“You see, you closed your eyes. That was the difference. Sometimes you cannot believe what you see, you have to believe what you feel. And if you are ever going to have other people trust you, you must feel that you can trust them, too–even when you’re in the dark. Even when you’re falling.”
― Mitch Albom, Tuesdays with Morrie
?My Beautiful Souls,
Good morning and Happy Magnificent Monday!? Rise up, grab a cup of glow, and sit down to enjoy the view! Let us seize the day with a joyful attitude, a motivated spirit, and a heart that seeks the best in everyone we meet. This is not an easy task, yet our blessings are far beyond the imagination! If we but tap into the gifts given us, we can accomplish whatever we choose to aspire to.? Letting go of the junk we hold onto that doesn’t serve us, lift us higher, or bring light to our souls is the first step in breathing freedom back into our lives. Once we are grounded in freedom, we can start filling our spiritual vessels with mindful gifts of the spirit so that we prepare our mindset for learning how to trust ourselves and others once again. In doing so, we give ourselves permission to live in the GLOW…?
Choices are part of our daily lives. They are the catalyst that serves how our day flows, what paths we will take, and how we react to the daily chaos thrown at us. Choices are, in fact, our reality. They are what we Believe in our minds will happen. We choose, consciously or unconsciously, whether we will take the world on with a smile, be of service to people, or be a couch potato. We decide the outcome of our day. WE ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR OUR ACTIONS!! No one else can be blamed for the consequences of what we chose to do with our lives as a result of being an adult. We are no longer children and know right from wrong. Thus, we are learning as we go, because nothing is perfect, we are not perfect, and sometimes our goals and plans end up in file thirteen. Yet, even so, that is how we grow, find new opportunities for new skills, and better ways to serve others. It is all part of the learning process.
Yet, for those of us whom have been battle scarred from trauma or abuse, the process of learning, trusting, and accepting transitions may come as a huge challenge because TRUST is at the forefront of every decision we make. We have been riddled with memories that are imprinted in our hearts and minds, and the trigger points of specific words, actions, behaviors, language, and voice tones may bring up all kinds of terror for some as PTSD. These are part of the tapes which need to be neutralized and unlearned using an overlap of therapeutic methods, such as positive self-talk, “I AM” Messages, EMDR therapy, fitness programs, and group/individual counseling. Letting go of these negative tapes that control our thought patterns is critical in order to move past where we have been stuck in this closed capsule in time. Living in the GLOW allows us to be open to trust ourselves in making good decisions, have integrity, aspire to our goals, be confident in who we are and what we stand for, have healthy boundaries, and love ourselves inside and out with our perfect imperfections. In doing so, we can deal with the good, the bad, and the ugly, because we know we will remain pure in heart, soul, and mind. No one can take those sparkling traits from us, because that is who we are!?
Thus, as we find our way each day, rising to greet the rays of light that smile upon us, we choose our behavior, attitude, and how we interact with clients, staff, friends, family, and entrusted souls. There are days we wish we could just stay in bed and roll over until our brains catch up with our bodies. I know from having migraines, PTSD, and slower processing cognitive skills there are days my choices don’t align with my mind. Very discouraging indeed. So, how then do we trust ourselves to make important decisions about ourselves when things seem foggy, disconnected, fearful, dark, and discouraging? Maybe some of you can identify with these feelings of discomfort. Those are the days I dread pulling my legs across the bed, jumping out, and motivating myself to adjust to life’s agonizing daily drudgery. Yet, I know in doing so, my body is moving, my heart is pumping blood through my muscles, my head is waking up, however unconsciously it feels, and my day is beginning with or without me conscious or not! Of course, having a puppy, makes those days very uplifting, because I move at the speed of lightening to conquer his pace of activities instead of mine. Unfortunately, I lose my energy battery faster with my little baby by my side, yet, it’s a debt I’m willing to pay just to see his smiling face and snuggling ways when he jumps in my arms for love…???
The definition of trust is, “a: assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something b: one in which confidence is placed.” Merriam-Webster Dictionary For those of us whom have been betrayed by our families, or parents whom have manipulated us for their own means of survival or happiness, or violated through sexual assault, abuse, or from within relationships that gave us pause to wonder who someone so close to us needed to control us with such anger, gas lighting, secrets, manipulation, demeaning cruelty, and lies, so many lies, this is gently written for you and for me.? Trust, is unequivocally one of the most important aspects of a relationship. When one person in the relationship breaks that trust, it is like breaking a mirror. You can glue it back together again, yet when looking into it, you still see the cracks of what the person did to you because of their betrayal.
