On a great many occasions I have said that trusting is the key to feeling and retaining love. Trust makes the flow of love possible, as surely as an electrical socket makes the flow of electricity possible. Without trust, love is still abundant, but it’s tragically unavailable to us.
As essential as trust is, most people have a difficult time with it. They trust until they encounter a bump in the road—an obstacle, a difficult, a fear—and immediately they withdraw their trust. This withdrawal is understandable, but also potentially fatal. Trust is simultaneously the most important and most difficult element of finding love and happiness. And every day I watch people struggle with trust, abandon trust, and complain that it’s too difficult.
Ironically, trust is MUCH easier than NOT trusting. When we trust, we make the infinite flow of the universe available to us. We make change possible. We connect with the people and opportunities that can teach us choices we could not otherwise see.
Allow me to illustrate with some concrete examples of trust I have used in past writings:
- When I learned to navigate the twists, cliffs, narrow passages, and other dangers of a deep cave, I simply TRUSTED the instructions of the expert spelunker who accompanied me. I proved my trust by doing everything he told me to do, and as a result of that trust, my experience was fun and exciting, whereas without him it could easily have been fatal.
- When I learned SCUBA diving, I meticulously trusted and followed my instructor, and thus I had a beautiful experience, instead of drowning.
- When I learned surgery, I followed the examples of more experienced surgeons, and thus I learned how to operate on others in a way that benefited them, rather than hurting them.
IF we want to learn something new—if we want to learn or grow—trust is REQUIRED. Change requires new perspectives and knowledge, and on the whole we can’t use our old knowledge and tools to make that change happen.
Is there a risk in trusting? Certainly, but the risk of not trusting is far greater. Without trust, I remain the same. I keep the same fears and flaws, and the consequences of those conditions are FAR more difficult and problematic than the temporary difficulties of experiencing the unfamiliarity—even disorientation—of change. In each of the examples I used earlier—caving, diving, and surgery—if I had not trusted someone with greater experience, I could have died or seriously injured or killed others.
Trusting involves possible failure. Not trusting involves certain failure.
To be sure, I must be wise in choosing who I trust, but trust remains much safer and more productive than withholding trust. When I remember this, I learn and grow. When I allow fear to overwhelm trust, I’m stuck. I can’t learn, and often I guarantee my own pain and injury to others.
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