarios".
I call it anticipating the blow or waiting for the other shoe to drop. It would seem that after years of going through this, I'd automatically be able to move through any feelings of uneasiness and operate from a different place. Depending on when you catch me, I might actually be able to do so... More often than not however, I'm in fear and terrified about what will happen. Part of this I realize and acknowledge is due to the fact that I am, like many others, a creature of habit. Its not until I'm knee deep in the midst of letting my mind run rampant that I realize I have the choice to do something DIFFERENT. Looking at things after they happen is always easier for me, however in the heat of the moment, I'm working on making more informed, conscious choices to call on my 'higher self', and what I know intuitively which is that everything always works out as it needs to, despite my inability to grasp that fact instantly. In short, much of my 'shit' is working itself out on its very own. Sometimes it's in conjunction with my cooperation, and other times it's not.

Even as I write this, there is plenty that is unclear to me about outcomes, and whether or not there are any kind of definitive 'resolutions' to some of my current circumstances. What I'm doing now as I'm examining my thoughts around trust is trying as hard as I possibly can to be open to possibilities. Case in point...

As I think back on a recent experience that can only be described as amazingly sacred, I understand even more about trust. After months of what appeared to be insurmountable turmoil, I was able to see all of it in a different light a few weeks ago. During the course of this time I literally felt as if I was barely hanging on by a thread. It wasn't until I after this most recent experience that everything really made sense. It was as if everything that I was challenged by over the past six months was all put to great use in my performance as part of a reading of a play. This wasn't something I planned nor was any of it orchestrated. I simply was able to get [the fear within] myself out of the way and once I did, the end result was miraculous. During a discussion that took place immediately after the performance, members of the audience shared insights, feelings and opinions as to how they were affected by not only my artistic offering, but by the play itself and our performance of the play as a whole. As a result of the way the whole thing unfolded and affected me, I 'get it'. I make a conscious effort to REMEMBER the essence of this expereince so that the next time I'm inevitably faced with a similar challenge, I'll KNOW and have less reason to take myself on an unneccesary 'merry-go-round' of emotions.

When I really stop and think about all of it, what happens internally for me when I'm lacking in trust makes it all crystal clear to me. I'm unable to think as clearly as I usually do and thus I get less accomplished. Now here is what I like to call the 'AHA!' moment---Sometimes all that's required is for me to simply step back (and take a breath) before allowing myself to respond from a place that is deeply rooted & invested in what my ego feels that it wants and has suffered. I'm not by any means seeking to downplay the significance of the instances in which I've felt I had legitimate "reason" to not trust...i.e. those times when things haven't gone my way, when I've experienced hurt at the hands of others, or when I just don't know (literally and figuratively).
What I'm saying is this...whether its with regard to any of the following:
1. Other people, 2. My self or my instincts, 3. The artistic, emotional, mental, physical, or spiritual inclinations I have, 4. God, the universe, 5. Any kind of outcome...as long as I'm able to trust the process as it unfolds, I don't have to worry. I tend to worry when I'm uncertain about something, but there has never been an instance when something didn't work out for my highest and greatest good.

The only way I know how to sum it up is by really deeply thinking about something that is quite simple that came to me this morning as I was in the midst of my usual ritual of prayer and meditation. For the first time, for some reason, as I did what I always do which was to breathe and recite the words I TRUST YOU, I TRUST YOU, I TRUST YOU, one of my hands laid on my chest and I felt my heart beating. In that instant, I realized...rarely if ever, have I not trusted that my heart would continue to beat. If I can apply that same amount, element, and energy of trust to everything else that has challenged me in the past, my life can be experienced in an entirely new way.

THE FOLLOW THRU...
Everything that was written above unfolded over the course of about a weeks time. For some reason as life would have it, I felt I wasn't quite finished with the submission or ready to publish it just yet. Now as I sit in deeper contemplation of trust, I understand why. Within days of my writing the previous paragraph, life gave me a wonderful opportunity to put everything into practice that I had just talked about. That's not what happened however, at least not in the most immediate sense. Without going into too much detail, the situation that sparked my initial examination of this topic became a bit more perplexing and complicated. I admit that this was due largely to a rather toxic mixture of my own issues of insecurity & mistrust.
Even as everything was happening during this episode (and I refer to it as such because it was filled with quite a bit of drama) I knew full well what it was about and exactly WHY it was happening. Knowing all of that provided very little comfort as I found myself creating scenarios along with justifications for doing so. It was actually very simple. I was in FEAR about what would happen if I allowed myself to be vulnerable again, and the part of myself that had been hurt before was fighting for survival. What I had to remember in that holy instant was that two things cannot occupy the same space at the same time. Actually, in truth they can, and oftentimes do...but that also is what causes the majority of the internal conflict for me in most cases. I had just said for the umpteenth time that I was committed to trusting and there I was allowing something that I had no control over [THE PAST] to dictate my thoughts and emotions. Moving through this experience was challenging, confusing, painful, but ultimately necessary and rewarding. I had to acknowledge and confront my own shit as it was coming up. I share this because it's a pivotal part of the process. Knowing something and applying it are two very different things. Trying to breeze past that step of the process is an exercise in futility because all it does is keeps me stuck. If I had any doubts about the process which I do from time to time, situations like this last one provide all the confirmation that I need that I'm constantly being worked with and that the work, though labourious at times, makes the living and enjoyment of my life all the more worth it.