This week we started a new series on “Trust”. Living here in New York City, which has been the epic center for the COVID-19 virus, it has been incredibly challenging to navigate the changes, as the government shares information with us. I have shared before that during this time of “stay at home order.” I have lost several friends and family members to the virus. Members of my house have also suffered from the virus, just last Friday, my husband and I finally got the courage to go and get tested. We both tested positive for the antibodies, which meant that we had the virus at some point. I am just grateful nothing tragic happened to any of us. Finding out has brought me some relief, but I am still concerned about what is next, it can be a very scary thing when you are depending on a government that does not appear to be trustworthy. I often think about: Does this mean I have immunity, or can I get this virus again? These are questions I am thinking about, but with all the misinformation from the government, I am just uncertain.
I know that we can not stay locked in forever, but you want to trust that when the government says, “it is ok to go outside”, that it is really ok to go outside. I realize that trust is a major part of anyone’s experience. When you do not trust yourself, others, God, or life, you can find yourself very unhappy and living in a state of fear with no peace. I want peace more than anything, so during midnight mindfulness we will talk about trust, as we all must learn to trust ourselves, people, God, life, and our government. We start this week with examining self- trust, because if you cannot trust “you”, then you will never be able to trust anyone else.
I am learning that everyone in your life has the potential to betray you, whether they are friends, relatives, community, or your government. A lot of what trust is has to do with the willingness to take risks. Risk-taking is built into everything we do, believe, and live each day. We sometimes forget how much trust plays a part in every decision we make. When you get on the train, bus, or in your car; you trust that the person driving, or the vehicle you are driving will get you to your destination safely. When you work for two weeks, we trust that our employer will pay us on time. Trust is a major part of how we navigate the world, so when it is violated, it can create fear, unrest and so many negative things in our experience.
I am learning as I mature that people may leave. They may pass away, say a rude comment, cheat on you, lie on you, and may even disappoint you. All of this is apart of the human experience and relationships can be messy, but relationships are how we experience, love, life, and who we are, as individuals and trust are what we built into those experiences. While it is true, that we cannot count on anybody “100 percent” of the time, this does not mean we should isolate ourselves or harden our hearts when trust is broken.
But I think is important to be able to trust the one person, we should be able to count on, which is ourselves. In the book The Courage to Trust: A Guide to Building Deep and Lasting Relationships, the author writes, “The person you need to trust first is yourself. No one can be as consistently supportive of you, as you can learn to be. Being kind to yourself increases self-confidence and lessens your need for approval. Loving and caring for yourself not only increases self-trust, but it also deepens your connection with others.”
I think self-trust means that you believe that you can take care of your needs and safety. You trust that you will be able to survive situations, make decent decisions, and practice kindness toward yourself, not perfection. It also means you refuse to give up on yourself, even when others have given up on you.