Many of us have trusted our friends and loved ones without thinking they would ever betray our confidence to someone else. Why would they, one would argue? And, yet, in love relationships, infidelity statistics (2017) show that over 1/3 of marriages, one or both partners are cheating. However, men are more likely to stray than women in a marriage. The bad news is that once a cheater, always a cheater. It was found in a clinical study that people who cheated on their partner in the past were 350% times more likely to choose infidelity in their next relationship. Whoa!
- In over 1/3 of marriages, one or both partners admit to cheating.
- 22% of men say that they’ve cheated on their significant other.
- 14% of women admit to cheating on their significant other.
- 36% of men and women admit to having an affair with a coworker.
- 17% of men and women admit to having an affair with a sister-in-law or brother-in-law.
- People who have cheated before are 350% more likely to cheat again.
- Affairs are most likely to occur two years into a marriage.
- 35% of men and women admit to cheating while on a business trip.
- 9% of men admit they might have an affair to get back at a spouse.
- 14% of women admit they might have an affair to get back at a spouse.
- 10% of affairs begin online.
- 40% of the time online affairs turn into real life affairs.
This speaks volumes about people who are considered “normal” or without trauma or abuse in their lives. Thus, for us to have trust with someone and/or to trust ourselves in comparison after experiencing the type of mental anguish, PTSD, violence, tragedy, abuse, control, anger, and pain inflicted on us by others, is indeed a RARE and Significant Accomplishment.
Trust is not a laughing matter. It is the foundation of what grounds you and your relationships. So, if you lack trust, especially deep within, due to trauma or abuse, it is a daunting drain on one’s energy source to recapture the brilliance of its glow. To focus on the positive features of trusting one’s self, hopefully, will assist in knowing what to look for when you lack trust deep down in your core.
A. Self-Trust involves trusting your integrity, motives, and intentions.
Do you trust yourself to honor what you say? Are your motives with good intentions instead of a personal agenda? These are questions to ask yourself as you fine-tune your character in wanting to trust who you are. Being wise and authentic in decision making is done without conflict of interest and has the ability to sense “red flags” with emotional intelligence. Finding your rational thoughts versus reactive can be a more concrete way to view and process information, especially if you are in fight or flight mode of consequences. You want to be able to trust your instincts, always.
B. Self-Trust infuses the skill of Accountability.
We fuel accountability by “walking the talk.” Thus, we mirror through actions what we say we are going to do. This is called behavioral integrity. When we have a standard that holds ourselves accountability to behavioral integrity, we show it through our behaviors, our words, our follow through, attitude, and our decision making processes. These positive choices are what build trust in others and in ourselves.
C. Self-Trust is the Center of Who We Are and Dictates How We Perceive Ourselves.
Self-knowledge is key in learning about ourselves, our passions, talents, gifts, values, characters, traits, flaws, and idiosyncrasies. It encompasses the mind-body-spirit’s flow and its chakras. These are the seven energy centers within us that require openness, harmony and balance. These are obviously challenging to maintain if our center has been through trauma or abuse. Hence, the very core of our being has been shaken, as fragile as it is, and in doing so, the rest of our body has also been jarred in trying to respond to the outcome of this devastating experience.
It is critical that while learning about ourselves, we also learn how to be gentle, kind, and respectful of who we are as individuals. We are fragile pieces of shimmering glass that have been broken and put back together again, after having sustained serious trauma. Although, it may have been years ago, the trauma experienced from a traumatic brain injury, PTSD, sexual assault, abuse, pain, violence, fear and the years of suffering, our minds do not forget, and the muscles in our bodies have memories, which are interconnected to your brain. Everything that has been shattered is interconnected throughout your entire anatomy of the spirit, and that means every avenue of our consciousness and subconscious (re)members what happened as if it is still (re)living its past.
