Many ancients and mystics will tell us that trust is one of our greatest lessons in this life: we need to learn to trust our inner voice. Like I explained more in my article Mystic Nights, it is precisely during our moments of doubts, uncertainties and unknowingness, that we settle into ourselves and learn to trust our own guidance and intuition; it is then when we develop our senses further and we grow spiritually. We all want to know things, but we were never meant to know it all – and this is the reason why. Even when we go to psychics, they also won’t be able to tell us many things – and it is because if we knew it all, we’d be robbed of our experience of it along the way and of the qualities and abilities we could grow within ourselves, in these in-betweens. This is also why there is absolutely such a thing as “timing of information” – our answers come not all at once, no matter how intuitive or even psychic we are, but piece by piece – enough to give us clarity, yet leaving still a little space of unknowingness to allow us to expand.
We have to trust that what we need to know for our wellbeing and next step forward – we’ll know it; we’ll be guided to it in the way that ”speaks” to us. Don’t hurry up your life. Life is such a puzzle sometimes and so many pieces have to come together. Like stepping stones, every little thing and detail matters – and it has its perfect divine timing to come into your life as knowledge. Trust the divine unfolding of your life. Trust the timing of your life. We may not always know why – but trust that there is a reason why things are sometimes stuck or don’t make sense at all. From a zoomed-out view, it is all purposeful.
Well, this all sounds pretty easy, doesn’t it? Trust. Of course, I trust myself, you might think. But do you, really..?
Do you know of Buddhist monks and their alms? In my article on The Importance of Receiving and Interdependence, I talked about how each day the monks go out carrying their alms, or what some Westerners call “begging bowls”, and they head into the near village where they collect donations. They can only live off of the support of the communities; off of what they’ve collected in their bowls. This is an advanced spiritual lesson for the most advanced monks in the temples and it is a lesson of both receiving and of trust.
And here is a question –
how many of us have this kind of trust in the universe; that life will find its way to channel through the right people on our path who will support us?
Here is another question: do you live with regrets? Because if you do, then you don’t have self-trust. Self-trust implies that we can completely rely on ourselves that we act in our best interest; which further implies that in that specific moment, we’ve done all we could with we had, whether materially or as emotional state, or as intellect and knowledge.
Trust is trust in ourselves and trust in life. Without trust, not much else can happen because even when it does, we’ll negate it and strip it of its pure meaning and contribution to our life. We need trust not just for our wellbeing but for building loving relationships in life; we can’t have intimacy without trust, and love without trust isn’t love at all.
How to Build Trust
Trust may seem like an abstract concept to some people but that’s only because they see themselves as “one thing”. Like I already mentioned, trust is the sense of feeling that we can rely on someone to act in our best interest. In the same way, self-trust means to rely on ourselves to act in our best interest. This implies we can rely on things like our own character, integrity, values, feelings, intuition, abilities, creativity, strength, and truth. Read these again. They are all like water; they change. Consciousness is also like water; a river’s meander. Throughout life, all are conjoined in our one body yet they are fragmented and variable, upon us learning new things and evolving spiritually. All have their own desires, weaknesses, needs, perspectives, motivations, strengths, and even appearances too. Let’s say one part of you wants this guy because he’s really hot, but another part of you knows he is not good for you; this would create a feeling that maybe you can’t trust yourself emotionally in your entire being, and it would further create an inner conflict and/or doubt. To understand how to trust ourselves, we need to first recognize and understand the reality of our parts being fragmented. And once accepted, then we can settle into the simple truth that it is absolutely possible to rely on all our parts simultaneously. We do this by awareness and engagement. It’s like any other committed relationship in life.
When there are parts that are in conflict with one another, whether rejecting, denying, abandoning, suppressing, fighting – we need to resolve the conflict. We need to create a safe space within us where we can allow ourselves to be honest. We don’t have to act upon one part’s best interest at the detriment of another. All of our parts can feel comfortable and seen. Become intimate with the parts of you that you don’t trust. Listen to them with loving compassion and understand their needs, desires and fears.
