We’re all born with an innate trust in the world, and somewhere along the way we lose it. Instead of being hopeful, calm, and trusting, our experiences teach us to be fearful and cautious. This distrust is one of the main causes of anxiety and depression. Learning how to trust again is integral to healing.
I’ve got some serious trust issues, and they run DEEP. Watching my parents relationship growing up, and their subsequent divorce as an adult, taught me not to trust in relationships. I have a hard time trusting men in general; I’ve had some pretty scary encounters in the past. Until my current relationship I’ve only seen men be honest or kind when it served themselves – it was never unconditional. I have a hard time with friends, because I’ve been hurt or abandoned by people I thought I could depend on. Money and careers terrify me, and I can have a hard time believing things will work out for the best.
Part of getting over the anxiety has been dealing with this mistrust. The more I uncover the sneaky ways this shows up in my life, the better I am able to manage this illness. When I’m in touch with myself, being mindful and practicing self care regularly, I find it easier to trust. And when I trust, I step back and relax. I finally feel like I can breathe. I feel safe. Anxiety isn’t an issue when I trust I am supported and taken care of.
These are the top three things I’ve been relying on to heal and learn to trust in the world again.
Spend Time in Nature
Being in nature helps you realize the world is much, much bigger than you are. You are surround by breathtaking beauty and connecting to the earth fills the world with magic. A tree grows without it meddling in its own existence; the forest survives and regrows even after a fire. Things change, but they are always as they’re meant to be. All these little miracles happen without micromanaging or meddling… it’s proof that the universe does know best, and all happens for the greater good. Witnessing that takes you outside of your head and connects you to something bigger.
Listen to Your Intuition
Tune into that gut feeling, little voice, or however your intuition shows up for you. Start small, like with what you want to eat, and LISTEN to it. As you learn how to register what it is telling you, start listening for the bigger things. Does this conversation feel right? This relationship? This career opportunity?
Your intuition only has what is best for you in mind. It is different from the ego in that it never beats you up or breaks you down – it serves only to help you find the best path in life. Begin to trust in it again, and you’ll find strength and purpose you forgot you had.
Talk About It
With so much mistrust in men and relationships, it of course shows up in my current one. My man is a unicorn though, and understands me better than I can sometimes. He is patient, kind and understanding, and recognizes when something is about more than him, even when I don’t. He knows when to give me space to realize that on my own terms, or to gently point it out. He provides a safe space to talk through what I’m experiencing, why I’m triggered, and what will help. Having this support and unconditional love has helped me heal deep, painful wounds I had no idea even existed.
If I were to shut down and not talk about it, or if he were unable to hold space for me to do so, or we just weren’t able to communicate with each other, this relationship could never work. We all have our own emotional scars, and they sometimes need to be talked through together in order to be released. It can be hard at times, but it’s helped me trust both him and myself, and to let go of much of the mistrust that taints my everyday experiences.
Is there someone in your life that you can turn to to talk through things? It is easier to heal and release these painful schemas with support, whether its a friend, loved one or therapist. While you have to do the work to heal yourself, you don’t have to do it alone.