Letting go and learning to trust is not easy. Trust needs to be built over time, and when we learn to let go of control, we also learn to trust. Trust that no matter what happens we will always be fine. Trust in my life was hard to build as my anxiety would kick in and lead to long extended periods of depression. I would start to question everything in my life. I would lose trust in every part of my life and anxiety and depression would strengthen their hold on me. What-ifs would start to control me and trust would just leave my life altogether. Trusting that the right things would happen and trust in people would go out the window. When I lost trust I would sink low, low, low into anxiety and depression.
I would question everything. Will my pay go into my bank account? Will my car payment and mortgage payment come out on time? If I was at a gig, will the bar owner remember we were playing? Will they pay us at the end of the night? Will band members show up on time? Did I do the right thing? Did I make the right decision? Will I lose my job if I do this, if I am sick will I get sick pay? Will my benefits cover this or that? The list would go on and on, and still I trusted nothing and believed always that the worst was going to happen. I would lose sleep and I would trust no one! I was the only one who could do anything right so I did it myself. At least then I knew it would be done right and to my standards.
My trust issues bled into my personal life as well. Trust was something that I just didn’t have, the only way I trusted that things would be fine was if I had control, making sure that things were going to go the way I wanted them to be. This meant that I had to be turned on at all times, tense and ready for everything. It was exhausting and it consumed me to no end. My whole self would suffer from this, my mind would be trapped in my constant cycling thoughts, my body slowly weakening because I would not sleep and finally my soul crashed as my negative self talk grew and grew. I would think very little of myself and I would believe it.
Learning to trust didn’t come easy, it came slowly with little baby steps, but over time I built trust by letting go of all control and seeing that everything was always just fine in the end. I really started to think about all the times I worried and did not trust, got myself worked up, and then everything always came out fine anyway.
I learned by practicing and watching things happen. I had to change my perspective in a major way. That meant becoming a watcher and a listener. I found that I learned more from doing this than trying to be in control. I had to learn that other people in my life were capable of doing things, also that the only way to let go of control was to trust. Letting go and trusting meant allowing things to go wrong, seeing that it was okay. That when things did go wrong it was a learning and teaching time for myself and for others. The only way that people learn anything is by failing and trying again.
That was hard to do but it worked. Placing trust in others meant that they would grow and learn and so would I. They would ask for help and I would help them. I also learned to ask for help as well, finally giving in a realizing that it is okay to not do things myself all the time and this built a bond of trust. I let go, I learned that allowing things to happen was healthy. It was never that bad. I learned that no matter what, I was still here, I was still breathing and I was still alive! Everything that I didn’t trust always worked itself out in the end.
I learned in time that trusting was a gift just like forgiveness, I just had to set myself free and know that no matter what happened, everything was going to be okay!
I learned to use different tools for building trust. I would have to look at each thing that I didn’t trust and then find proof that what was going on in my head was false. I would also look at it as a teaching point for myself, because I needed to trust I was doing things the right thing. Also learning to trust that people were capable of doing things on their own. Seeing things from a new perspective at all times became exciting. Seeing proof was eye opening.
Take getting paid as an example. My money being deposited into my bank account. Why would it not go in on time? It has been going in for years. How could any place of business survive for any length of time if they didn’t pay their employees? I had proof because I always got paid. Because I always did get paid and this trust issue really had no reason to be in my life, it was time to let that go. Once again this was about control and I just needed to let it go because the proof was there all the time.
When it came to trusting other people in my life, it was hard. I had to let people do their own thing and then let them deal with the results. I had to let them experience failure and not feel bad about it. That is the only way that people can grow and learn. People have to have their own experiences in life and letting go and trusting that they will do the right thing is so important in their lives and yours as well.
Parenting my son was a huge lesson in building trust and watching growth happen right from the beginning of his life. If I sheltered him and didn’t let him fail over and over again, he would have never learned to walk, he would never build the muscles and balance he needed. I could not do this for him, so I trusted that he would not give up and soon he was not only walking but running! Later I learned that he also had to find out what emotions were and allow him to feel them as well. Not protecting him and softening things but allowing him to feel, then being there for him when he needed me. Answering questions but never forcing anything on him. That relationship had to be there all through his life and I would have to trust that it was the right thing at all times, even when my heart was breaking for him. He had to learn in his own way just like I had to and everyone has to.
