A new year feels like an opening to new opportunities or, for those of us on the path, like an invitation to explore new points of view. As always, thank you for showing up and opening your heart to my thoughts and ideas about living with authenticity. As we explore different topics together, I hope you find inspiration for new reading and insight. This week, we are exploring the topic of trust.
Over the last few years, as a society, we have experienced a steady decline of trust in people and systems. The world has become deeply divided by political, cultural and religious beliefs. It is my hope that, in 2022, we can encourage our friends and family members to meet in the spirit of love and learn how to trust in the goodness of others.
Trusting in goodness
When I was young, I attended Sunday school at St. Monica’s Church. I was taught that God would save me from pain caused by bad people and bad things. So, when bad things started happening, like my Grandfather’s sudden death from a stroke and my dad’s spiral into alcohol addiction, I was confused. Where was God during this difficult time?
Seeking guidance, I showed up at St. Monica’s every Sunday for the next few years. But the only things that I received there were cookies and directives to follow God’s plan. Not long after my 10thbirthday, I stopped going to church because God wasn’t there. I started looking for Him in my school community.
By the time I was a teenager, it became clear to me that when people show up with a safe and loving space for you, that is an act of God. As it turned out, I was saved by the love of my high school teachers who invited me into a safe place to write and talk about my feelings. I was also saved by the love of friends who invited me into the safety of their homes to share joy and laughter with their families. These experiences – these invitations to join others in love and comfort – taught me to trust in the goodness of others.
What is trust?
For me, trust is a feeling of safety and comfort that is created by an act of goodness or goodwill. Several times a day, you are called upon to trust in your decisions and in the decisions of others. When your trust “radar” is activated, you feel a sense of relaxation (comfort) or tension (discomfort). These feelings are rooted in your faith in the goodness of humanity.
Pay attention to your feelings
The feeling of trust or distrust shows up in your body. For example, in a trusting relationship, you are at ease (because goodness isn’t a threat); however, when there is an element of distrust, you feel uneasy or tense. I have learned from personal experience that when I am uncomfortable in a situation, I feel tension in my neck and throat (throat chakra). I experience an immediate physiological response that restricts the flow of energy and communication. My voice becomes quieter and sometimes a little shaky. A few friends mentioned to me that, when distrust is present, they too experience tightening or tension in specific areas of their bodies. For one friend, she experiences pain and bloating in the abdominal area (solar plexus chakra) and for another, they experience headaches (third eye chakra). If you pay attention to where and when energy blocks and tension accumulates in your body, you may discover areas in your life where trust is missing or needs to be evaluated.
This tuning practice will enhance your ability to discern between what feels safe (comfortable) and what feels unsafe (uncomfortable). It will also cultivate a way of being that encourages trust in the goodness of others.
Moving forward on the path, I invite you to be fully present and to focus on trust as a way of creating more comfort for you. As you know from my church story, I am not a religious person; however, I am a deeply loving and spiritual person who trusts in the goodness of others. I am inspired by cultures, traditions and teachings from around the world. I hope you will consider exploring spiritual philosophy books as a way of diving deeper into what it means to trust in the innate goodness of our shared humanity. Here are a few of my favourites:
Appeal To The World: The Way To Peace In A Time of Division by The Dalai Lama
Welcoming The Unwelcome: Wholehearted Living In A Brokenhearted World by Pema Chödron
Trusting The Gold by Tara Brach
When we learn to trust in the basic goodness of others, we create an environment for ourselves – internally and externally – that supports a life of comfort and love. This is the journey to confidence, connection and well-being.
Next time, we’ll explore love on the path to authenticity.
Let’s journey together.