Many people ask , “How can I learn to trust my partner / friend / spouse etcetera? Yet, the real question is not about trusting others, but learning to trust yourself.
Long ago we were handed a set of beliefs and we accepted them without question. Children don’t know how to analyze an idea to determine its truth, but they do know how to feel.
For the most part, the concept of intuiting truth or determining what feels right and what doesn’t has been disavowed and replaced with accepting what we were told to believe. In other words, we have been programmed to buy into others' ideas and beliefs. We observe what our parents and elders do, and that becomes our guidance rather than trusting our own feelings.
A wizened soul may secretly recognize deception, whereas most folks just go by the rules and do as they are told while ignoring the queasy feeling in their gut that speaks of something being wrong. Hence a problem develops because we buy in to tribal dynamics and belief systems that are debilitating, limiting, and just WRONG.
Here is an example; I am your mother, father, sister, brother, best friend so you should believe what I am telling you. From there you are offered an uninformed opinion or judgment that skews a situation to fit their idea of truth, or serves them, or makes that person look good. Perhaps you ignore your gut instinct that screams, that doesn’t feel right!! Thus, you go along with their “program” so you will be accepted into that particular tribe or group. And that is when you destroyed your self-trust.
Because you put others’ opinions and beliefs ahead of your own, you lost touch with yourself and the still small voice of intuition that resides within you. Yet, even though that voice is ignored, it is still present within you and you can restore it.
It is a bad mistake to put the concern for what others think of you higher than the guidance that comes from within. Getting back to the theme of how to trust others... If you have found yourself in a quandary of mixed thoughts and emotions. and you've lost the ability to trust because you've lost your integrity in listening for your highest wisdom (intuition), it is time to change strategies.
It works like this... because you are not trusting yourself, you don’t know how to trust others. Put simply, trust yourself so that you know who else you can trust. The answer is within you. Your still small voice will tell you. Your job is to listen.
To take this a bit further, because you have a history of ignoring higher (intuitive) intelligence, you rationalize reasons for being in or staying with unhealthy relationships. In other words, you make up stories: I’ve know Joe (or Julie or Estelle or whoever) since kindergarten (so therefore I should trust her/him). Or my parent told me this, so therefore it is the way to go (even though their parent lives an dysfunctional life). Or you “wisely” decided that Jim was a good guy because he has a lot of friends and is seemingly well liked. And you naively conclude that if others approve of him and find him trustworthy, then he must be. Consequently, you are letting others do your thinking for you and you have determined a person’s trustworthiness based on his friends. Really!
Have you seriously observed his connection with his buds, or are you taking everything on face value, and then wonder why you end up disappointed. Do they enjoy each other because they play well together? Are these folks a true support system that shows up in difficult times or a play group or good old boys club? Is it that they have grown up together and are still holding on to childhood relationships or sharing in adult concerns? Do they have a common higher purpose that they explore together or is it Monday night football?
In other words, what is the nature of Jim’s relationships? No judgment; just observation. As you learn to observe people and relationships, the truth becomes obvious. That is, it becomes clear to you and trusting your own observations helps you develop willingness to be open and honest with yourself. Thus, you begin the journey to self-trust and drawing your own conclusions based on observation or actions, words, and intention, but not judgment.
When people don’t trust themselves, they quickly judge circumstances and people so they can feel safe. Of course, there is no safety in hiding and protecting. It is just another avoidance behavior. And when we default into judging, we will never have the life or love we desire.
Moving this a bit deeper into self-trust, every person has a connection to their inner guidance as it is always present and available. We call this intuition. This guidance is always active and speaking to us. It can come through as a gut feeling, an image (you hit every STOP light at every intersection), a sign (like a book falls on your head), or a knowing. (an absolute definite feeling of how things are). Intuition is a feeling of lightness and being more alive. As you listen and act on this intuitive voice, it grows in strength and supports you in your hopes and dreams. When you go against it you feel heavy, lack energy, and feel a kind of deadness.
People say, “I’m stuck. I don’t know what to do or think.” Primarily that means they have gotten their “instructions” but are afraid to go against what they were taught to believe, so now they are stuck. Afraid to move forward, they are stuck in the past. Generally, stuckness indicates it is time to do something different, brash, courageous -- take a step in a new direction.
If you feel stuck, ask yourself, “What has my still small voice (feelings) been urging or prompting me to do?” Is there some sort of “break-out” required? It will always involve looking at your situation with new eyes. That means asking some appropriate questions – what is this situation trying to tell me? (Cue: it has to be a propulsion forward; it is never a put-down.) What is the change I am being asked to make? What fear am I challenging? What is the next step toward my highest good?
You can even write these questions down and ask for guidance. By being open, your answers will come and be aware, they will not be what you anticipated. You will always be guided toward a higher expression, not necessarily what you would be considered safe. Yet, when you follow this guidance, you will end up exactly where you wanted to go or BETTER. The secret is learning how to listen.
Remember, you are listening to HIGHER energy. You are not being asked to jump off a cliff. You might be encouraged to make a phone call, set up an interview, take a class, show up at an event, and, in general, become more visible. As you listen and follow, your life force will flow, your intuition will get stronger, and your energy will be renewed. Then you will know how to trust yourself and who and how much to trust others.
Jean Walters is an International Best Selling Author. Her books are: Set Yourself Free: Live the Life YOU were meant to Live! and Be Outrageous: Do the impossible - Others have and you can too! The Journey from Anxiety to Peace: Practical Steps to Handle Fear, Embrace Struggle, and Eliminate Worry to Become Happy and Free and others. You can reach her at email@example.com