Trust YOUR truth, it’s the only one that matters.
There are two types of trust. One is external and one is internal. I’m not going to talk about the first one because it really doesn’t matter unless you have the second one down. I spent years in a self-induced battle with trust and for the most part I always ended up face-down.
Self-trust depends on a couple of things – truth and reliability. Shit. Guess what I struggled with? Telling myself the truth about my ability, my confidence, and my feelings. Oh, and making reliable decisions based on my gut and my heart. I’m sure you can imagine how much trust I had in myself. Instead, I looked externally for what was right for me, what I should believe about myself, and what my expectations should be. Well that was a recipe for disaster … oh and divorce.
I had spent years wrestling with the idea of trusting other people, when at the core, I just didn’t trust myself to deal with them. Even in looking back at my marriage, I can now see that he didn’t change, I did. It wasn’t all at once, in fact, it was so small it was barely noticeable. But inch by inch I started to believe myself when I thought, “this is not what a healthy marriage looks like.” THIS IS NOT WHAT MY TRUTH LOOKS LIKE.
I was never myself in my marriage, I didn’t trust myself to be and I didn’t think I would be accepted if I was. It was too vulnerable and the authentic me was not good enough or worthy of unconditional love. So I lived caged in, with glimpses of spreading my wings, which were shut down so quickly they never had a chance to get any air underneath them. I went through the motions. There were moments of happiness sure, but overall I lived between numbness and hurt.
It has taken me years to change this pattern. It didn’t happen overnight, there was no “AHA,” and it’s certainly not perfect even yet. But learning to trust myself, to own my truth and know I am the most reliable voice in my life, has changed everything – from how I see the world to how I nurture relationships to how I raise my children.
How did it happen? Well first, let me point out I wasn’t even aware it was a problem for a long time. Denial ruled back then. Going through grad school and getting a divorce at the same time forced me to give up the perfection habit, that was step one. And after guilt consumed me for close to two years after my ex moved out, I slowly realized it served no one and only allowed me an excuse to stay broken. Also, I stopped attempting to be the strong one. I asked for help. I exposed myself. In my admitted “weakness,” shame started to slowly dissipate and I began to have some compassion for myself. And realize there was some trust there after all.
There is not a ten-step program to develop self-trust. It won’t look the same for everyone. But we all know acknowledgement of an issue is where we start. So, ask yourself, “do I trust me?” Take the people in your life out of it, the situations, the excuses. Deep down in your core, do you trust yourself to choose the right people, to make the right decisions, to share who you really are? If you can’t give that answer a confident HELL YES, then you have a starting point. You have a point at which you can say, this needs work and it needs my focus fast. Then start looking for books, reading articles, watching podcasts, meditating, self-reflecting, and whatever else you must do. Don’t tell yourself you’re too busy, you’re not worth it, or it’s silly. Trusting yourself will be the single most impactful thing you will ever do in your life. Knowing your truth and opening your wings fully and with the knowledge that you have your own back is how you will truly soar.