Learning to Trust
As always my interaction with the world, my observations and my own process inform this writing.
Today, I feel I have got a strong message which came from several sides and that concerns the issue of trust.
In Greek the noun 'trust' is called 'em-pistosini' which means the faith on something or someone.
Immediately that describes something that is, simultaneously, humane and beyond.
The humane part means that one 'strongly believes' that they are not going to be fooled, that they are going to be taken care of, that they are being told the truth, that they can rely on someone or something and so on.
The beyond humane part signifies 'having faith in god, in life, in something beyond this word, faith that things will be ok, that they will work out themselves and be resolved, that there is hope in the most difficult times etc'. This is a more religious & spiritual perspective which recognises that we are not the sole determinants of everything in our lives.
I will discuss a bit more the humane aspect here, as it is in this human & physical field that things tend to show their messiness.
Having faith in the physical world may apply in many situations from having faith that a street lamp is not going to fall on me to having confidence in a sincere person, a relationship and so on. Having confidence can be also applied to ourselves: How confident do you feel within yourself? How much do you trust yourself that they are going to create a life of happiness? How much do you trust yourself that they are going to be successful or create a relationship that it is going to be fulfilling?
Some people will be very certain to answer that they are very confident within themselves, that they can achieve whatever they aim for and that there are very few things that they can not have or give to themselves. These people are more likely coming from secure backgrounds, where they were told that they can indeed achieve anything they want and somehow that was also proven in their subsequent lives.
Other people will reply with uncertainty and maybe with more 'little' than 'much' trusting themselves. These people, as you can imagine, probably come from more unstable backgrounds where their worth was not actually mirrored to them and their needs were not quite adequately met.
Some of you might be thinking that 'the card' about the wounded child and difficult childhood has been overly played and, maybe, you are partially right, because childhood 'failures' may often be used as excuses for someone to progress in their lives.
My point here, though, is that as we grow up, wearing the costume of adult, we continue maintaining a relationship with ourselves on the basis of our early experiences, be that positive or negative.
The relationship with ourselves is the most crucial and important relationship we ever going to have in our lives. This relationship determines the 'successes' or the 'failures' in our lives. We might have the best ideas, the greatest of intentions and skills, but if we do not trust ourselves to move us through, then everything else is left to luck or to the unknown.
In the relationship with oneself, I feel that trust plays a key role, because it almost means 'carrying'. When we say 'I trust' myself we 'hold' ourselves, the same thing that our legs do to the rest of our bodies every day. It is this part of ourselves that we can rely on and assures us that we can do whatever we need to do. It is our spiritual bone structure that we can go to in moments of fear, despair, helplessness, anxiety, loss and destruction. It is this goddess who in a battlefield will help to bring out the gold from the souls.
The lack of trust is the disbelief and the absence of support. The lack of trust leads to a very tricky and unstable ground where anything can happen at any time and that is really scary. When there is lack of self trust then the self becomes the enemy and there is a constant battle between conflicting parts which, simply, have not learned to work together; they have mainly learned that in order to survive they have to 'kill' the other at all costs.
Do you understand how vicious and threatening that may be proven for the wellbeing of some people?
It is a big myth that trust is one of these things that one either has it or not; it is learned and exercised. A toddler when attempts to make their first steps, they hold on to things until they feel strong enough to let go off them and then... they fall! This is how we have all learned how to walk, by falling! If we were always holding on to things, we would have never taken the risk to walk.
It is inherent in the human system to trust. The toddler somewhere deep inside them knows that they can walk, they just have to keep trying until they are strong enough to succeed.
How different our world would be, if we all consciously learned that when we were young!
There is, also, another layer to the toddler story, a more hidden one. The toddler every time they fall, they get disappointed, disheartened, maybe a bit embarrassed too, but somehow without even 'talking' to themselves, they can support themselves and give them the courage to overcome or better to counterbalance those feelings and try once more. It is, also, important how the environment responds to them, by encouragement or disappointment?
I have seen so many people (including myself at times) struggling to offer that support to themselves on a permanent basis. For someone that has never really 'fall', there is no need for support, but for people who have really 'fallen' or felt unsupported by their environment, then it does take a lot of courage to support themselves and learn that 'it is ok to fall'', that they are not perfect and it is ok to receive support, that they can ask for what they need and not just for what is offered.
This, inevitably, takes my back to unconditional love. If we try to accept and love our deepest, ugliest, darkest, embarrassing and peculiar sides, then automatically they become beautiful, lighter and worth living sides of ourselves, which can be trusted and not to be afraid of.
The lack of trust on a large scale can create an unhealthy socio-political environment such as the one in Greece.
I recently had an appointment with the greek tax office office to produce and authorise an official document that I needed. Due to covid restrictions, I booked an appointment with an employee for a specific time and date I could go in. I presented myself at the agreed time and date to the door, only to find out that the employee did not go to work on that day and no alternative arrangements have been made for my appointment.
I lost trust once again to the Greek authorities. The lack of organisation in Greece is world famous and resembles the one of a third world country, where only if you are lucky or you know someone, you will be helped, otherwise you can spend hours and days trying to figure out a solution to the problem that the state creates for you and can not solve.
These situations always take me to a helpless state, which I knew well while I was growing up and it was one of the reasons I left the country as soon as I could, longing to experience another way of being. Like the toddler, I knew there was a better way of being, which I discovered both within me and outside me (luckily!).
My appointment did happen in the end thanks to the kindness of another employee who was, already, overwhelmed with work and was making sure that everyone present knew about it (you know, the greek dramatic and tragic way!).
The observation and consequent question remain though: there have been so many politicians over the years, there have been so may changes and no one has ever thought to simplify those processes?
The Greek state was and still is a very mistrusting state, there are so many seals that have to be put on a document in order to be authorised that any queen would be jealous of!
Simultaneously, there are so many illegalities happening unpunished on a daily basis by citizens, that turns the state-citizen relationship into one of a mafia, where the mother covers for its children and vice versa. There is no adult costume here, do not even try to look for it, there are mainly two children fighting or loving each other depending on the occasion.
When we create and step into an adult position, then we can acknowledge all our parts, honour them and our feelings and make decisions that reflect our values and our aspirations. In that position we can have the freedom and power to choose if we want to behave in a childish or more strict way to situations as opposed to be feeing directed only to one pole without a choice.
Creating trust within ourselves allows us to live with support and love at all times. Trust is not blind, it needs constant feeding and can directs us towards where we want to go; the big question each time is where do we want to go? It might not be a specific place, but can be a direction, a path and a route.
When we know it, then we can gather all our strength and qualities and make the effort to get there where our soul needs to go, just like the toddler.
I do hope the Greek state and citizens will consciously answer that question for themselves one day!
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