Learning to Trust Your Self

Trust. It’s as hard to give out as it is to accept, surprisingly. Many people who are in a position of trust self-sabotage themselves out of an innate fear they’re going to fail the people who are trusting them. Trust is a prickly thing and can be very difficult, or at least it seems that way.

But what if trust were actually something soft and gentle and glowing golden and pure?

I recently saw a saying about trust:

A relationship without trust is like having a phone with no service. And what do you do with a phone with no service? You play games!

A rather modern and poignant way to see it, to be sure, but is it any less true?

Trust is critical when it comes to people and the relationships we have or are seeking. In order to be trusted, we need to know what trust is, and to trust ourselves. This isn’t as easy as it sounds, but is a big hurdle we must overcome on our path to being our best selves.

Never trust a naked man offering you a shirt – African saying

Out of hand we want to trust anybody. But how do you trust someone offering you something they do not have themselves? Thus it becomes obvious that if we want to trust others, we need to understand what it means to trust from the inside out. From inside of ourselves to the outside world.

Some would wonder what it means to not trust yourself. What does that look like for some people? Sometimes it’s giving in to vices, over indulging. We know what’s good for ourselves, but we don’t trust ourselves around temptation like sweets or alcohol. We avoid, we ignore, we put on blinders to the very things that challenge us, because we’re afraid to trust ourselves to be strong.

Sometimes a lack of self trust turns up as being submissive to the will and wants of others. We don’t trust ourselves when it comes to what we could or want to do, so we turn to others. We might over-extend ourselves in helping others, in an effort to ignore the fact we don’t trust ourselves with our own time. We might take on extra tasks, or do things only for the intent of pleasing others, because we don’t want to be left alone with what we fear will be an emptiness or void of ‘things’ in our own private lives.

Trusting ourselves is critical. It’s not easy, but it’s ever so important. How do we learn to trust ourselves though, when sometimes people have focused so much on others, on externalizing distrust or making it impossible for us to experience our own faith and trust in ourselves?

One of the first building blocks to self trust could be taking time to meditate, to sit alone with our thoughts, to be alone with ourselves. How can you trust yourself if you don’t ‘know’ yourself? And how can you know yourself if you’re always seeking the thoughts and opinions of others on the outside?

Getting to know ourselves can be frightening. But guess what? You really can’t hurt yourself. You really do have a natural state of bliss waiting for you to discover. And you really do have a lot of self love to give, even if you’re terribly afraid to do take a look.

It’s not easy to sit alone with yourself when you’ve been avoiding your own self for years, maybe even decades. But believe it or not, you can do it. And it all begins with simply sitting. You might need to find some time between chores or work you’ve taken on that you have decided is the most important thing in the world. It can wait. It might be taking a few minutes in between one load of laundry and another. The clothes can wait as well, and so can the dust and the dishes and the paperwork and the assignments.

Nothing is more important than you, than getting to know yourself. And when you’re ready to start to know that importance, you might just be ready to start developing self trust.

Get to know the wonderful person you are. See that there is NOTHING wrong with you, with the silence that comes from listening to yourself. And know that if anything comes up that does frighten you, that does scare or torment you, it’s a passing thought, a fly buzzing around your nose that will go away if you let it.

Relax. Breathe deeply. And trust yourself.

Out of all the people in the world, you are the one who wants what’s best for you the most, whether or not you believe it just yet. You will. So trust yourself. Trust your self. Then, when you have begun to trust yourself, you will find how much easier it is to trust other people.

Why You Need To Meditate

Meditation has been catching on more and more, and is steadily becoming more acceptable as a way to clear one’s mind and work on existing stress. However, there are so many different ways and methods to meditate that may be confusing people as to why they should even bother. When things get complicated, people often back away and look for something else to satisfy their itch or need or craving. The best thing to do with meditation education is to help people realize the WHY of meditation, rather than worry about the how. The HOW will come, as meditation begins and continues.

Why do people meditate? The answer can be very convoluted. Some are trying to clear their minds of thoughts that don’t suit their current lifestyle; old habits such as judgments of self and others, negative soundtracks that play over and over, and the daily grind of living in big cities, driving in heavy traffic and working with over stimulated people can cause the brain’s voice to go into overdrive. Taking a few moments each day to calm that voice down has been really helpful to people.

Another good reason to meditate is to begin the journey of seeking inwards. It is believed that every person has the answer to every question they might ever pose, spiritually, mentally or emotionally. Not everyone can calculate long formulas and equations, or decipher the legalese of politics and business or corporate law. Taking a moment to look inward though can be clarity to the external and internal details of any of these problems. A mathematician who is struggling with solving a problem might benefit from taking a break and looking inside at his or her own skillset, realizing and acknowledging what they already know, and learning to let go of what is on the outside that is preventing them from using their great skills towards the problem’s solution. A politician or business person might benefit from meditation by being able to exclude all the constant negative talk that happens in the board room, and giving up the power of their position or rank for but a few moments in order to sink inside of the ever-equalizing ‘self’.

Meditation can be all of these things, do all of these things; however, there is another very important reason to meditate that seems to be falling to the wayside. It’s simple, not complicated at all, and the more one studies this notion, the easier it becomes to meditate.

What if a person could meditate purely to experience a brief and pausing moment of peace in their life, each and every day? And what if, by dipping into that peaceful memory when life gets hectic, they were then more able and capable of surviving the harsher moments that seem to come with modern day living?

If people were able to spend thirty seconds in quietude each morning or each evening, sitting up with a straight back but with little tension to the body, and working not on clearing their minds or fighting off vicious bad thoughts but instead on letting things be – maybe they would be able to call upon that singular thirty second moment when the baby won’t stop crying or when the person driving the car behind theirs has found his hand glued to the horn. It could be the last little piece of peace they have had recently, and being allowed and able to recall that one little tiny moment of freedom, calm and serenity might be the escape in the moment that they require.

Meditation doesn’t have to be the chanting of a mantra or an affirmation over and over again until it has been hammered home. It also doesn’t have to be a conversation with the self about existentialist ideals and philosophies. It could be that meditation can merely be a moment of peace. Of quiet. Of serenity.

How is such a moment achieved? Easier than most people might believe, actually.

Meditation can be the tool used to achieve a state of blissful nirvana. It might be a method of regaining a sense of focus lost over years and decades of hard living. It can also be merely quiet.

In a darkened room, in a quiet place, try taking a few moments to simply sit. Allow the thoughts to come and to go, let them pass along on their own time, and have only gratitude for them. Try to avoid fighting or fending off what comes up, and simply accept that whatever that moment, those thirty seconds, are is exactly what they are.

There can be an ideal state reached via meditation. There can be great health and mindful benefits received by meditating regularly. However, the key purpose of meditation that seems to be getting lost is that when life gets really hard and difficult and is incredibly trying, the last meditation session is there as a reminder that yes, peace does exist, and will exist again – the next evening or morning in fact.

Enjoy meditation. Make it not work but relaxation. Find ways to simply be calm and at peace, with fresh or rejuvenating scents, a quiet space and no real stimulus for the ears and eyes. Allow the body to relax. Allow the mind to sink back a little. Then, when life gets harder later on, IF it gets harder later on, that moment of peace is there to recall and to remember.

Meditation can be many things, but it doesn’t ‘need’ to be anything more than a simple reminder that in everyone’s life, there is a moment of peace. Take that moment and own it, and use it as needed, several times a day.