I am learning to be an avid trust builder. It dawns on me the crux of so many healing and empowering modalities is building trust with oneself. In midlife, this means often re-building trust after many regrets or difficult feelings about things we have done or not done. Any practice that connects us to self-trust by showing up for ourselves each day is powerful (meditation, practicing or training to do anything, daily care rituals, daily gratitude jars, etc.).
Letting go of story around a life wounding can be a great relief. It means we are not set in stone. But the wound actually never leaves us. And the wound in my humble opinion is what connects us to all of humanity. If we try to drown the wound, run away from it, kill it in some way, we can destroy ourselves in the process.
I have often felt paralyzed with regret over a decision I made around 20 years ago. In this 15-minute clip anyone can download, it was wonderful to listen to one of my favorite teachers describe the nature of regret and how she has dealt with that powerful feeling.
Recently, I have been rebuilding trust with myself by proving I can lose weight healthfully when I thought I’d already shown myself that was “impossible”. Now zero cravings and constant sense of fulfilled nourishment is happening. So far 11 pounds down, 39 more to go by year’s end. While I can never make a 50-year-old body become a 28-year-old body, I feel intuitively that once I inhabit the weight I was then, I can feel my way into a reboot of the me I was before my most regretted decision, in a wiser way, with less harm and regret moving forward. I don’t need to wait for weight (ha) to move forward, but it is more the trust I am rebuilding in the process than my physical appearance.
I also happened upon something I wrote for an ecopsychology course four years ago on the topic of trust. This feels important now as there is so much discourse around “evidence-based truth” versus opinion. The most profound evidence-based truth is our own that we glean through our sensory connections. The problem is, it is very easy to become disconnected from our own senses. Do we trust what we know anymore?
Ever since encountering the idea of asking permission from a natural area to be there, I have been experimenting with this with profound results. I find asking permission allows me to experience myself as no more than or less than anything around me, vibrating with all, as if we are one instrument. I asked before I entered a thick wooded area and soon a bird call caught my attention.
It must have been a warning of my presence, because suddenly a huge flock of small birds lifted off from the tree tops. This brought my attention upward to the lattice of leafless branches above me forming a black net against the gray sky. I realized how rarely I look up while hiking/walking, and felt the expansive network of trees communicating. As I continued to walk, I experienced cedar, alder, fir trees as wise companions, many of them older than me, standing witness to earth time. I came away with the sense they had much to teach me.
I trust this “knowing” as much as I trust any other source of knowledge, and I long to live in woods for an extended period of time to see if my intuition is correct that my computer screen myopic eyesight improves, my body restores its intended posture, and my mind restores clarity.