There is certainly no shortage of things to worry about these days. From politics and war to climate change to health, so many people I know are caught, almost gleefully, in a state of addictive fear. Various forms of media feed the fire. Conspiracy mentality isn’t confined to the fringe anymore. It’s gotten to the point that some of my friends become agitated if I’m not worried and fearful enough. They believe that turning away from fear and trying to indulge in a bit of trust in the Universe is reckless, even offensive.
Of course, there is such a thing as recklessness. Most people would not advocate taking a small child to a dangerous cliff and letting them run about at random. On the other hand, is it okay or not to let your child test their limits in a potentially dangerous sport? Where is the line between fear and trust, between wise precaution and recklessness?
I have a friend who is a afraid to let her children attend school because of all the media about gun violence and drug use. To me, her elementary-school-age son seems angry and trapped at home. While homeschooling can be a positive thing for some children, it doesn’t seem that way to me in this case. Has my friend’s inordinate fear created a prison for her son?
Reflecting on this, it occurred to me that perhaps the line between fear and trust should be chosen, by each person, based on how it makes them feel. Think about it. Have your fears put you in prison? Are you trapped by them? Have your days become swallowed up in fearful worry and self-protective measures? If so, it may be time for you to engage in a little trust.
One book that I have found to be very useful when I need an extra dose of trust in my life is The Trust Frequency. I like to read it in small bites — I find it calms me. Over the past several years, I’ve read it three times when I’ve needed a “trust-injection”.
What are the kinds of trust you might consider entertaining?
When it comes to health, how about trusting that your body usually knows how to heal itself? Marvel at the healing of a wound the next time you cut yourself. Your body has amazing abilities! Trust that your body will actually help you stay healthy. Treat it right with good food, water, rest and moderate exercise, and you’ll be amazed at what it can do for you. In contrast, running to doctors and taking all kinds of test and pills can imprison you in a state of chronic health worry, as you yield to the “no-cebos” of the medical machine — negative health messages that often serve as self-fulfilling prophecies.
How about trusting that a difficult period in a relationship or at work will ultimately turn out for the best? Rather than staying trapped and immobilized, what about deciding to be more courageous and open yourself up to confronting and working on a problem? Or taking action to leave a relationship or job if that seems like the best solution for you?
Rather than obsessing and worrying about some event in advance, how about trusting yourself to handle the situation and do the right thing when the time comes? Once you’ve done a bit of preparation, why waste more time on worry?
Or how about trusting that, in the long run, we are all part of an evolutionary process on Earth that, despite ups and downs, will ultimately turn out as it should? Maybe not in our lifetimes, but at least in the long run? Isn’t it possible that dark times create new opportunities for light? Instead of fighting the darkness by hiding or promulgating fear and hopelessness, why not work for progress in a way that fosters hopeful solutions? Even if humanity ends up in darkness, at least each of us will have filled our life with as much light as we can.
In the end, you must trust yourself. Trust your emotions. Are you happy or trapped in a prison of fear and avoidance? Let your internal compass be your guide. This compass is never wrong if you learn to understand it and listen to it. Much of the information and meditative exercises in Active Consciousness can help you achieve this. Let each day be a new opportunity to convert a little bit of your fear and worry into trust.