Personal relationships are hard because trust can be broken and people can get hurt. This also became a learning point because it gave me the opportunity to set boundaries in my life, to use a tool that I had never used before, trusting that the boundaries I set were for not only myself but the other people in my life as well. These were always set with love. I learned some hard lessons, but I was always thankful for all my personal relationships even when I was hurt. The only way to grow is to trust and learn and there are no exceptions to this rule. This led to trusting in my judgements, building my self esteem and also building stronger friendships! And learning that some just weren’t worth having. Trusting that it is okay to move on and leave a friendship can be the right thing to do for both people involved.
I also love to look at nature when I think of trust. In nature things just happen and we don’t question it, and nature doesn’t question it either. Bears hibernate in the winter and so do frogs and toads. They just do their thing and trust that it is right. We also trust that the seasons will change. That the leaves will turn colour in the fall. We know that winter will come and then spring and summer will follow, we trust that without even thinking about it.
In my third book “My Guided Meditation” I used a meditation called “The Seed” to teach people how to trust. It is a fantastic example of how a seed never questions its growth, it just grows and trusts that what it is doing is right. That no matter what happens, the path it is taking is the proper path. That is the same in our lives, trusting that what we are doing is right, that the world will always provide us with what we need. It is a hard thing to believe but everything that happens to us leads us to where we are meant to be. Trusting is a big leap and it gets easier over time. Below is the seed meditation, slowly read through it and enjoy. See that learning to trust can become a natural thing. It doesn’t have to be scary at all. If a seed can grow into a tree then you can also learn to trust and grow into who you are meant to be!
A seed is a fragile thing, so special and delicate. It is energy just waiting for the right conditions to happen to bring it to life. How a seed gets planted can happen in many ways: a person can dig a hole and gently place it in the ground and carefully cover it with dirt, then nurture it until it sprouts and grows. Taking care to water it daily and watch over it will cause the seed to grow and grow.
It can also be blown by the wind, dropped by an animal, or fall from a tree and make its way into the ground. There it gets nurtured by nature itself, watered and taken care of in a natural way. Either way the seed needs to be put into the earth and once there the magic happens.
(How was your seed planted? Close your eyes and picture how you would like your seed to grow. Where is your seed planted? In a forest? In a field where it will grow and become a symbol of strength standing alone by itself? Or maybe in your backyard where you water it and take care of it, protect it and love it.)
Once in the earth, the seed starts to feel comfortable and it sends out a tiny root. It doesn’t question why, it just trusts that it is the right thing to do.
(What does your root look like? Imagine the feeling of the root pushing out and finding its way into the earth.)
Shortly after its root hits the earth, a tiny, fragile sprout makes its way out from the seed.
(What does your sprout look like? Picture it and notice everything about it. How does it feel to be this sprout pushing itself out of the seed and then through the earth? Be this sprout and feel what it is like to start life.)
This sprout is tiny and could be broken very easily but it has no fear, it only knows one thing, that its job is to grow and it does it without thinking or second guessing.
The sprout feels the warmth of the sun and it enjoys the feeling of being warmed by its rays, never questioning where the sunlight came from or why it is there, only that it feels good to have warmth.
(Breathe deeply now and feel the sunlight warming you, it is like a warm blanket and it comforts you.)
The sunlight sparks the sprout into sending out a tiny limb and this limb grows a tiny leaf. Again, the sprout doesn’t question its growth it just grows, and nothing will stop the sprout from growing. Sometimes the sun doesn’t shine and it rains but the sprout doesn’t fear that the sun will not return, it just enjoys the rain and the break from the sun.
(Feel the rain washing over you, feel the water soaking into the ground and reaching your root, enjoy the feeling of taking this water in through your root- it feels natural and you enjoy it.)
When it rains the sprout stretches to meet the raindrops. It enjoys the feel of the water running over its leaf and down its fragile sprout body, into the ground. After a while the sprout sends out another tiny limb and grows another leaf.
(Feel what it must be like to grow this new limb, imagine the feeling of pushing the limb out and the making a wonderful green leaf. What does the leaf look like? Picture the leaf in great detail.)