This is where it is quintessential that we learn to LOVE OURSELVES FIRST. We must learn how to disable the tapes playing in our heads that keep telling us how we “could have”…done this or that to have changed the outcome of our destiny. We need to stop yelling at ourselves and beating ourselves up as if we are the guilty parties to the events that happened to us. Need I remind you again…..“IT WASN’T YOUR FAULT!!” Accepting this truth gives you permission to tell the difference between what lies were told to you and what truths are facts. Learning to trust yourself means listening to what you say to yourself and choosing fact from fiction. There were a lot of untruths told to you during those days of abuse, trauma, and insanity. Therefore, you need to care for you as only YOU can do! Listen to your body and its needs. Be loving and gentle to it. Pamper it with compassion, empathy, and kindness. Be aware that loving yourself is the first step in trusting who you are, right where you are. Let your thoughts be positive, healthy, and joy-filled, even if you don’t feel that way. It takes time to heal, and it takes time to adjust to a new frame of mind whereby you begin to engage in a positive, healthy, loving mindset. Choosing a life of glow is a daily walk.? You cannot rush the process, as you are rewiring your entire lifestyle, and in doing so, you are trusting yourself to choose friends and partners who will lift you up, care for you, be there for you, and help you achieve your goals despite all odds. YOU’VE GOT THIS! Trust yourself! Your mindset will follow your heart in every choice you make. Yet, it takes time, it is a skill, and a process that is forever a choice.?
In order to trust one’s self, as mentioned before on my website’s “about me” page, it is so important for you to leave your “victim mentality” at the door before entering, because the opportunities and information presented to you will be left behind without your insight in trusting your ability to move into the GLOW.? Trust is part of that choice. Trusting yourself instinctually is natural. Lacking trust in oneself in UNNATURAL.
MISTRUST IS LEARNED…and you can unlearn it through a process of mentally engaging in healthy mindful ways.
HOW TO (RE)LEARN TO TRUST AGAIN
Believe in Yourself. You are perfect just the way YOU are!
You are beautiful inside and out regardless of what others may say, or what their expectations are of you. You may have had as a child conditional love, yet those expectations must be released from your tape recordings, as they negate the beauty of who YOU are and stand for.
You are just you. Whether others reach up to your standards or not, you are still perfectly, miraculously YOU. If others betray your trust, you are no lessor for it, wiser maybe, yet you are a brighter star? for have lighted another’s candle. Trust yourself in knowing you will stay grounded regardless if someone else doesn’t follow through with a commitment. You are the better for knowing in advance where you fit as a priority or not when it comes to your worth in someone else’s life. Keep your professional and relationship boundaries healthy and do not let anyone violate them. Know when to say NO!
Believe in the Possibilities
Harboring old grudges and expecting all relationships to be untrustworthy will turn out exactly as you expect them to. When we have distrust inside of us, our behaviors, actions, and words speaks volumes. We tend to be guarded, unsure of ourselves, distrusting of others in relationships, non-communicative, angry, and projecting the past events onto the current partner. This is a formula that sets you up for disaster! Your partner will sense your frustrations, coldness, and will probably be resentful of your lack of trust.
Believing in yourself transforms YOU into a light of being at peace with yourself right where you are. It gives you permission to trust in your decisions and in others you are in relationships with. Meditation is a good way to practice thinking positively and to feel more confident in YOU.
Focus on the Positive
As you create a magic zone for yourself, reflect on those people in your life whom you trust intuitively. Do you trust your medical doctors? What about the people who serve you at the restaurant? Your grocery store and/or pharmacy? These individuals who serve you daily you place your trust in to be ethical in their standards of morals and education, cleanliness, safety, freshness of foods, accurate medications, and professionalism. These are people you believe won’t hurt you, will support you to remain healthy, and eat optimal foods. Thus, you DO have trust in certain people surrounding you. Therefore, stay focused on the positive!
Intuition is Your Wise Control Center
As you recall your past upbringing of trauma and/or abuse, or other significant experiences of power and control over you which brings fear into your being, use these memories as a resource instead of a weapon. Your experiences play a big role now in how you gauge others by the standards you hold. People’s behaviors towards you, their words, how they react to what you say, their promises kept, and how they treat you in public versus private. You literally have a wealth of knowledge at your fingertips to be used in determining what people you can trust and those you cannot.
- Do the people you engage with gossip about others?
- Do the people you are friends with judge others?
- Do the people whom you consider your friends share the secrets of their friends?
- Do those people you think are your friends become hostile to you or project their own anger on to you because of what is happening in their lives?
