A few months ago, right around the New Year, I wrote about Robert Holden's idea of choosing one word to be your guide for the year. A word that you could contemplate, evaluate and ideally embrace this year, 2014.
My word is trust.
Four months into my exploration with this word, I have come to see its many manifestations in my life.
For one, I will confess to not being terribly trusting - of myself, of others, of the future. All of this lack of trust is from my past, from not feeling supported or nurtured, and from thinking the world is an unsafe place. I have worked on this for a decade but am determined to shed my lack of trust this year. And this resolution has gotten me thinking about all the ways it manifests in my life.
Whether we want to believe it or not, trust defines our lives. It is how we view everything and our place in it.
Do I trust myself and my inner knowing?
What about the future?
Is the Universe benevolent and supportive?
Can I open up and trust my partner?
As I do this exploration, I am reminded of how trust transformed my love life.
When I was in my mid 30s, my marriage fell apart. I was as much to blame as my husband. I was naive and hadn't spent enough time nurturing our connection together. Instead, I allowed life to constantly get in the way and focused too much of my attention on my career and my children.
After that, I decided I was done with relationships and would devote my life to God (and my kids). I wasn't going to pursue another love partner. But, as the Universe typically works, we find love when we least expect it. This time, though, he and I were determined to do things differently, and as part of that made a commitment of total honesty and truth to one another. It was the first time in my life that I allowed myself to open up to someone and show them ALL of me - the parts I liked and was proud of, and the parts I disliked and was ashamed of. And here's what happened, I didn't get rejected. In fact one night he told me, "when you share like that with me, it makes me love you even more."
As he and I walked through this new love I started to see that as I opened up and trusted him, I trusted myself more, I trusted God more. It was like this relationship was the gateway to trust and all the lines ran parallel. I opened to him, and everything else expanded.
In sharing this story, I am describing what Brene Brown writes in Daring Greatly about our willingness to be vulnerable. That's why we're afraid of trust - because it means we have to be vulnerable and we might get hurt. We are exposing ourselves. But, as she writes, "we need to feel trust to be vulnerable and we need to be vulnerable in order to trust."
Relationships are a great place to start. So try it. Choose one thing to share with your partner. One fear or desire. Maybe it's something you never told anyone before. How will you say it? Is there a good time? You'll know.