Trust As Medicine

“Just trust yourself, then you will know how to live.” Goethe

Learning to trust yourself is perhaps the greatest evolutionary leap you can take. It is a powerful and revolutionary act to decide to have faith in yourself. But… Maybe you know almost nothing about what it means to trust yourself, having never considered what it would take or feel like. Maybe trust was broken with you when you were young, and so you never established that level of faith within yourself. Maybe you are so busy, frazzled, and screen addicted that you do not know where or how to begin. Or if you even have the strength to begin. Perhaps it feels easier to let someone else be in charge of your life.

If we are to be the authors of our own lives, we must develop a faith in ourselves that is bigger than what is outside of us. Trusting our inner capacities comes from within and takes time to cultivate and develop. Maybe you think it is not enough to trust yourself.  After all, you’re no expert. Who are you to decide the rules? Or how things should go. Who you are is the only one who will ever know what it is that you need to do to live your life. The scary and overwhelming truth is you are already deciding. Each and every day we decide what to trust; either what is inside or outside of us.

We must remember that we are the ones who know what we need. We must learn that we can listen to, and trust, that small, quiet voice within. We must learn to lean into the uneasy, nagging feelings that tells us that something is off. This is so much easier said than done. We are inundated with external information about how to live from sources ranging from the benign to the opportunistic. This can leave us feeling as though others know better than we do. Most of us have had no training in this regard, furthering that feeling that it is natural or at least easier to follow another person’s rules, ideas or influence. And yet, if we are to serve as the guardian of our own lives, we must turn towards ourselves and develop a deep capacity for trusting what comes from within. The stakes are high. We are talking about the only life we have.

This is an important place to pause and to point out that as a culture we tend to be very, very hard on ourselves while expecting things to be quick and easy. There is nothing quick, easy or guaranteed about this process. Your way will take time and be unique to you. And while we must allow for this to take the time it needs, we must also simultaneously hold that the clock is ticking. Nobody else knows what you should do about your life, but you do. You do. Your only task in this regard is to find ways to access that knowing while allowing for the missteps, mistakes and miscalculations.

Daily, we have gut feelings about what is happening all around us. The next time you have one of these sensations, pause and take note of it. What does it feel like? Where is it located? Maybe even say something out loud to yourself about it. Then, notice the way the rational mind will try and turn it into something else. Be aware of both sides. Then, make a choice and see what happens.