I know a lot of people nowadays talk about self-sabotage and just like many other topics this too has become twisted and misunderstood. So let me offer you another perspective: There’s no self-sabotage. Whatever you have done in your past, is because at that moment of time, it was all you knew how to do. Our thought patterns, beliefs and behavioural patterns are learned from our parents and any self-sabotaging behaviours were in fact created by our young/child self to preserve itself, in the only way it knew how. That’s just what it is. Your parts were never against you. All of them were doing what they thought was for your best interest and to save you. No part of you, even the ones you don’t like, or you think they “hate” you, will ever do anything against you.
Now, obviously self-development is the first step to be self-aware of why we do what we do, so that we can change it, and be in better alignment with our adult selves and the new version of our reality we want to experience. But I suppose if you are reading me this far, you are already aware of psychology. The reason I want you to forget about self-sabotage right now is because this implies lack of self-trust, which then implies, we are afraid of ourselves.
This brings me to the next two things about how to trust yourself: build your self-confidence and learn to listen to your feelings.
Confidence builds over time, the more and more we do, the more and more we make mistakes and learn from them, the more and more we feel no one’s there to help us and so we do it by ourselves, the more and more we build confidence in our own creative abilities and discernment. So don’t be afraid to make mistakes, don’t be afraid to look like a fool, don’t be afraid to express how you feel towards someone. And in time, we just learn that we will always stand up again after falling to our knees. Build your value system and stay true and strong in your core values. These are your roots; remember who you are and what you stand for.
You can read my article on The Brilliancy of Feeling, where I talk in detail how to listen to our feelings and the messages they are telling us. Every feeling and every emotion are purposeful and they carry very important messages. Feelings are our navigation system to life; they are our inner compass. And when we don’t know how to speak their language and how to listen to ourselves, we get lost among other people and their own opinions, values, decisions and choices. And that leads to lack of self-trust. Because how can we ever trust ourselves if we’ve lost ourselves among the others?
To trust is to believe. To trust is to rely. We need to cultivate this environment within us. Doubt is okay to feel too sometimes because it can be helpful; it can help us get deeper and to get a more profound understanding. In Zen Buddhism they say that the greater the doubt, the greater the awakening. This is because you are leaving some space within you to “not know”– and this is where some new insight may emerge that will inform you. And when one day you do finally realize that there was never anything to doubt anyway – because you’ll see how things always unfold on their own timing – then naturally the more doubt you previously had, the greater your realization will be. Regardless, these are all waves we go through in life as we experience ourselves through our emotions. So whatever emotions arise within you, it is okay, just recognize them and understand their individual message.
To trust is to listen to the quiet voice of wisdom within you; to allow your intuition to guide you. Building trust is a growth process, and just like all else is life, trust too is an every step.
Shh, shh, shh. Listen. Just listen. Trust. Trust in an old wise woman kind of way. Close your eyes and prick your ears. Hear the still small voice within you. Trust in the ancient wisdoms and the primordial truths. In the unstable place where language fails, where the leaves will lean forward, the veils will unveil when the wind tells them to. The waves will come high and low, then slow. And I tell you: nothing is not as it should and no one can take away what’s yours.
Trust is about authenticity; it is about Inner Truth.
Standing in our truth is about being really honest with ourselves: with our intentions, values, resistances and fears. Being truthful to ourselves requires courage. You see, the thing about truth is that once we admit it to ourselves, we’ll have to make a decision. And then there’s another thing. Once we step into one truth and make the first decision, then we will need to make a whole bunch of other decisions that would take us on a scary unknown ride – which usually means starting from the whiteness of a sheet of paper.
There is uncertainty with admitting our truths. In a way, we renounce the security of our known life; of the familiar roles we have built but have now ran their course. The question of self-trust usually comes in during these times, when things are uncertain and we wonder – if we step into our truth, can we rely on ourselves fully? It’s okay not to have the answers right away. It’s okay not to know how it will align itself – and it will always align itself as it’s meant to, but I know it’s scary. What if our “truth” changes, what then? It’s okay. We always change, and our truth too isn’t a concrete, absolute thing. Remember our parts within: we are like water, just like consciousness. This is why it is inner truth – because it is not cemented outside of us.