Over time, the once-tender skin of the sprout turns into a hard brown skin. The sprout grows taller. This sprout is now a sapling and knows its job is to grow and grow. The sapling trusts that it is doing the right thing, in fact it knows it is doing the right thing and is confident and shows it by growing straight up into the sky.
(Feel the confidence of the sapling, feel the emotions of knowing who you are and that nothing is going to stop you now from growing.)
The sapling’s leaves drink in the sunlight and a sense of strength is there like never before.
(Imagine how it must feel to have the sun warming your leaves. What are the sensations you experience?)
The sapling starts to feel its circulatory system and knows that it is doing the right thing by embracing its new growth and new feelings of being part of nature. It now sends out many roots that drink up the rain water and the moisture deep in the ground. This sapling is embracing its strength and growing and causing change within itself.
(Take the time now to picture this sapling and the feelings it must have as it starts to feel its circulatory system, taking air in through the leaves and down through its trunk, into the roots and back again. Feel the strength you have as you are growing bigger and experiencing new things everyday.)
The sapling is now two feet tall and is growing faster and faster, sending out more limbs and growing more leaves. The sapling’s once tiny, twiggy trunk is now getting thick and brown. Its skin is now turning into hard bark. This sapling is thriving and becoming a small tree, standing straight and confident, beaming with life. The colour of its leaves are bright green and this tree is truly happy in its home, deeply rooted and enjoying life.
One day it notices that the sun is not as hot as it once was, now the nights are cold and the wind is not as warm as it once was.
(Feel how this small tree is experiencing its new environment, how strong and trusting it is. Feel the difference in the shifting of the seasons and how the tree doesn’t fight it but is a part of it instead.)
The tree starts to notice that its once green leaves are turning different colours and they no longer feel the sun like they once did. The tree doesn’t panic, it just trusts that what is happening is right and that whatever happens, everything will be okay.
Why wouldn’t nature look after it? Everything that has happened so far in the tree’s life has felt good, even though at times it felt uncomfortable and foreign the tree always expected that everything was going to be okay in the end. The tree just lets time pass and trusts that what is happening is right. Soon all the leaves have turned brown, red and yellow, and the wind blows them off its now strong limbs. This now medium sized tree is experiencing a new season: fall.
(Put yourself there and imagine it fully and completely, feel what it must feel like to completely trust that what is happening is right. Also feel the leaves gently fall off your limbs, picture them slowly falling and hitting the ground.)
The tree is now feeling like it must sleep. The sun is no longer warm and the tree goes dormant. The tree knows it is alright to do so. It doesn’t question how or why, it just knows that it is the right thing to do, so the tree goes to sleep.
The winter is long and cold but one day the tree slowly wakes up and soon it feels the sun again, like meeting an old friend. The tree welcomes its warmth and remembers how it felt and how it nurtured the tree.
(Imagine how it must feel to wake up from a long sleep and the sun is warming you. You feel safe and happy.)
The tree starts to bud and the warmth of the sun helps the buds to flower. (What would it feel like to flower?) The flowers turn into leaves. The tree is now feeling alive again and is ready to continue it’s growth.
You are now free to let your tree grow, but remember you are not in a hurry, a tree just grows and grows without questioning and without judgment, it trusts every moment of its life. Feel the freedom you have as the tree gets bigger and bigger until one day you actually meet the tree like an old friend. You walk around it and you rub your hand on its bark and say hello. The tree welcomes you with love and kindness.
The power of this mediation is very special because you have to trust that the right things are going to happen. You learn to let go of control and just feel and not question. Often in life when we feel emotion, we try to fight them instead of accepting them. This is a valuable lesson, because we must feel all emotion. It doesn’t matter if it’s the good, the bad, or the ugly, it is okay to feel it all. Accept it all and know that everything in life will pass if we allow it to. Life will carry on, just like the tree will continue to grow everyday, and so will you. Giving yourself the power to let go, it is taking control, learn that trusting is a sign of strength.
Allow this meditation to grow inside you, a history of strength that you can draw upon in your everyday life, make this meditation mean more and be even more special to you and you alone. This meditation surely proves just how powerful your mind can be. Learning to let go and trust will become easy over time!