I had a packed 4 day weekend and have been cheating my mind and body out of the full 8 hours of sleep that I need.
On Monday afternoon I finally had time to myself and picked up a book, but fell asleep within 5 minutes.
Unfortunately the nap didn’t last very long. A vivid dream that filled me with fear woke me up.
In my dream I was standing in front of a stove. I was cold and seeking warmth, so I kept inching my hands closer and closer to one of the lit burners. I had every intention of stopping before my hands reached the actual fire, but I was trying to get as close as possible to the flame for the heat. Then, all of a sudden, a man appeared behind me and yelled, “stop! don’t get so close; you’re going to get burned!”
The scream woke me up.
It was disturbing.
It was disturbing because this year I have felt the need to work with the word ‘trust.’
Since January 1st the word has stared back at me every time I go to my fridge; it’s plastered there with word magnets.
My dream served as a reminder of the work that I’m undergoing with trust. There is a push and pull that occurs for me when I attempt to trust that all is the way it needs to be at the moment.
My dream highlighted my fear of trust.
A part of me trusted that I would know when to stop inching closer to the fire, but the voice shouting warnings at me made me question that trust.
Trusting that we are making the best decisions when there is so much unknown takes patience and compassion.
Trusting that all experiences can be harnessed into purposeful lessons and growth takes courage.
Trusting that other people’s words and actions are simply what they appear to be can take effort.
So, what have I learned so far that may be worth sharing for those of you on a similar boat?
- Trust is a decision that we consciously make. Trust doesn’t just happen. We have to choose it and commit to giving it a sincere shot.
- Our minds are very good at creating stories that will leave us with doubts if we lack awareness. When we make a decision, for example choosing to move to a different state, it can be tempting to doubt our decision. We may start to create stories of all the things that can go wrong: what if I hate my new job? What if I don’t make new friends? What if my neighborhood is awful? We can spin stories faster than batting an eyelash. But the trick is to recognize that these stories live in our minds. They are not the source of external realities. If we are aware that these stories and doubts are ones that we are creating and not ones based on reality, then we have a better chance of trusting our decisions.
- Without trust there is no peace. We can’t go around distrusting ourselves, situations, and others all of the time. That would be exhausting! Yes, it can be difficult to trust, but it is just as difficult to doubt everything and every one.
- Our history with trust is not telling of our future experiences with it. Every new situation and each new person that we encounter deserves a fair chance. We cannot go through life analyzing everything through our history goggles. We learn from our past, yes. But, we shouldn’t let our past persuade us into believing that everything new will have the same outcome that we’ve experienced before.
We’re only a month and a half into the new year, and I am sure that my play with the word trust will take different forms and accumulate multiple shades. The picture is still developing.
What are your thoughts on trust? Do you have one word for the year?
For some wise words on trust, click this video: