Fear, betrayal & mistrust
Relationships with others are key to life. It is nearly impossible to have zero relationships with others as our world is interconnected and inter-reliant. We rely on others to support us in various ways as they symbiotically rely on us. Relationships can be causal such as the the one you have with the person who checks out your groceries or they can be more intimate such as that which you have with your family or significant others.
The foundation that underlies all relationships is our capacity to trust others. If we’ve had experiences of betrayal, being hurt, left or not seen/heard by others than our capacity to willing trust other people can be diminished. We may find it challenging to open our selves up to others and trust that we won’t feel hurt by them. At the extreme end of mistrust of others we may isolate ourselves as much as possible from other people and minimize relational interactions, even ones that support our basic needs. We may feel skeptical of everyone and vigilant to their behaviors as we look for any subtle sign that we might get hurt, disappointed, or let down by them. At the most extreme end there is simply the assumption that we will get hurt no matter what and we therefore completely close off ourselves to other people even if we have to interact them. We don’t allow for an energetic exchange to occur between ourselves and others and therefore our experience is quite lonely, sometimes cynical, and we can come off as harsh, cold or mean to others.
When we lack trust in others we will often find reasons why we can’t trust based upon another person’s actions or lack of actions. We will use their actions/non-actions as a justification to ourselves as to why we can/can’t trust. In this way our capacity to trust will seem external to us and dependent on the person(s) rather than the recognition of our internal choice to trust. When we don’t recognize our internal choice to trust or not trust we will feel powerless and like it is not up to us, but instead up to them. Often we will expect them to somehow change so that we can trust them. This is the disownment of our power and the projection of that internal disowned state onto other people.
Its important to recognize that this pattern of behaviors of mistrust is not us. It is not who we are even if we are engaging in it. Instead it is simply a protective pattern/mechanism which we have learned in order to protect ourselves from getting hurt. As long as we keep the pattern going then we can keep people at a distance and the fear we have of feeling hurt by them is diminished. The down side of this is that we don’t get to develop the level of closeness, intimacy and joy of being with others that most of us crave.
Courage & resolution
We are all familiar with the phrase “divine timing”, which implies the resting into the perfect unfolding and sequencing of life events. This capacity to rest into divine timing is birthed from our willingness to trust the timing of life. This means being ok with not knowing for certain at what pace things will unfold but knowing that however they unfold will be perfect and that it will all work out in the right timing. This same trusting which we can do with timing also occurs in relationship to others. I like to call it “divine relating”.
What is divine relating? Divine relating is birthed from an internal state of trust of others. It has nothing to do with the other person, but only with you and your willingness to trust others. Trust always implies not knowing for certain what the outcome of any moment, situation, interaction or relationship will be. Simultaneously with that uncertainty is an inner knowingness that however it turns out it will be ok, even if that means that at some point you feel hurt by another. Its the willingness to stay open and feel the hurt rather than close yourself off from other people altogether. There are no guarantees as to how we will feel at some moment in the future and living trying to protect ourselves from never feeling hurt, disappointed, unseen or unheard is a very lonely life.
So is there some kind of perceived risk in trusting others? From our mind’s perspective absolutely. Our minds and their patterns are all about minimizing risk and protecting us from pain. If we solely listen and abide by our mind’s protective patterns then we will live the experience of a very limited life where things will be mostly flat/neutral. Well this will be ok for many people and is the life that most people live, for those that want to experience a greater range of life experience and ultimately freedom, they will need to learn a different way. The entry point or metaphorical door to that different way is trust.
When we have the courage to choose trust and not base our current experience on our past experiences we can create a new pathway for ourselves that is empowering. One where we see that it is up to us to choose trust and that it is not dependent on others. One where we can create empowering boundaries for ourselves based on our preferences and standards for what we want and deserve.
When we completely resolve the pattern of mistrust of others we realize that our soul, essence, true self has never been hurt or harmed. Though our body or mind may have experienced hurt we realize that we are not our body or mind and that ultimately there is no other. To love other is to love self. To love self is to love other. Through choosing trust we breakdown the walls of separation and experience the unity that always has been and is. We end the internal fight. We feel what it is to rest. We directly experience connectedness and stop creating separation.
Unity is inescapable. We cannot keep anything or anyone separate from it no matter how hard we insist on trying. It is all inclusive. On the other side of mistrust is immense love and compassion for self, other and all. This love dissolves the bars around our heart and reunites it with the one heart of all.
Amanda Hessel, Aligned as Love