- Do the people you consider your friends take confidential information you shared with them and throw it back in your face to hurt you, demean you, or be cruel to you because they want you to be confused, disgraced, and/or humiliated.
Therefore, don’t go by people’s appearances or public displays of respect and personas. Most people who are untrustworthy will be seen in the public eye as professionals or by their friends as wonderful, whereby they play a great neighbor to all who connect with them. However, in private, these individuals’ “perfect” cover will disintegrate completely over time and their true face of false pretenses will be revealed. Untrustworthy people will eventually say unkind words and actions to you, and those are the red flags to watch for. No one can keep up a good act for very long.
It is important for you to listen to your intuition. When in a new relationship, while trusting your instinct, do not share your intimate feelings of your heart right away. Save them for when you are more familiar with this person of interest. Wait to see if s/he shows continued efforts to be consistent, friendly, kind, patient, joyful, and giving. Start small and be cautious. If your “gut” tells you something doesn’t feel right when you are with someone, then it isn’t right. Leave the person, the situation, the room, the car, or wherever you are, and get out!
What YOU Believe is Your Reality
As mentioned before, what you focus on, is your reality. If you believe you are going to be with someone who is untrustworthy, YOU WILL! Like-minded individuals attract like-minded people…which is the Law of Attraction. So, be careful what you focus on when in a new relationship. Again, your body language, facial expressions, vocal tones, and words will shape the interactions you have with your new partner. Try to focus on the positive characteristics, traits, and interests this person has that aligns with yours. Determine why you manifested this type of person to gravitate toward you. Knowing who you are and trusting your judgement is half the battle in finding the right person as a partner, companion, friend, and intimate source of renewal.
Believe in Forgiveness
When you Believe in Yourself, you begin to trust who you are, where you are. It’s part of loving yourself, accepting yourself…All of YOU! This is a sacred love, one you give to yourself, because you are unique in all the world. YOU are a Miracle! With this type of love, you get to stand tall, be confident, have a healthy self-esteem, and know that by trusting yourself and your instincts, you give others permission to do the same.
You see, when people have berated you, abused you, and or traumatized you, you probably had low self-confidence and low self-esteem, because you were told lies about your self-worth. YOU WERE BRAINWASHED! Most dishonesty from others comes from FEAR! Those people who have little or no self-worth and low self-esteem are the ones who damage others, because they are so unhappy with who they are in life and as a person. They are not your problem! The issues they harbor are for them to sort out and deal with. Their choices, their responsibilities, their garbage…NOT YOURS!
On that note, for all those people whom have abandoned you, violated you, abused you, assaulted you, traumatized you, controlled you, manipulated you, made you suffer at the hands of violence, anger, mistreatment in any way, or projected their anger, belittled you, hurt you intentionally due to their small distorted ego, just know it is time to let it all go….
Forgiveness is grace and humility in unity. Grace brings mercy to the one who has betrayed you, while humility offers a subservient humbleness, whereby your character shows compassion, empathy, and love. When we truly forgive, it brings to our divine spirit a wholeness, light, and freedom. Yet, forgiveness is a two-way street. Forgiving your persecutor is just as important as forgiving yourself for the past, so you can live joyously in the present! Forgiveness literally transforms us. This freedom literally allows us to open ourselves up to the universe without bitterness, resentment, and insidious anger. We create harmony in our body, mind and spirit in order for it to heal, recover, and blossom. It’s a CHOICE.?
Be in Control of YOU
Trusting yourself means you are in control of how you react to circumstances beyond your control,
people’s sarcasms, criticisms, judgmental comments, disappointments, social injustices, secrets, projected anger, gossiping habits, etc. Life throws punches at us from every angle when we least expect it. Yet, sometimes we are caught off guard, and maybe off balance. That is when it is most crucial to think before we respond in word, actions, behaviors, and facial expressions. Learning to have integrity and engaging with honesty at all times when you respond at a moment’s notice is quintessential when dealing with the public, friends, or partners.
When you believe you are worthy of love, respect, and trust, you have a greater ability to give trust in return. In the same breath, you attract what you believe you are. So, if you have honed these traits in yourself sufficiently, and BELIEVE in the possibility of a relationship built on trust, then you will manifest what you believe.
