February 6

But HOW Do I Trust?

February 6, 2014

Personal Growth

After counseling thousands of people from all over the world, I can tell you that there is ONE quality that separates those whose lives are transformed by Real Love from those who are relatively unaffected: Trust.

Suppose that as you take your first steps toward feeling unconditionally loved, I function as a wise man—a guide—in your life. If you’re afraid—which simply means that you’re not trusting—you will not feel any of the unconditional love that I give you. You’ll be far too distracted by your fears and by the behaviors you use to protect yourself. You’ll retreat to the thoughts in your head—where you feel in control—and you’ll feel skeptical, withdrawn, and defensive. Real Love will become an intellectual process, not a life changing feeling.

But now suppose that instead of choosing fear and doubt, you simply trust me. Trust me to what? To never make a mistake? To be perfect? Nah, not realistic. Just trust me that if you listen to what I observe about you, and if you trust me to love you—however imperfectly—you’ll feel more loved and be happier than if you did not trust me. Just trust me that I can help you. That’s not a big leap of faith, but it IS an essential one.

Notice that I didn’t suggest that you trust Real Love, or a principle, or a process. Why? Because that kind of trust isn’t personal enough. You need to trust a PERSON, somebody you can intimately connect to. Most people don’t have a single genuinely intimate and loving connection in their lives, so this is a chance for you to have one.

You might be skeptical of the suggestion, “Trust ME,” supposing that I might make this recommendation so your trust would benefit me. That’s possible. I could use your trust to bolster my own ego, or to otherwise manipulate you. So before you choose to trust me, just observe whether I demonstrate tendencies to manipulate people in these ways. You might even ask others what their experience has been. But unless you find obvious and significant evidence that I would hurt you, what do you have to lose?

It remains that your trusting is indispensable. I don’t need your trust. YOU need to trust, or the entire process of feeling loved becomes impossible. As you become more comfortable with trusting me, I’ll point you in the direction of others to trust, and increasingly I’ll become dispensable to you.

Now, we’re back to what I said earlier. If you trust me, is there a reasonable possibility that I could help you to feel more loving and be happier than you would be without that trust? If so, then DO IT.

Long ago I was a Boy Scout leader for several years. Intentionally I took the boys on adventures that would test their courage. When they rappelled off two hundred foot cliffs, climbed and crawled through treacherous caves, and paddled canoes down Class III river rapids, they came out the other end with much greater confidence and camaraderie.

In order to lead the boys on these outings, I first had to learn each of the skills myself. So before we rappelled, for example, I would find an expert mountain climber and ask for instruction. Then a few days later I would teach the same skills to the boys. Good thing I never told them that I had done the same activity only once before.

I learned to rappel by walking backward off a building that was one hundred feet high. I had never done anything like this before and was understandably a bit nervous. But my thought process was very simple: “Has Brad (my instructor) done this before? Yes, thousands of times. Has he ever experienced a serious accident or contributed to such an accident for another person? No. Do I need to learn this skill in order to accomplish my goal? Yes. Will I be better off following Brad’s instructions than I would by doing this my own way? Oh, by far. No question.” I chose to trust, and my fears vanished, replaced by fascination and enjoyment.

I suggest exactly the same kind of reasoning to you if you want me to coach you in the process of finding and sharing Real Love. Do you like your life as it is now? NO, you don’t, or you wouldn’t be reading this. Do you want to discover what it’s like to feel unconditionally loved and to love others in a similar way? You do. Have I been learning and practicing Real Love before? Yes, for 20+ years, in my own life and with thousands of others. Is it likely that you’ll be better off listening to me than trying this all on your own? Oh yes, by far. No question.

So now you have the keys to trusting. You need love. I have the experience (as do a great many others, but for now I use myself as an example for simplicity). You have little to lose.

Once you’ve decided to trust, the only way that works is to jump all the way in. You’ve checked me out before deciding to trust, so now there’s no backing off. Why? Because half trust is no trust. If you’re half trusting, you’ll always find a reason—an excuse—to not trust, and then you have nothing.

When Brad was backing me off the hundred-foot ledge, I chose to trust him completely. When he said to tie the rope just so, I did exactly what he said. I didn’t do it my own way, which could have led to the deaths of myself and later to my young students. When he said to thread the rope through the friction device, hook it to the carabiner, hold my right hand thus and my left hand so, I did exactly what he said. Exactly, without question.

On the way down the concrete face of the building, I lost my footing and smacked my face against the wall. It hurt, and I bled a little. Did I stop trusting? No, I trusted Brad MORE, to get me out of my predicament, where I was in pain and no longer in control of my descent. One of his instructions was unclear, and when I did what I thought he said, I stumbled again. I could easily have blamed him for my mistake, but no, I trusted him more. So what if he was unclear and I slipped? Following his instructions was STILL the best resource I had in my life in that moment.

THAT is how trust works in Real Love. Choose someone who at least appears experienced and trustworthy. Make a decision to trust. ONCE. All the way. Then if he or she says something difficult for you to hear, keep trusting instead of being offended and defending yourself. If your wise man appears to make a mistake, so what? The overall process is life saving. Just keep trusting, and your trust will be rewarded many times over. Fear will be replaced by trust and love and profound happiness.

Recently a woman wrote and said, “I studied Real Love for more than a year, and I kept stumbling and falling. I understood the principles, but I didn’t FEEL the love I had heard about, read about, and talked about. And then I made the decision to simply TRUST my coach. Trust completely, no matter what she said to me or how painful it was to hear the truth about me. I just decided to trust. Period. I felt like she was holding my hand through every difficulty I encountered. It was so much easier than doubting, being afraid, and protecting myself all the time. As I trusted, I became calm, and my thoughts settled down. Why didn’t I do this a long time ago?

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