“Promise me you’ll always remember: you’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”
-Christopher Robin to Pooh Bear
On a recent sunny Saturday a daddy long legs took a detour into my picnic basket at the park and back at my apartment, began making its way across my hardwood floor. I watched it dart about deciding which direction to take. I have a no kill policy; live and let live, but fear overtook compassion. I grabbed a shoe and flattened the poor thing.
I stood there for a long moment feeling bad (and grossed out) and saw the metaphor for the world’s biggest problems in my arachnophobia. Rather than live harmoniously with what we fear, we want to kill or eradicate what we fear. On a grand scale, we’ve all seen what fear has done to the world.
As my acupuncturist “Obi” says, the antidote for fear is trust. As the spider wandered about, I had visions of it making its way across a shoulder while I read on the couch or maybe crawling across my face while I slept. If I could have trusted that this innocent creature would make its way out of my home or find a suitable place to hang out, I would have let it be.
Three things occurred following the spider murder that brought the issue of trust loudly into my field of vision.
Firstly, I attended an evening at a friend’s “constellation” workshop. This is a bizarro world healing modality with sometimes amazing results. I’ve been to a number of these and had agreed to attend in support of another friend who was going for the first time.
Much to my surprise, I was asked to participate in the lead role. As the session went on, it became apparent that the topic of the healing was pertinent in my own life; it was centered on the melding of one woman’s heart and body with her life’s purpose. The healing came in her agreement to shed what was keeping her from living that purpose.
I’m unsure of what in the constellation triggered it, but I later pondered why–for a girl who loves love–my love life in the past few years has become non-existent and a sentence flashed clearly in my mind about my level of trust in the realm of romantic relationships.
The second thing was a book. Two years ago, a friend lent me The Shack. I’m an avid reader, but I’ve sidestepped that book on my shelf upon each perusal, refusing to read something that begins with the murder of a child. This time while scanning the stack, I picked up the book and began to read.
In it, I discovered some very acceptable answers that go back to the “sweet” surrender I discussed in a previous post. Why, I’ve asked myself, should I wholly surrender and “blindly” trust in light of the path my life has taken?
In a scene with the lead character, a highly comforting explanation is given, contrary to my early indoctrination, that there is not a malevolent and mean-spirited being exacting punishment arbitrarily (with things like cancer) or smiting us for entertainment. The web of the universe holds a neutral field of love.
Another is that if we relinquish our stubborn stance of independence and consider walking in hopeful expectation with ourselves and with our higher power (whatever or whomever that may be) with openness and at least a pinch of trust, then the falls we take and the hardships we endure just might not be as grueling as when we plod alone.
One line that radically resonated for me was, “It’s extremely hard to rescue someone unless he is willing to trust you.”
The freedom comes in the friendship.
The third thing that happened was a profound class at school about exploring the thoughts and actions behind success. We first watched a Ted Talk with an amazing woman named Caroline Casey called ‘Looking Past Limits’ and look past limits this woman has done. The amount of trust Caroline Casey has in herself and in life, in spite of a considerable limitation, will boggle your mind.
The filter that we see the world through starts forming by what we hear, see, feel and experience as young children. As we navigate through life, each significant experience and event further shapes our beliefs. If something negative (or something we believe to be negative) or traumatic occurs, we’re likely unaware of how our view of the world insidiously alters according to the impact to our hearts, lives and our emotional states.
We don’t spend time thinking about our levels of trust. Until we intimately discussed our business goals in relation to our underlying beliefs in class, I had never stopped to consider whether I had a high degree of trust or not, never mind how that might be impinging on the results in my life.
In The Spontaneous Healing of Belief, Gregg Braden says that our deepest, biggest core belief which shapes our ultimate experience of life boils down to one big Kahuna question: do we believe in a beneficent, kind universe looking out for our best interests or do we believe that the world is out to crap on us at every turn? (That might be a paraphrase.)
After the Ted Talk, Selena, our instructor/coach asked the difficult questions with a few light bulb moments igniting in the room. In my own microcosm, I became aware of being a “ye of little faith” kind of girl as of late. I realized four monumental distrusts I’m harboring.
I don’t completely trust my body because of its maladies in spite of my best efforts at health.
I don’t trust romance because of all the rascals and rogues I’ve lusted and loved over the course of my life.
I don’t fully trust myself because of some messy mistakes I’ve made.
But most of all, I don’t really trust divinity because of the dark and pain-filled falls I’ve taken, sometimes leaping into free fall with faith and landing in agonizing face plants.
Basically Mr. Braden, I’d have to say that I’ve been trying to dodge the flying crap.
If one does not trust life, how can life give us the beauty we seek?
And so, as one would fundamentally need living life by heart, I planted the idea of trusting in life once again. Just like Jack’s magic beanstalk, that teeny tiny seedling has begun to grow rather rapidly. (What was that about the mustard seed?)
Small leaves are starting to sprout. Cool happenstances are cropping up. The wind is rustling and swirling with a slight scent of possibility.
But the biggest and best in this new experiment of trust–for a girl who loves love–is that I fulfilled one of my ‘Manifesto’ wishes within a week. At Expo Latino, my favorite event of the year, I said a wholehearted yes to dancing into the wee hours (la madrugada) of the night and found myself in a series of bodacious joy spots (no, I didn’t say G spots!) that I haven’t been in for many years.
That slice of the pie chart in the previous post, the Joy-Play-Adventure piece, with a dash of trust, expanded exponentially in the wink of an eye.
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© Wanda St.Hilaire
Winnie the Pooh and Christopher Robin are fictional characters based on the original works of A.A. Milne. The characters and their names are registered trademarks of the Disney Corporation and Dutton Children’s Books. The images used may or may not be fully copyrighted illustrations of the Disney Corporation and Dutton Children’s Books and are used here only to illustrate Pooh’s beautiful spirit in relation to this post.