How does trust help or hurt us?
What happens when I grant trust to someone or something? When someone decides to trust me, what happens to the gift of perspective? Does trust — like love — blind me?
For the next few minutes I ask your permission to shake up your concept of trust similar to how one of my most cherished instructors asked me to explore the feeling of trust (at the ripe old age of 12). Over 45 years ago I recall her sitting me down to say, “Soul, here’s the deal on trust. I trust in the divine. I trust my divine guidance so I trust everyone — always. I seek no trust. I want no trust. Trust is similar to air. Trust is just there.” Her concept of not needing or wanting trust allowed her inner wisdom to support a profound sense of clarity. Her clarity helped me gain and grow a sense of compassionate confidence (confidence sans ego). This one lesson sustains my confidence enough to hug the unknown no matter how chaotic life becomes.
Given our current state of affairs (locally, nationally and globally) how’s your sense of clarity? Are you clear on who you are and what you’re here to do? Are you clear on the who’s what’s, when’s, where’s and how’s when faced with making life-changing decisions? Are you clear on your answer to the first question I ask of potential students and clients — that question being: “Do you trust yourself?”
Wrestle a little bit with this chain of thought:
- Clarity seems more attainable when we experience consistency — true?
- Consistency seems to aid a sense of comfort as well — right?
- Feeling comfortable waters seeds of trust such that we allow those we trust more to help us find clarity in times of discomfort.
- When assumptions weed themselves into feelings of trust we nurture the roots of potential pain and suffering.
- We know illusions are the roots of potential pain and suffering.
Chew on this exercise.
Think back in a time where you thought you established a solid relationship with someone — we’ll name this person Pat. You really, honestly thought you knew Pat. You’ve known Pat for some time. Your history together has shown Pat to be punctual. If Pat tells you they’ll be there at noon, sure enough Pat is on time. Now let’s imagine you ask Pat to take you to the airport. You need to be at the airport by 6:00 p.m. Based on your collective history you know Pat will do what it takes to plan enough time to deliver you to the airport on time.
Your travel day arrives and Pat is late. Multiple calls to Pat’s cell phone go directly to voice mail. End result? Your rock-solid sense of trust in Pat may experience a crack (since so much was riding upon their word equalling their deed). How big (if any) this trust crack grows all depends on the severity of Pat’s lateness. In your mind you trusted Pat to get you to the airport on time. You assumed Pat knew your flight was for an important event. If you missed the flight you would be late for this important event.
What would happen to your assumptions-based trust of Pat if Pat simply “no showed” for your lift to the airport (versus being late for a simple catch-up lunch date)?
My point? Think about trust. Trust is a feeling (a concept) that our species seem to highly value. We choose to seek trust — true? We crave trust in times of chaos — right? We want trust to grow to nurture our nature to consistently experience comfort — correct? Yet when we really take a long, hard, critical look at what trust is all about — trust is a solid source for pain and suffering. Why? Have you ever noticed how trust builds a false sense of continuity, familiarity, stability.
- When someone disrupts your sense of continuity — what happens? Do you doubt this person has your best intentions in mind?
- When someone you thought you could trust begins to change (grow) in ways you’re unable to adapt (or accept) do you worry that you ever really knew them?
- When someone seems to become less stable does your trust in them dissolve?
Once again I ask you to sincerely ponder the feeling (concept) of trust. Start from the inside out by exploring answers these questions:
- Do you trust yourself? If yes, how so? If no — what are the roots to your no?
- How does trust flavor what you think and how you feel?
- When trust is granted / given was trust asked for? Wanted?
As you explore (versus analyze) answers to the above questions be mindful of the feelings that bubble-up. Feel those feelings — fully! True explorers embrace the journey (versus the destination). Explorers navigate via intuition — their “gut.” Analyzers navigate via the mind — their ego.
As we begin to wrap up our trust tango may I share a powerful insight based on four decade’s worth of spiritual awakening work? What’s the insight? The insight is (and I KNOW you’ve heard / read this insight before) — I trust that whatever is happening in this moment — is perfect. After 40 some years of learning life lessons (often the hardest way imagined) I surrender to the Divine any need to trust. I genuinely trust that all is perfect regardless of how my ego craves to spin (judge) what I experience.
Is it fair to say we often describe trust as a gut instinct. Do you trust your gut instincts? Over decades of observing when I ping-pong between analyzing and exploring I notice I follow my gut more when I allow myself to explore more and analyze less. As life travels on I’ve recognized how exploring (versus analyzing) life lessons makes the journey far more robust and rewarding. When I start analyzing pain I discover endless waves of doubt, guilt, shame and worry. Have you noticed how much doubt, guilt, shame and worry happens when a sense of trust — cracks or shatters?
Next question — do you keep an intuition scorecard? Do you track your intuition batting average? Do you sense you trust your intuition 90% of the time while 10% of the time you believe your intuition failed you? What do you notice about keeping an intuition score card? Does this scorecard affirm or question your sense of trust?
Finally, for those who want to bestow, grant or offer me their trust I invite them to consider a simple idea. Unless I specifically ask you to trust me kindly turn your desire(s) to trust me onto trusting yourself — first. Why? Think about this notion — when somebody offers you something that:
A) you didn’t ask for,
B) you genuinely don’t want and,
C) you know will be the source of pain and / or suffering down the line . . .
what do you do?
When someone declines your offer of trust does that trust rejection inspire a sense of distrust?
Herein lies the paradox: to trust or not to trust.
My most powerful teachers instructed me to never, ever trust them. Why? Simple! They seek no trust. Whether I trust them or not is none of their concern. WHY? These wise teachers recognize what I think or how I feel is 100% my choice. They wish to never manipulate me (ply my trust) in ways that may cause harm. Should something happen to my teachers where all of a sudden I may not trust them anymore — does doubt throw shade on their teaching? Does my lack of trust inspire oceans of worry onto what I thought I learned? Who would want (seek) teachers who become a source of doubt, guilt, shame and / or worry? Why would teachers want me to experience these life-draining feelings in the first place — right?
Trust. After pondering this post for a while, how has your sense of trust changed (if at all)? There is no need for immediate answers or responses to any of the above questions. I invite you to explore this idea / ideal known as trust at a pace that embraces the journey more than the destination. Begin with the question, “Do I trust myself?”