Sometimes after being hurt people will ask me, “How can I trust other people again? How can I trust life?” My answer is, “It’s not people or life that you need to learn to trust, it’s yourself.”
Life, as we know, has an unnerving habit of changing and throwing us curveballs – some of which whack us hard and hurt a lot. When someone asks, “How can I trust life?” what they generally mean is, “How can I relax, let go and feel safe if life won’t keep still, not change, do as I want and guarantee me only nice experiences?” Come to think of it, that’s what they mean about trusting other people too.
As usual, here I am, writing a snippet on a huge topic BUT sometimes the most complicated things can boil down to a simple message. If you trust yourself, you don’t have to worry about anything that may or may not happen in your life.
We each have areas in which we trust ourselves and others that we don’t. When you trust yourself in an area it means you don’t stress about it. You might think about it or plan for it, but it doesn’t get you in the gut with that gripping fear feeling – not even mildly. You can see other people really struggling with it and even while you acknowledge how difficult it is, it doesn’t frighten you. For example someone who trusts themselves to be able to handle illness doesn’t have regular or specific fears about getting ill. They may have illness or be aware they are at risk but it doesn’t frighten them deeply. Their attitude is, “I will deal with that if it ever happens. Until then I’m going to get on with my life and not give it much thought.” The same attitude is true for people who trust themselves to cope with an off day, a barking dog, a traffic fine, a natural disaster, an accident, a crime or relationship betrayals. It’s a relaxed kind of, “It would suck but I would cope with it. Let’s hope it doesn’t happen. Now let me enjoy my morning” attitude.
Sometimes it gets a little tricky to know if what you are doing is really self-loving or avoidance of something that will be good for you to face.
I recently went through a patch of overwhelm because I had too many projects on the go, too much work, demands from home and family and self… you know, modern life. Feeling overwhelmed made me look at some patterns I have of giving too much and of measuring my self-worth and loveability on whether I am valuable and useful to others. When I asked, “If I loved myself what would I choose now?” my truth answer was, “To try to learn otherwise”. I realised I almost never gave myself time to just be, so I gave myself permission to say no and to withdraw from my work and projects more and more and just take time to sloth about. It was exciting and scary and very challenging to do it. As I learned to do it more I felt good and satisfied. At times I felt confused and anxious while not doing anything and that led me to explore what fear-based beliefs were driving my need to be productive. It was good and helpful to me. I learned more about doing nothing and how I see myself and my value. I felt listened to and cared for by me – and this made me feel safe. Hooray!
Then it all changed.
I began to notice that
Do yourself a good deed right now and take a moment to do an exercise. Don’t just skip over it and keep reading – this is for you. Ask yourself the question below and give yourself time to think and feel it out honestly. “What would it feel like if I was loved right now in this moment? Really loved, in the way I most want it.”
What happened for you? Did you feel warmth and notice your body relax and open up, did you feel relief, have a wave of tears suddenly rise up, feel sadness, pain, joy, anger, regret, hope, hopelessness…?
If you were honest with yourself when you did this exercise, then whatever you experienced is what you feel about being loved at this point in your life. You met the child in you who is always wanting to be loved. The feelings that came up for you when you met this child part of you will depend on what state of satisfaction or starvation he or she is in right now. Now you know. (You can go back and do it again anytime as a way of checking in).
Of COURSE we want to be loved all the time. Why wouldn’t we? Love is incredibly good for us physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. The funny thing is that
I awoke this morning feeling out of sorts. It’s amazing how one off thought can lead to the next and the next and before too long your head is filled with yukky thoughts and it seems like life sucks and everything’s hopeless.
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about thinking lately. Our thoughts impact on us dramatically. Just yesterday I had a day that was partially good and partially me battling myself. The battling part was freshest in my mind when someone asked me, “How was your day?” Thankfully this was a conscious person who would really hear what my answer was. I say thankfully because when someone around you is conscious it helps us stay in an aware place too. That’s why hanging around people who are aware keeps us more aware and reading these sorts of books and blogs and websites does too.
Anyway she asked me how my day was and because she was very present, I stopped and thought of my options. What was my story going to be right now about my day? What did I want to choose for myself? I could
Mostly we pretend
That underneath our clothes we are
Yet here you sit
The preparations made
The people invited
And now here we all sit
From the audience
I watch you begin
To get naked
At first I’m
I received passionate feedback after I wrote about give-take balance last week (read the full post here). It seems many of us struggle to say ‘no’. So I gave it more thought. As I do, a fascinating complexity about a belief in ‘should’ and ‘must get it right’ is revealing itself to me. I’ll try to share what I can see so far. Here goes;
What do I need in order to say no? First I need to see that something I’m being asked to do (by myself or someone else) isn’t right for me. I can only see that if I am paying attention to the signals my system gives me – for example, if when I’m asked to do something I feel uncomfortable, unhappy, resentful or panicky.
So right there at the starting line we already hit a tricky patch. How many of us regularly listen to the signals we get from ourselves? Society trains us to override ourselves and ‘be nice’, not listen to ourselves and be insubordinate or non-compliant.
But let’s just say I manage to get past this tricky patch and I hear my signals telling me something being asked of me does not suit me? THEN what? Well then it gets even trickier because now I have to take a stand. If I don’t go along with what is being asked of me I have to show myself, I kind of have to get naked and stand there being seen. “Here I am, this what I think and feel – you probably won’t like it because it’s not what you want, but here I stand naked anyway.”
Now does that sound like your idea of fun?
So we can see why we avoid saying no. I mean who wants to subject themselves to THAT? But it’s not as simple as avoiding that scenario – because as you step away from the pan, you find yourself in the fire.
Those who know me will have heard me say, “I don’t say yes if I don’t want to do it.” Those who worry about burdening me or asking too much of me are reassured, “Trust me to look after myself. I won’t say yes if it’s not ok for me.”
Most of the time this is true for me. I love being able to say no if something doesn’t suit me and yes when it does. It’s such a liberating thing to be able to do. This didn’t come naturally to me, I’m a people-pleaser by nature. It gives me great joy to see others happy so I’ve had to do some serious internal renovations to get to this place. It helps me to know that if I falsely agree to something when inside I’m reluctant, neither I nor they will be happy in the long run and it will damage our relationship. So it actually fits into my ethos of bringing happiness to others if I say no to them when what they desire from me doesn’t feel good to me.
In my Reiki courses I teach about