Trust: the antidote to fear

Trust is in the news – or rather lack of it.  Did anyone ever trust  Rupert Murdoch or the News of the World?  More tragically, we hear how the  young people swimming away from the gunman dressed as a policeman inNorway,  asking their rescuers whether they could be trusted.  Who or what do we  trust?  And why is it important?

antidoteWe live in fearful times and trust is the antidote to fear, that’s why it’s  important. As children we have blind faith in other people and that gets knocked  out of us as we grow up, but we are hard-wired to trust.  We survived as a  species because of our ability to work together and trust each other, but who  can we trust when everyone seems to have their own agenda?

In September last year, my husband lost his job unexpectedly.  My income  as a therapist is insufficient to cover our outgoings and we had just spent our  meagre savings on some essential house maintenance.  Suddenly I was  afraid.  What if we couldn’t pay the  mortgage?  What if we couldn’t afford dog food?  What if the  car broke down?  What if?  What if? What if?

I spent a sleepless night, looping what ifs and trying to formulate a  plan.  My default programme is to think myself out of trouble and come up  with a plan.  Even if it wasn’t a complete solution it would make me feel  as though I was making progress and provide the Illusion of Control.  The  plan eluded me.  There was nothing I could do to earn  more money.  I have been out of corporate work too long to go back  and that would seem like a denial of everything I’ve worked through and learned  over the past eight years.  My mind whirred.

In the hour before dawn I finally realised that this was a real, God sent  opportunity to learn trust.  It is easy to talk about Trusting the Universe when life is running  smoothly and according to plan; a different beast when the rug seems to be  suddenly pulled from under your feet. I found peace that morning in accepting  that this was not a test, challenge, or punishment, but an opportunity to  explore, learn and grow.  In that moment of acceptance, my fear vanished  and I understood Trust, perhaps for the first time. It was five months before my  husband found work again and during that time we made various adjustments,  survived financially and continued to enjoy life.  It would have been more  difficult in every respect if I had remained consumed by fear.

That might have been the end of that chapter, but three weeks ago his new  contract was terminated.  The same lesson again?  More opportunity for  growth and learning?  What had I learned about fear and trust?

Well, we have even less security than we had before, but I don’t feel afraid  at all. Fear lives in the ego, which is always afraid because it doesn’t really  exist.  But we are not our egos.  We are not our bodies, not our  emotions, not our thoughts and experiences, not our attitudes or beliefs, or  personalities. These are all just aspects of our physical manifestation enabling  us to interact with the material world, but making us feel separate and  disconnected, feeding the fear.

Over the years I have got to know my Higher Self, the aspect of the unified  consciousness of existence that is accessible within each of us.  15 years  ago, I would not have been sure of the existence of a Higher Self – it sounded  like wishful thinking, a nice idea to make life more bearable. However, as I  went through my process of questioning the purpose of life, dealing with my  fears surrounding my husband’s illness and learning to meditate out of  desperation, something almost magical began to take place.  The recognition  that there was an aspect of me that could observe my emotions, thoughts, fears,  actions, behaviours, attitudes, roles and personality, but was actually none of  these things, was fantastically liberating.  Suddenly, I had more choice  and I didn’t have to respond to life challenges as I had done in the  past.

It is through the Higher Self, Atma, or Witness (there are other names) that  we access the deep, foundational Trust in existence that dissolves all fear and  keeps the ego in check. The more time we are able to spend not thinking,  analysing or doing, the better the balance between the Higher self and the ego  and the easier life becomes.  My Higher Self enables me to feel part of a  larger process of life, which is unfolding according to its own intelligence and  pattern.  I am able to consciously participate in that process through the  choices I make and, whilst I have certain responsibilities, I am not in control  of the process – and it is far more intelligent, creative and loving than I  could ever comprehend.  Having become consciously aware of existence in  this way, it is impossible not to trust it. We can trust in the process of life  because it is always going on to make the best possible version of everything  and we are an inextricable part of it.  With this trust in place we can  trust ourselves, because we have self-knowledge and we can trust others because  they are us too.

This does not mean that we no longer have problems or challenges, but when  something seemingly negative happens to us, we have choices. There are all the  logical, sensible action things to be done – in our case, reduce expenditure and  take action to find more work – and there are the emotional and contextual things to consider.  Last September, I felt  afraid in my little ego but chose to consider myself as part of a bigger process  and work through it.  There were wobbly moments; it doesn’t feel great to  contemplate having to tell friends and family that you can’t afford Christmas  presents, but the reality is not so bad.  We got invited to Christmas  dinner and it felt good to receive generosity without expectation.  Being  slightly detached from the whole consumer-fest that is Christmas these days was  also instructive and meaningful.  Looking back, throughout that five-month  hiatus we were exposed to many different and unexpected joys and  challenges.  Whichever way we looked at it, life had moved out of ‘business  as usual’ to something a bit more exciting.  This time around we are just  moving more deeply and easily into the flow and feel more alive.

When we are thrown into the Unknown, the Illusion of Certainty dissolves  behind us; we can’t go back there because it doesn’t exist – it never did.. When  we confine ourselves to the limited experience of our egos we create the  Illusion of Certainty and the Illusion of Control, so that we can convince  ourselves that we know what’s going on – that there is no Unknown, life is  planned.  Sometimes, life plays along with us.  We can live for years  in which everything seems to be going according to plan. During this time, the  ego will create all sorts of new illusions, dramas, experiences and challenges  to convince itself of its own existence and keep us from stepping into the  Unknown voluntarily.

Right now, many more of us are being thrown into the Unknown. We used to  think that the future was predictable, that there were recognisable patterns we  could follow; if we studied hard, worked hard and followed the rules we would be  OK.  Now, it seems as though those rules don’t work anymore, but did they  ever?  It is much easier to start meditating, connect with your Higher Self  and discover Trust, without waiting until your life gets turned upside down and  forces you onto another path, but it is never too late.  Trust enables us  to play in the Unknown without fear.

Yolanda  Dolling –    About the Author:

I’m here to support people in their awakening and to play a tiny part in  raising global consciousness.  Everything seems to fall in place behind  that purpose. I try to take on what life teaches me and to apply what I’ve  learned to the highest purpose – and to have fun doing it!

I work as a kinesiologist, transpersonal psychologist and laser therapist  from my home in London, where I live with my husband and two Dobermans.

 

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