Who can trust the future these days? The leaders and institutions we thought we could trust prove untrustworthy. As creatures of habit, we feel safe and secure when we know what is ahead and can plan accordingly. For the most part, the future is unknown to us. The world looks like a scary place.
You may be going through a personal crisis or turning point: job loss, a relationship breakdown, relocation, a health challenge, last child going to college and an empty nest, the death of a close loved one.
Your life as a journey is not mapped out for you from start to finish. Actually, it might be boring if it were. Last weekend, I was officiating a wedding ceremony at a location new to me about an hour's drive from home. Or so I thought.
On the way, I turned off the autoroute too early and drove what I thought was in the right direction. I got hopelessly lost and found myself watching the minutes tick by on the clock as I sped along winding mountain roads, a long way from my destination. I am an on-time person. I do not like being late.
I called my briefest prayer: "Help, God!" A few minutes later, I arrived at a junction and was looking at my options, three possible roads ahead. A car drew up alongside me. The driver indicated to lower my window. Was I lost? Did I need any help? This dear person told me which road to go, how long it would take for me to reach my destination and how far it was away. All the information I needed. I arrived in plenty of time. Had I been wearing a sign over the car saying: Lost -- Help Wanted?
Have you ever called out for help, and have it arrive in the nick of time? Whether or not you believe in a God, there are certainly loving people around you who are looking out for you. You may yet become aware of them. You may be one of them for someone else.
'Shutterbabe,' in a thread of response to my last article "How Does Love Win?" offered this poem by Hafiz, Sufi poet of Persia, written in the 1300s:
"It Felt Love"
Did the rose
Ever open its heart
And give to this world
It felt the encouragement of light
We all remain
She also wrote:
Everything in life can be a mystery. Amid the shadows you have to move with confidence, knowing that dawn always comes.
In my Now, there is love in every aspect of my world. It is dimensional, childlike, as mad as the moon beautiful, a secret language that is understood and echoed back. You can live as a fugitive or reach out with delicate arms. Once you learn that you can trust the night and believe in yourself, you can let down your celestial hair and find those Heavens.
Paradoxically perhaps, these are the times you can awaken to a greater sense of trust than you have ever known before. Why? And how? Because you may not be able to trust in the same way in the world around you. You can learn to develop an inner sense of trust that will last your lifetime. Life simply is not mapped out the way it used to be. Your journey may embrace more serendipity, more chance, maybe even more fortune -- however you define that.
The absence of trust produces fear and uncertainty. Relating to life events with fear and uncertainty conditions or shadows you from the goodness of possibilities or opportunities available to you. It is like going three steps back to take one forward. However overwhelming the doubt and concern you may have, the spirit within you is greater. And it is that spirit you can trust. Again, how?
Consider these steps for awakening an inner sense of trust:
1. Meditate, Contemplate, Reflect
Get into the habit of regularly (even five minutes a day to start) to get in touch with the spirit within you. Deep breathing, closing your eyes, observing your thoughts and feelings, letting the day go. This Guided Visualization may assist you.
2. Intention for Trust
Intention has a knowing, clarity or feeling quality to it. With trust comes the faith and confidence in things working out well for you. You may have a sense of your feet being firmly on the ground and even if you do not see the detailed journey ahead of you, you know the next step you are to take.
A while ago, a writer friend shared with me a series of sayings she used at a critical point in her career. She would repeat them as she want out for her morning walks:
"I am trusting and patient
I am calm
I understand that everything is working out perfectly
I have faith"
She has since become a very successful novelist.
3. Incorporate a Trust Builder
This one is simple, though not always easy. Only agree to do those things that you fully intend to complete. And then complete them. Learn to say "No" when you do not want to take on a certain project or commitment. Completing commitments and agreements creates a healthy self-esteem and a solid foundation of self-belief.
4. Act in Faith With Confidence
Trust develops as you take action and move forward with what you wish to accomplish. If you make what appears to be a mistake, it was there for you to learn something. Love yourself in the process. Ultimately, there are no mistakes, except perhaps not even making an attempt.
5. And if You Get Stuck...
... then ask for help, one way or another. Call a friend. Take a moment to go within and ask inwardly for clarity. Relax and be patient. Look to your night dreams for guidance. Take a brisk walk, or dance. Physical movement can liberate a new insight. There are many ways we can give and receive "encouragement of light."
6. Stay open
When you dwell in doubt, mistrust or worry, your health, your creativity, your joy shuts down. As I drove to the wedding ceremony, I also repeated to myself I have plenty of time, which took the some pressure off and enabled me to relax, even though I was not entirely sure that I did have plenty of time.
Open your heart and give to this world all your beauty.
Whatever you read about or hear that seems horrific and shattering, please know that there is also a great wealth and abundance of goodness in people, and in our world. Trust me!
How do you find trust in an uncertain world? What do you do to restore your faith and confidence for positive outcomes in a challenging situation? How do you receive the 'encouragement of light' when you need it? I would love to hear from you! Your comments and wisdom are warmly welcomed.
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