There are natural cycles that continuously propel us through our lives: times of experience brought straight to our door, phases when great activity abounds, tumultuous zones, periods of plenty and lack, and lapses when a quiet void slips in and the world seems to be going on around us.
It’s always easier when life is flowing the way we like it, but these natural cycles bring the experiences that cultivate our growth and enrich our soul. We strive, focus, celebrate, lose, gain, break down, open up, question, grieve, love, create, connect, isolate, withdraw, and emerge over and over again, shape-shifting through the changes.
It’s such a beautiful dance when we are in the awareness of our infinite nature, our Oneness, and our connection to Source. But when our identity and security is defined by the outer (appearance, job, money, status, etc.) our trust becomes conditional and these cycles are painful, frightening, and sometimes debilitating.
To develop a core belief of trust that provides a template for our thoughts, we have to know how to deal with fear. We also have to know where trust is found: the inner realms, not the outer. Our goal isn’t to trust another person, a job, a system like the government, or even our bodies…. it’s to trust our Selves and the greater life force that created and sustains us, however you define that.
Based on your personal experiences, the development of trust may be a lifelong journey and, to some degree, it’s true for all of us. We come into our lifetimes with a secure knowing of connection that is immediately challenged by the polarity of the physical plane. Depending on the consciousness of those who care for us, our knowing is validated, enhanced, or threatened – and the tapestry of our lives unfolds accordingly.
Here’s where the good news comes in. We are empowered by our very nature to transcend and transform, and the more we relate to our inherent nature, the more trust we develop and the more powerful we become.
Dealing with fear
In non-life threatening experiences, here’s an exercise for dealing with fear in the moment:
Bring your awareness to the fear you are in.
Close your eyes, breathe deeply, and be willing to be completely present with it.
Recognize all the scenes your mind is playing out based on the fear.
Change the visualizations to opposite scenarios until you experience accompanying positive emotions. Breathe deeply.
Open your eyes and remain in stillness while you perceive any inner and outer shifts. (Sometimes the lighting or texture of your environment will appear differently when you open your eyes. This is a sign of actual change occurring.)
With repetition, this practice strengthens your ability to cultivate trust and move more quickly from fear when it arises.
Asking for help:
When fear is consuming and your negative emotions are overwhelming, it is time to surrender and ask for help. There have been countless times I’ve pulled my car over to the side of the road when I’ve recognized my mind is looping in fear-based imaginings, put my head on the wheel and said out loud: “I’m not in my right mind, I’m willing to see this differently, but please help me!”.
Getting on one’s knees in prayer and seeking intervention is also a powerful act. It is a humble relinquishment of the insanity through an acknowledgment of a far greater power and possibility, and ushers in the assistance needed.
If your mental thoughts are looping no matter what you do, sometimes interrupting the pattern by watching a movie, creating something, spending time in nature, or reading a book can neutralize the fear and provide the impetus for higher thoughts to engage and carry you forward.
Statements of faith
Our minds process 50,000 to 70,000 thoughts a day. Given this constant stream, it’s helpful to consciously choose statements of faith that you speak out loud when fear let’s you know the background din is getting too loud. Such as, “I trust the Universe to support me.” “There are more options than I can currently see.” “I am capable.” “Yes I can.”
Reading faith or truth-based material that resonates with you can also turn off the fear switch. Sometimes I grab the Course in Miracles and just reading the first line of the daily lesson is enough to realign my mind. For many years, Unity’s Daily Word provided a guide post for my thoughts throughout the day.
Developing trust long-term
There is no way around it: we have to develop a spiritual (inner) practice and application that stimulates a core belief in trust and trains the mind to stay on track.
Throughout my life, I’ve been involved in some type of spiritual teaching or practice. Metaphysics, Science of Mind, Unity, Native American spirituality, hospice training, Buddhism, crystal healing, hypnotherapy, Course in Miracles, meditation, and countless workshops, books, and teachers have all provided some type of practice to further my understanding of spiritual law and truth, do the necessary inner work, and apply the principles to my physical experience.
My soul’s desire led me to each of these places of instruction, which were perfect for me, but there are many ways to study the nature of life – from science, to metaphysics, to spirituality. What you can trust is where you are drawn, what you learn from the experience, and how you come to know your Self.
The most simple and profound truth about our lives is that they are a gift of co-creation. When we know ourselves within and have awareness of Source (love) and the laws of the Universe, we can confidently take our rightful place in the co-pilot’s seat. From there, we can trust that all life will be fed by the creations that come from our heart’s desire and limitless imagination; creations that can be a spectacular return of gratitude for such a profound and priceless gift!