“A bird sitting on a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking, because its trust is not on the branch, but on its own wings.”
This morning I received a message from my heart. It asked Tina, what is your deepest value in a relationship? In a nano second the answer came. Trust.
Sounds like a no-brainer, right? We all value trust. Perhaps some of us value it more than others, but there is no doubt we all want to trust our lovers. We want to trust those we are in professional partnerships with. We want to be able to count on our friends and family.
Yet, are we clear on what this really means? Do we truly understand the value of trust, or in saying we trust are we just paying lip service to others and ourselves? We may think we understand, but we cannot truly know unless we are tuned into the most trusting relationship available to us. That with ourselves.
After this question pinged me at sunrise, I immediately grabbed my journal and wrote TRUST in the middle of the page. Written out from this anchor value, I described what trust in others looks like for me.
They say what they mean.
They do what they say.
They speak the truth even if they think it might hurt me.
They only make promises they can keep. They simply don’t make them if they can’t.
They do what is best for them, and in turn welcome me to do what is in my best interest.
They act with integrity even if it is brutally humbling to do so.
They give their body a chance to heal and repair itself.
They seek guidance from their heart and gut.
They do not proceed unless it feels right to them, and if they do, they will get back on course quickly.
They are there for me when challenges arise, and commit to discovering solutions.
They are expressive about their wants and needs.
They are clear with me about their expectations. They will only have expectations of me they would have of themselves.
They are patient with me as well as themselves at they process through challenges, and periods of growth.
They rest when their body tells them to rest.
They heed their impulses.
They share their gifts and talents with their community, and the world if that be their path.
They embrace their inner child that believes in magic and infinite possibilities.
This list poured out of me. It flowed with such ease, and then I discovered that five years ago, I never could have completed this exercise with such clarity.
Five years ago, I had no idea what trust in others meant, because I did not trust in myself.
As a result of not having me to lean on, my personal and professional relationships were waking nightmares. The same discouraging narratives repeated year after year. I counted on financial deals going sideways. I knew love relationships would end in betrayal. I felt the breakdown in partnerships long before there was a physical separation, and I just knew my body was going to “fail” me again.
So what does trusting in oneself look like?
Innately, we want to believe others will always be at their best––that they will say what they mean, and do what they say. We want to believe they will act with integrity even if doing so brings them to their knees in humility. We want to believe those we love and connect with will be there for us in the worst of times, that they will support us, and speak from their hearts. We want to believe they will never abandon or betray us, that they will be kind, uplifting, and patient with us as we find our way through this crazy beautiful thing called life.
These wishes of trust we have of others, they are what we each need to cultivate within before our experiences without can be founded on a bedrock of trust.
At the time I learned this karmic truth, I was living a life-spun nightmare. My relationship was ridden with emotional betrayal, money was running out, I had very little professional support, and my body was breaking down more each day.
Fortunately, I have just enough Virgo tenacity, and a desire to self-improve that I chose to seek support from a personal development mentor.
She asked me one day, “Tina, when are you going to stop holding back the truth of what you feel? When are you going to begin trusting your inner guidance system?”
I was emotionally bulldozed by her words. The impact was real. It was shocking. It made me cry. It was as though I received this guidance for the first time. Today I recognize it was not the first. I had probably read such a message in a self-help book, or been asked it by a friend at some point. Yet, until that day I had not been ready to receive it.
The very next afternoon I began practicing speaking my truth. I went for a pedicure and the nail technician was “massaging” my foot with so little pressure it felt more like a tickle than a therapeutic rub. Normally I would have just sat there, clenching my teeth, feeling annoyed, and resentful at her pathetic attempt to relax me.
Instead, on that bright first day of my journey to wholeness, I chose to speak up. With sweaty palms and a racing heart (seriously), I sweetly asked, “Would you mind using a bit more pressure?” Without a second of hesitation, she smiled and said, “Oh, of course! No problem at all. I wish more people would say what they like. You never know what people want unless they say something.”
LIBERATION! In an instant I felt like I had just escaped from prison. This example may sound trivial, but to me, someone who did not trust my message would be well-received, this experience was monumental.
From that day forward, I made a deal with myself, and I invite you to do the same.
It was this:
To my heart, I vowed––I will always trust you, and give you the benefit of the doubt.
To my gut, I committed––I believe you will let me know if I should proceed. I trust if something feels “off”, it is.
To my lips, I swore––if the words you are about to speak are not in alignment with your desires, thoughts, and actions, do not let them part.
To my mind, I promised––fear is a liar. Do not believe everything you think.
To my soul, I confirmed––you know the way. You know the right time. I trust you know what is best for me.