“Trust your instinct to the end, though you can render no response.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
A client recently asked me how she can ever trust anyone again after her divorce. I asked her what trust means to her, and she struggled to find an answer. Trust seems to be one of those words that we almost just pay lip service to, but often don’t stop to think about what it really means.
So we turned to dictionary.com for a definition. There were two definitions that made sense in this context:
- reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person or thing; confidence.
- a person on whom or thing on which one relies.
When a relationship has ended, for whatever reason and regardless of whose decision it was to end it, it’s hard to think about trusting someone again. Something you once thought you could trust and rely on is no longer there. So how do you ever trust again?
There is only one way to ever be able to trust anyone ever again, and that is you have to trust yourself first.
And when your trust has been broken, that can seem like an impossible thing to even think about, let alone actually do. But it’s a critical step in reclaiming your life.
So how do you trust again? How do you rely on anyone or anything?
You begin by listening to your inner knowing, your inner wisdom, your intuition.
It isn’t the voice in your head that shouts at you to get your attention – that’s your ego. Your ego tells you what you “think” you want, what you “think” you should do.
Instead, your intuition is that still, small whisper inside of you. It’s the feeling in your heart and your gut.
It’s like a muscle, one that may not have been used in a long time. And like a muscle that hasn’t been used in a long time, you have to strengthen it over time by taking small, consistent actions.
Start by getting comfortable in the stillness. Every day spend at least five minutes being completely still, just sitting with no noise at all. Don’t worry about trying to quiet your thoughts – that will come in time. For now, just notice your breath. Then start to notice other feelings you’re having in your body. Is your heart racing? Are your feet or hands tingling? Just start paying attention to whatever you’re feeling in your body.
After you’ve done this for five minutes a day for a week, try doing it for 10 minutes a day for the next week. Challenge yourself to work your way up to 20-30 minutes a day.
This will help you train your intuition again. Then when you’re faced with a choice, or a challenge, or an opportunity and you don’t know what you should do, get quiet and still. Be aware of each choice or option you have, and then pay attention to how you feel about each one. If one is wrong, you’ll feel contracted and constricted. You might feel like there’s a knot or a pit in your stomach. Your breathing may become rapid and shallow.
But if it’s right, you’ll feel open and expansive. You may have that butterfly feeling in your stomach. You’ll “hear” that whisper. That’s what you trust.
And that comes from feeling, not from thinking.
The times in my life that I’ve made the wrong choices were when I made choices from my head, not my heart. I didn’t trust my intuition.
What I’ve found is that when I trust my intuition, I make the right decision. Every time.
And here’s another thing I’ve found. When you trust yourself, you’ll attract others who are also trustworthy.
So it isn’t about learning to trust someone else again. It’s about learning to trust yourself again.
You can’t have an honest, authentic, deep, fulfilling relationship with anyone else until you first have one with yourself.
How have you learned to trust again? Share your comments below!