One other educator and researcher, René Brown, has also done significant work when it comes to the word trust. Obviously, trust can mean different things to different people, and breaking it down into specific qualities and behaviors makes it more meaningful and gives clarity to how it can be used and addressed in society. To make it easier for people to remember, she uses the acronym, BRAVING, in describing how trust is the fundamental cornerstone in building strong relationships with loved ones, friends, colleagues, and others. Without it, a relationship will not last. We have learned distrusting individuals with whom we have shared confidential information, intimate secrets, and dreams, are unsafe to be with. Trusting someone with our heart takes courage, being vulnerable, and having our eyes wide open.
B = Boundaries
Can I trust you to be clear about what is okay and not okay in this relationship? Can I trust you to understand and respect my boundaries? Are you willing to say “no” and respect my need to say “no” sometimes? Do you understand that setting boundaries is often one of the most loving things we can do in our relationships?
R = Reliability
Will you follow through and do what you say you’re going to do? Can I trust that you won’t over promise on your ability or capacity to complete tasks or projects? Are you able to balance competing priorities? Can I trust these things about you consistently and over time?
A = Accountability
Can I trust that when you make a mistake that you will own it, apologize and make amends? Am I willing to hold myself accountable for the mistakes I make as well?
V = Vault
Do you hold in confidence what I share with you? Do we hold in confidence what others have shared with us when those stories are not ours to share?
I = Integrity
Can I trust that you will act from your integrity including choosing courage over comfort; choosing what’s right over what’s fun, fast or easy; and practicing your values and not just professing them.
N = Non-judgment
Do I know that I can fall apart and be in struggle and pain and that you won’t judge me? Do I trust that you will reach out to me when you are also in pain and struggle so that I can have the opportunity to be supportive? Are we able to regularly offer and ask for help from each other?
G = Generosity
Will you assume that my intentions are good—and when you’re not sure, will you check it out with me? Can we make generous assumptions and interpretations of ourselves and others in terms of words, behaviors and actions?
?My beautiful souls, it is not easy to trust again after so much trauma and abuse. Finding one’s path is a daily choice, and choosing who to share your intimate soul with takes a vulnerable, courageous spirit. Yet, when you do, a little piece of you heals in the process. There are people out there who want to take advantage of you due to your fragile and gentle soul. Be cautious when you step out. Those individuals will want you to pour your heart out to them. Don’t do it. They are scavengers looking for people to prey on. Feeling anxious is part of the process. Try to overcome it with positivity, meditation, and fitness plans set into your weekly schedule. People may tell you to be independent of the world around you and forget about what you feel inside regarding trusting others. You have an open heart, and in that very essence you give to others to help them feel good about themselves through smiles, gestures of love, small texts, coffee time, phone calls, and other sweet delights. It is impossible to ignore those amazing feelings you have, so DON’T! Truly, what we are here for is to serve others…? Yet, we’ve been with toxic people for so long and conditioned to feel a certain way, by ignoring our intuitive gut, stomping out our light of glow, and suffocating the air we breathe, that our minds have, like computers, been unplugged.
The good news, is we can change our story at anytime and live in the GLOW when we are ready, willing, and able!? So, we are plugging our circuits back in and RECHARGING THEM!! Woohoo! Never underestimate the resiliency of the human spirit!? It’s power alone will dislodge any negative mindset and allow you to breathe in positive, brilliant stars of illuminant light! Try to focus on a Higher Power, a Constant, something or someone you love. This changes how your brain perceives incoming messages, because when you focus on positive concepts, what comes in to your brain is magically shaped into a positive perspective. Perception is Everything! YOU are in charge of YOUR life. Trust who you are, what you are, and Believe in your reality! You are unstoppable! Whatever you set your mind to, it will become a reality for you!
?I hope, my sweet tribe, this trust blog has given you some ways in which you can practice learning how to trust again. Trusting yourself and others is difficult after trauma or abuse, yet it is achievable. Be consistent in your approach to living in the GLOW. Make today the first step in changing your life and your mindset towards one of trust…Loving yourself first will give you a jump start in trusting you and others. May it be the beginnings toward building a life of glow…!? If you need support or assistance in starting a plan for learning how to trust yourself and others again, please contact me on my contact form. May your day be filled with light, love, and joy…?
?In Light and Love,
Kimberly Lees, Ed.D.