Trust

For many years I grappled with the concept of trust. How do I trust myself, my decisions, my outlook on life, my perceived reality? How do I trust others? These questions loom over me constantly. I recently started unpacking my trust journey. I am acknowledging the defense mechanisms I have set up around myself that hinders my ability to trust. The protector part of me that stands in front of me, guides me, through discerning judgements, critical analysis of people and situations and feeds me a constant stream of negative fear. I have become aware of the importance of trust; it is a fundamental steppingstone for development and growth. And most importantly for true forgiveness.

Trust by definition is the firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something. I have always been suspicious of anything that is too reliable or true. I am cynical of everyone. My trust was non-existent. If I can’t control it, it cannot be trusted. The protector in me kept me from trusting, so I controlled and judged. I craved for a better way of being and showing up in the world. I had to unpack trust. 

I know that humans are fallible and need space to make error. I didn’t allow anyone space to be human in my life. It just hurt too much. I am unforgiving because I don’t trust. How many times have I finalized and cut off a relationship simply out of fear, fear of rejection, fear of abandonment and fear of the unknown. Trust is love. I think I needed to learn that the trust I gave to myself was the love I gave to myself, and that was enough to expand outwards. Forgiveness and love are bred from trust. There was a lot of forgiving I needed to give to myself first.

I believe the walls we build around our hearts is the trust we are unable to extend to the world. Fear, painful events in our lives and chronic stress dampen trust over time. Trust is simply a leap of faith to try again and again despite the hurt we face over and over again. There is no real escape from the heartbreak we all ultimately face, and will continue to face, simply because humans are complex and fallible creatures. We are all capable of inflicting serious pain and when we decide to be distrustful, the suffering only multiplies. 

Over the years, I have built layers of judgement of myself and others that festered into cynicism and a negative outlook. I have internalized a lot of pain and practiced years of self-sabotage. Along with not trusting anyone I also did not trust myself. I didn’t trust that I was able to show up in the world in a positive way. That my life was important, that I am able to contribute in a meaningful way, that I had permission to fill space in the world. Today, I see how important trust is in creating the world that connects me with the rest of my community. To practice the life I truly want, I need trust whole heartedly and release any expectations. Despite what shows up in my life, I want to choose trust every day. As I embrace trust, the protector part of me settles down, becomes more still and walks by me, not in front of me, watching carefully, and no longer getting in the way of what is the potential of a beautiful and meaningful life. With trust I am able to form new relationships, new ways of being, seeing and living. 

Trust. 

Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys

Recently, I have been confronted with a little more drama than I can personally handle, and I feel like I can handle a lot most of the time. Some of this drama is not mine. When a little too much drama presents itself centre stage in my life, I like to remind myself that I don’t need to get involved in every drama infused scene in my life story. I like to use the Polish proverb “not my circus, not my monkeys” as a reminder to escape the crazy circus tent, I sometimes stumble into. I simply walk out.

Self-sabotaging behaviour was a foreign concept to me when I was younger. As the years rolled on, and some of my behaviours were turning my life experiences into serious life lessons, I turned my attention to cultivating better life habits, including quitting things like alcohol, stress eating, procrastinating, not committing and others. But one behaviour I seem to work on quite a bit more than others is gossiping. Gossip is so prevalent in my work life, my home and my social life, that it is impossible to escape from and regulate. I have yet to find the best way to create some distance from other people’s “circus” otherwise known as drama. 

It is without a doubt that I am deeply interested in human behaviour, and talking with people about people is just next level tantalizing for me. I think a lot of people feel the same. This is why gossip is everywhere. However, I know from experience that including yourself in gossip is like walking into quicksand. The more you stand in it, the more you get sucked in, and the deeper you go, at some point there is no return. You are now involved, in the weaving of an opinion of someone else’s life without true knowledge or understanding of the victims moral compass, or their perceived reality. Having a discussion about a person without them actually being present, is like having a debate about the feelings of animals. You don’t know how animals feel, and you can’t ask them. Unless you are willing to analyze a person’s life experience from the time they were born, until present time, and dive deep into their psyche to understand their motivations, actions, intentions, pain, life perception and personality, you will never know the true intentions and motivations behind someones life strategies, and how this might affect your life.

Gossiping is a waste of time, but it is something that we do to ease our own insecurities and internal chatter. The ambiguity of life and the uncertainty of people is unsettling. Gossiping doesn’t give you any more control or power, over a situation or person. The momentary feeling of power that you get while gossiping is an illusion that works in the opposite effect. Your negative energy sends a signal to others that you are untrustworthy and lack self control. I like to think that everyone is just trying to get their circus on the road as smoothly as possible, some might want to drag you into theirs, some don’t even open the tent for public viewing. Respect boundaries and practice social decorum. This will help keep your eyes only on your own monkeys.

We all want to feel like we belong and connected, but gossip doesn’t foster community and belonging, it breeds jealousy and misunderstanding. When you don’t take on other people’s opinions and carry them as your own, this helps in taking proper responsibility and creates room for growth. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side. The grass is green where it gets watered. 

I have my own monkeys in my circus that travel with me and that is enough. I will always give out life advice gladly, if someone wants it, and I am always ready and willing to help if someone asks. I like to give people the benefit of the doubt even if they don’t deserve it, because really, who am I to judge? Everyone is a travelling circus, some crazier than others. Keep your circus and your monkeys in your own lane, and you will find less chaos on the road.