The beginning of 2015, I wrote a post on my intention to work with trust this year. Well, we are halfway through the year (can you believe it?) and I want to update you on my experience and where I’m at right now.
I’m not one to sugarcoat, never have been, and likely never will be: it’s been at best a road filled with unexpected speed bumps and at worst a struggle that has implanted a very real desire to curl into my insides and emotionally/mentally/geographically run away from anything or anyone that requires me to trust.
It’s kind of amazing how aware you become of the depths of your fears when you place a flashlight on them and make an honest effort to work it out. What I initially thought would be a walk around the neighborhood has turned out to look more like a complex maze.
Because the universe is apparently a good conspirator, these past six months have been filled, no saturated, with instances that beg me to trust.
I always start out with an open door, a willingness to stay present and give way to trust, but that state quickly goes out the window when I start to think about all the possible things that could go wrong if I surrender to it.
Am I trusting too soon? Am I trusting the right people? Will I end up hurt? Is this the correct timing? Am I really making the right decision? The list of questions go on and on and they eventually turn into a panic that pushes me to run, to disengage, to turn to something safer, something that is more secure.
But the problem with that is that I’ve never believed in living a life without risks. In my reality, a life without risks negates the point of being alive. Yet, how difficult it is to be vulnerable enough to remain in a situation that can leave you in a place that may eventually require you to experience pain and healing. And so the push and pull of wanting and no wanting to trust takes its course.
These past six months have been a replay of this exact battle and I’m starting to feel like I have an old VHS tape on repeat. I see myself going through the same looped cycle –> willing to trust —> doubting —> panicking —> disengaging —> reflecting —> willing to trust once more.
Just like anything that replays over and over, it starts to become frustrating. And I don’t know about you, but when I get frustrated I just want to walk away and not have to deal with the frustration any longer.
But then I remember that everything worth having, those experiences and connections that have carried the most weight in my lifetime, they all required me to be vulnerable, to be willing to trust, to take a chance.
Even when they didn’t work out as I’d wish they had, they were impactful in ways that facilitated my personal growth. They taught me that I can hold heartbreak and not crumble. They showed me that time does heal and new doors really do open. They reaffirmed that life does go on and a life without a range of emotions would be a truly boring one.
The more times that trusting leads to pain, the more difficult it is to remain open to giving trust another try. It’s tough. It’s an internal struggle.
The most difficult concept for me to trust is time. To trust that time settles everything, that it unravels what appears to be a rubik’s cube today, is a lot to ask of someone who wants control and has few patience bags to spare.
Where am I today?
The one solid thing that I’ve learned in these six months is that the key is to keep engaging, not to run. I’d be lying if I said that trusting comes easier to me now – it doesn’t.
But, what I have gained a lot of practice in is staying on the field. As much as my feet want to hit the pavement, I’ve been working on remaining engaged and asking myself where the fear is coming from and why.
Listening to and understanding my fears is what has allowed me to remain engaged. I’ve gotten so much better at not dismissing situations and people out of a fear of needing to be vulnerable and I think that is because I’ve become more aware of where that fear is coming from and I acknowledge it.
It’s a work in progress and sometimes I feel like a tennis ball with how quickly I bounce from one side to the other, but I’m learning how to be present with that struggle instead of wishing it away. Being present with it means that I can explore it and quite frankly that in itself is a relief.
What are your thoughts/experience with trust?