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Working with Trust

When I was a very young boy, before I could speak and make sense of the world, I was separated from my mother. It caused me and my family a lot of pain and as you can imagine that created all kinds of wounding in me which I’m still learning to hold gently.

One of the consequences of this separation is it created a split in my understanding of the world. How could I trust or love others, if the one person who was meant to love and care for me was taken away from me? I certainly couldn’t trust myself.

Yet there I was being taken care of. I was alive and had loved ones who did the best they could to care for me. A father who sacrificed his career and life to come to this country, a new mother struggling to raise us, brothers, sisters, friends, and host of secular and spiritual teachers and communities who believed in me more than I often did. And here I am helping my wife to raise two beautiful children and I have the privilege of doing work that involves teaching and helping others.

Yet a part of me is still very distrustful of trust. Even though I am held and taken care of daily by this planet, my family, and community my mind is constantly worrying. And I think all of us, especially those who practice and want to be of service, also have this kind of split view of the world.

Deep down we trust and believe that life will take care of us and that we will be able to meet each moment as best we can. We believe love provides and that ultimately all human beings deserve love and freedom from suffering. But doubt, insecurity, fears, and conditioning that arise from our collective and individual wounding clouds our understanding. We forget our ancestors live in our DNA. We lose sight of our interconnectedness to one another, to this world, and the universe.

But one of the unexpected benefits of not being able to trust our external world is that it forces us to turn inward. So my practice lately involves a lot of grounding into my body, the earth, and this moment. I remind myself that as long as I can tap into the present moment with loving kindness, I can trust that all will be as it should.

And if I’m not feeling particularly loving or kind, I create a sense of spaciousness with my breath and strengthen the connection between my mind and body. I listen to what my body says and ask lots of questions of my wandering mind. I pause and remind myself of the people in my life that have supported me and those I support, and that gives me he courage to face this world of uncertainty.

  • In what ways do you still struggle to trust?

  • How does your practice show up for you when you’re feeling unsure?

  • What are the ways you feel connected to your community, loved ones, to yourself?

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