Several times over the past week, I've made attempts to write about Trust. I want to explore it, because without it, we may as well be dead. I suppose that sounds rather extreme, but as far as I'm concerned, I have all the evidence I need to point to the misery of lives lived in fear.
Most people I know won't admit that they are afraid. The fact is, we are taught not to trust the world, each other, our instincts, skills or intelligence. There is a vague sense of threat imposed upon all of us in this society almost from the cradle, in which the pain of impending loss is magnified and exploited for profit and power on many, many levels.
As a result, we live in a near-constant state of anxiety, a sort of mild paranoia. I could give you multiple examples, but I'm sure you don't need them to understand what I am talking about. The anxiety gives rise to anger, to evasiveness, to denial; it seems that we are experts at self-distraction, running away, and deliberate ignorance. But it hurts terribly--that's the thing.
So feel trust with me, for a moment. What is it? Is it placing conditional confidence in a person, an object, a situation "out there"? Is trust a decision to have a relationship with some element of life until such a time as it lets you down? If so, then what? Broken promises, dashed hopes and failed expectations are part of being human, part of the growth of our mental/emotional body.
If you decide to make someone or something else responsible for your safety and happiness (or believe that you are what "causes" the security, happiness or empowerment of another adult), what you are doing is contributing to the atrophy of your true confidence.
Is trust an ability to accurately predict? Is it self-control? Is it control of our environment? If so, we're all screwed...no, that's not it. Is trust some kind of guarantee that we will get all the love we need, all the security, sensation and power we deserve? No, no and no.
The truth is, there is nothing you can add to yourself--no lover, no form of insurance, no future padding that makes confidence happen, that "builds" trust within you. At its very root, trust is a natural capacity of consciousness--the ability to open, to let go, to fall with no guarantees. It is an "interior" condition that requires no exterior object to function.
As a matter of fact, the very thought of "placing trust" in someone or something is a divisive act. If you want to know the basis of Trust--if you want something to trust in--look around. This, my loves, is IT. All of what you sense exists in perfect confidence that you are bringing it to being this very instant, even as it shapes you.
Unclench your fists and your heart, and let go. Don't try to hold anything up, back, or away. You know how to move out of the path of hungry carnivores, manic imperialist governments and scary guys in the alley. You are capable of feeding yourself, taking practical care of your health and perhaps helping "others". You have intuition that runs like sap through every cell in your body, and lets you know when things are out of balance...it has a firm-but-loving voice, is eminently sensible and thoroughly creative. If you relax and pay attention, you can feel its current as it flows through, carrying images and messages extremely relevant to only you.
If trust had physical characteristics, it would resemble water in its adaptability, flexibility, power and allowing. Trust shapes itself to circumstances and is always appropriate. It seeks to fill the hollows and follows the lay of the land. It changes form, but doesn't go away. It flows around resistance and meets itself on the other side; it carves, transports, and deposits. It eases a most basic thirst. It could be likened to the moisture necessary for growth. Emotionally, it's a bit like a fluid forgiveness that precedes events, and washes them clean when they're done.
What is it that I'm trusting now? Not the ego's counsel, though I trust it will almost always have a say! What I trust is trusting itself, an active shifting into openness, receptivity, and clear seeing. Deliberate attention is required, because certain patterns of thought stick like sediment, and (at least at this point in my life) clot up in undesirable ways if I ignore them. But the barest acknowledgment creates an opening, begins the shifting process. Most deeply, I become trust, turn into love...another word for that letting-go.