I find that trust is a big thing in life. Many think that it is something that is automatic until such time as it is broken. But trust is something that, like forgiveness, needs to be earned, otherwise the one we are putting our trust in can easily disregard it as unimportant.
At the same time, when we are encountering things that challenge our paradigms of reality, we need to let go of all that we think is real in order to discover MORE of what is real. The best things within reality really don’t rely on whether or not we believe in God, or what spiritual path we have chosen to take. The discovery of these things actually more depends upon whether or not we are willing to dive in, to take a leap of faith, and to trust in OURSELVES.
Life really doesn’t depend upon whether or not we can trust others at all. That is more of a fringe benefit of life, not the prerequisite. Life is truly a journey of discovery of our own personal sense of adventure, trust in SELF, and faith in whatever essence we choose to call the Universe/God/Goddess/Consciousness/Higher Self…whatever.
It is important, therefore, to develop a sense of self-trust. But how does one do that? It actually needs to begin in childhood. So often I see parents acting like helicopters around their kids, actually smothering their ability to explore the world around them. They think that this helicopter parenting is necessary to “protect” their child. But what it does in actuality is stunt their growth. Ask any childcare provider or teacher what the effects of the helicopter parent is and they will TELL you.
Allowing a child to explore is necessary. But some confuse that with just letting them go wild and not caring what destruction they create along the way. Yes, supervision is necessary. But seriously, let them explore snails and frogs and trees. Let them get familiar with nature and how they fit within the natural environment.
If you were not allowed to explore as a child, you will likely be one who is very uncomfortable in a multitude of situations. This is because your brain has been hardwired to look for parental approval before making any decisions. If this applies to you, I highly recommend that you take some time to disconnect from the parental energy for a while. If possible, get yourself out into nature for a day…or more. Look around. Explore. If nature is not an option, then get yourself into social situations that you might not otherwise be drawn to, such as joining a club of some sort. This then allows you to explore human nature and to get to know people who have no idea who your parents are or what your parents might think about anything. This can be quite liberating. Instead of telling people to “take care” when saying goodbye, begin inviting them to “take a chance,” because you just never know what wondrous things that might lead them to!
It truly is a complete shift of paradigm to have this exercise in trusting one’s self kick started. Interestingly, as a child I, myself, actually felt more at home and at peace out in nature than I did in the comfort of my own bed at night. This is partly because of the dysfunctionality of my family as I was growing up. But mostly it was because I was naturally more of a woodland elf than a human in my psyche. Of course, back then, I did not call it that. I did not call it anything because I did not have the concept to refer to. But now I know it for what it was. And it was so much so that, when I was in the comfort of my own bed at night, I would do a visualization of being extremely small and wrapped in a leaf out in the woods. That was the only way in which I could actually go to sleep. I never told anyone about that until just recently. And their response was, “Wow! You really needed to find someone to trust back then.” I had not thought of it in that way before, but they were right. See, even at the ripe old age of 57 I can still learn great amounts of things on a daily basis! What I knew back then was that I felt a deep sense of peace and trust when out in the woods. And that was something that the chaos of my family did not have. So I would access that at night and then, as soon as possible in the morning, would head out into the woods again.
In the woods I was not clumsy. In the woods I knew where every part of my body was in relation to every part of nature around me. There was no tripping over roots or breaking branches as I walked. In fact, I still have an extremely quiet walk, which is something that often scares the begeebers out of the people I live with! And sometimes they scare the begeebers out of me because I honestly thought they knew I was there, and then their reaction of intense surprise startles me. We laugh. And we laugh some more.
So this feeling of knowing where I was in the world in relation to nature helped me to develop a great sense of trust in myself. My mother would sometimes worry about where I was when I would be gone for a long time. But I was always alright, even when dealing with a wolf pack. But that is a story for another time. The point is that as I grew to trust myself, I learned about paying attention to the instinctual messages that my body would give me when someone was NOT being trustworthy. And that is what has saved my butt in many cirsumstances throughout my life. I remember being completely surprised by the fact that my family was moving to a farm. But in looking back, that was the most beneficial move for me in my very young years, because it allowed me an opportunity to connect with nature and with myself in ways that would otherwise have possibly taken many more years. And although the process of the move was not that great, I am still extremely grateful for the opportunity it provided me to connect with Nature and with my SELF.