Living an authentic life is about trusting ourself. When we follow the beat of our own drum, the road is much harder. There is the perpetual question mark of what will happen and all the uncertainties, insecurities, self-doubts and fears walk beside you. Through the dark woods and leafy paths, the uncertainty is scary because we have to carve our own roads. And in every step of the way you have to remind yourself, why you are doing it.
Authenticity is a marriage between self-awareness and moral integrity, to align with our values and true self. It is a long road to reach authenticity, a leafy path of obstacles, tests and going around in enchanted circles. But it is not a destination or something that once reached it is framed on the wall as a diploma; authenticity is the way that we walk throughout our entire lives.
Authenticity also demands us to live by our own value system, which of course can change depending on our perspectives and what we learn throughout life. But it is our values and heart’s intentions that guide us along the way. The authentic person does not get swayed by others and doesn’t do things, which are not aligned with their morals.
Our inner truth seeking must be compassionate towards all of our parts. And when we know and accept ourselves exactly as we are, when we understand and accept our feelings as they are – then and only then, we’ll know what is ours and what isn’t; we’ll be able to stay clear in our truth like the root of a tree, rather than be swayed around like leaves in wind. We’ll have emotional perceptiveness and mastery.
And this births the road towards our real self-trust.
Trust requires courage. And what is courage? It is trusting with fear. There is no courage without fear; in fact, the only reason courage exists as a word is because there first was fear.
Acknowledging our fears and understanding them gives us clarity on our intentions. We should ask ourselves: If I am doing my work just because I am afraid of what would happen if I didn’t, is fear the reason for my work? If I am staying in a relationships because of fear to be alone, it is love that I am building as the foundation of the relationship? We need to be clear on our intetions and there is nothing wrong with admitting our truth – it will give us then the choice to make the decision to live a more self-fulfilled life.
It is human nature that we are afraid of the unknown – because we can’t control it and it makes us feel powerless. We need to control so that we feel safe; because we are afraid, terrified and this is how we protect ourselves.
We are also afraid of our power and potential – because it’s much easier to fail or just not try. There are no expectations after “failure”, in fact you can then climb up and be seen as a hero. There are no expectations after not trying, in fact we can have a whole bunch of stories of “I could have” and “what ifs” just to satisfy our bubbles of dreams; or have yet another excuse of complaining, blaming someone or something else for one own’s unhappiness.
Trust with fear.
Fear is valuable. But it is up to us and our unshakeable belief in existence, and in ourselves, which allows us to be aware of fearful feelings but not succumb to them being their victim. And in this realization – we are liberated. Embracing fear – we choose to go forward – and this is what makes us courageous.
We live in a society, which continues to promote states of fear and separation under the disguise of “togetherness”. Don’t fall for this propaganda. When we are in continuous states of fear induced my media, politics, etcetera – this induces unconscious states in us which cause disconnection; disconnection from ourselves and from others. And we become more vulnerable to being controlled and stagnant; and we become like robots waiting for some validation from external things and people. That’s unfair. When we deceive ourselves, we also deceive others. That’s unfair. Some people are at war with themselves and will battle themselves through you; they will re-play their wounds and old narratives through you; and they will lash out at you the moment you don’t fit into their versions of reality – all because they don’t know themselves and don’t live in their truth with awareness, self-responsibility and self-trust. Do not be like that and do not be with people like that.
And so dear reader,
trust your parts, trust yourself, trust life. Build a bridge to the one you love and cherish, and surround it with trust, respect, honour and faith; protect and nourish this connection. Trust is the way to love. Trust is the way of life. Just show up, and take one step after another step, wholeheartedly and wholebodily, the rest will unfold always, on time.
Cover Art by Susan Seddon Boulet.