“Just trust yourself, then you will know how to live.”
This powerful line by Goethe has been one of my most steadfast reminders and mantras for almost two decades. I ran into this profound guidance just when I needed it most. As in, just when I was open enough to believe that perhaps, just perhaps, it was up to me to decide how I got to live. How I got to feel about myself. How I got to choose what to believe in, what to want, what to need and how to be.
This was all happening at a time when I was just beginning to wake up to the idea that my life would remain the unhappy mess I often fell into because of my outer and other oriented approach to Life. Or, I could find another way. There was no choice as far as I was concerned. As a new mother, I was up against the harsh reality that Life as I had known it, was over. And even though a great deal of me wanted to hunker down and force things through per usual, another wiser, more trust-worthy part knew that somehow this was my chance. Though at the time I could not have told you what that chance was that was being offered to me.
But I can now.
And what I can tell you is this. That “time” I am referring to is here now for all of us. Whether we want it or not. Whether we are comfortable or not. Whether we feel as though we can do it or not. The time is now and it is here. And it cares not for our ideas around how things are supposed to go. It is here and it is asking one question, and one question only: Will you be with it? Will you let yourself be shaped by the times, carried by them, smashed to smithereens by them, squeezed out empty by them? With no guarantees offered. With little foreshadowing available. And with lots of confusion, frustration and missteps, along with lots and lots of hard work.
This is not easy and writing it makes me wonder who would ever sign up for such a thing? The answer? None of us. Not one of us. Which is why the big shifts in our lives come in ways we have no control over. In ways we did not see coming, nor would ever ask for. And yet, somewhere in all of this there is a hidden promise. That being, that if you can learn to navigate the unknown and the unknowable, exactly as you and only you can do, mistakes and all, you will be gifted with the most profound of all capacities: self-trust.
Self-trust gifts us with the colossal ability to go inside, to go below the noise and the external pressures of those around us, as well as our own fears, hang-ups and limitations. And in the going beyond we come to a place where the most exquisite answers and guidance reside. A place that does not answer to the status quo, consensual reality or mass consciousness. A place that despite the way it moves against consensual reality, offers up, for all of us when even one of us gets there, the most supreme of all perspectives; a flowing, never-ending Source of information that transcends the 24-hour news cycles, social media feeds, the fears du jour, and all of the rest of the inner and outer noise that we engage in that takes us away from ourselves, each other and the Truth.
Do you feel called to help the place we individually and collectively find ourselves in now? If so, the greatest act you could ever take would be to learn how to trust yourself. To learn how to think for yourself. To learn what you need and then, how to satisfy only the realest of those needs.
How to begin? Make a commitment to yourself that you, and only you, can decide what is right and true for you. Then, watch what happens. And when you come to all of the places where you allow others to tell you what to believe in, what to want, what to feel, and how to be, know that your work has just begun. And when you come to the place that believes that to do this would be selfish, know that your work has just begun. Best of all, know that it will be the most valuable and finest work you have ever done.
P.S. Get away from the mind-numbing and incessant messages that distract you and that you take as your own, without even knowing it. Question whether your thoughts are your own, or are something you have picked up from outside of you. The only way to do this is two-fold: get agenda-free time on your own, and fast from outside versions of “truth,” in whatever form they take.