Trust has been a life-lesson for me. It even says so in Dan Millman’s numerology book The Life You Were Born To Live, A Guide To Finding Your Life Purpose. For those of us whose birth date adds up to seven (7), he writes of our purpose being ‘Trust and Openness’. The chapter opens with these words: “Individuals working 7 as their life purpose are here to trust the light or spirit within them, in others, and in the process of their lives so that they feel safe enough to open up and share their inner beauty with the world.” He writes (and I summarize) of the challenges we ‘sevens’ face in our personal evolution, as an early tendency to collect opinions from friends and family and to fill our libraries with books, as seeking guidance from the wisdom of others helps us to measure our own instinct against outside advice. He writes that our primary fears are of being misunderstood and betrayed, and how our subconscious ultimately attracts those experiences. He even uses Charlie Brown’s trust of Lucy to be true to her word ‘this time’ as an example… which explains why I cannot stand to sit through any holiday productions of the cartoon I thought I loved as a child. In recent years I realized that I am no longer willing to be witness to Chuck’s choice to surround himself with so many people who simply did not deserve to sit within his light.
In truth, I have been betrayed… probably more than my fair share. As a child, there was a neighborhood acquaintance, a friend of a friend, who stole the baby from my ‘Sunshine Family’ doll set, and I can recall being alone at the Saturday movies, and trusting two girls I didn’t even know to save my seat, leaving my bag of candy behind – returning to the story that some older kids came by and stole it. In high school, a boy I had known practically since we were born and considered a close friend, orchestrated an all out attack on my home – toilet papering the yard, cookie-ing my parent’s windshields, and taping lesbian pornography on my bedroom window with slurs against me and my mother. I was away that weekend, and my mother cleaned it all up without telling even my father. She stayed quiet until the rumor had gotten to me, and I shared it with her – amazed at the silliness of it all… then, when I was on hold with that boy, she told me to just hang up… that the rumor was true. At age 20, the boy I lived with who had won my heart chose to crush it when he came home from a college event with hickies on his neck. I tried to find trust, but a few months later I moved him out – and frankly, never trusted men after that. Looking back, I realize it was in that same time frame that a childhood friend had stolen credit cards from my wallet, revealed when my mother called me to address the unauthorized use of her account, which I carried for emergencies. The card was still in my purse, which revealed that someone had removed it and replaced it, after use… handwriting analysis of the receipts made identity simple to secure.
Analysis of these childhood wounds did offer me great wisdom, when I had gained the maturity to seek peace through forgiveness. I realized that in each of these indiscretions, the offender was acting out of inauthenticity… they were pretending to be something they were not – a curse of the young or fearful. It is much easier to release past hurts when we realize that the damage inflicted was never really about us – the recipient of harm, but about the one who acted out. With this understanding, we may not be completely shielded from acts of betrayal, but we can definitely accept the circumstances, remove ourselves from the situation, and move forward with our lives, rather than dwelling in the pit of despair over what we must have done to deserve being lied to, stolen from, cheated on, etc. Forgiveness does provide some level of inner peace. In certain situations, the betrayal may feel too great to offer forgiveness, and if so, consider forgiving that it happened to you, until you can develop the possibility of compassion for someone who would act out in ways that seem to have such disregard for the respect and care of your soul.
I can see now how these life experiences kept me from trusting my own inner voice. During one period of Mercury Retrograde a few years ago, I can remember coming to a huge aha moment. I was talking to a friend about how I would never find true love, because I didn’t trust men… and suddenly it hit me like a bolt of lightning. I realized that the truth of the matter was that more difficult than finding a man I could trust, was my ability to trust myself to choose well. Talk about closing the subconscious doors of opportunity. And so, I set forth on a path to rebuild that trust… in myself.
These days my practice includes paying attention to signs and synchronicities, so that if I cannot clearly hear my own intuitive voice, I can at least follow the direction in which the Universe might guide me. An example would be the way that I found myself feeling this time last year, much the way I had felt 16 years before. In my beloved workplace, I found myself feeling fearful, paranoid, depressed and distressed with the arrival of a new boss. It was clear that she didn’t like me from the get-go, as I struggled to try to make her happy. After multiple years with outstanding performance, I was suddenly declared completely unprofessional and inept. This sensation nearly left me fetal and unhinged, until… my intuitive life coach asked me to reflect on when I might have felt this way before. She indicated that for those of us who are empathic, we often receive information from our inner guidance through the way our bodies feel. When I stopped to reflect on that sensation as something familiar, I realized that I had felt this way before. In fact, it was the feeling that brought me to this place. A very similar experience had unhinged me from my loyal seat in the company I was dedicated to for ten years. Same scenario… new boss, lack of resonance despite beloved reputation throughout organization, deep dive of fear, self-loathing, depression and a sense of being hit by a bus, because the platform of love was suddenly gone and there was no one around to save me. Fast forward sixteen years, and though I find myself reliving a nightmare of the past, I am suddenly thrust a life preserver… but not from someone else who had come to my rescue… it was my higher self! She was right there, reaching her hand to me saying, “Okay… calm down and breathe. Remember when this happened the last time? Remember how you were frightened of what would happen to you? Remember how you spent weeks drowning in self-doubt and fear of the unknown future? Now, remember how it all turned out. Remember that that moment of discomfort prepared you for something extraordinary. Remember that you would never have left that place of mediocrity to find this place of wonder. Remember how you were blessed to serve those who really needed you, and how greatly you were rewarded for providing your special brand of care. Now, remember who you are. Offer gratitude to those who would set you free from your own self-limiting beliefs, even if their methods were careless and unfortunate. Forgive yourself for waiting so long to see the truth of your light. Know that you are completely safe and protected. Now, step out into the brightness of your being, and take all of the time you need to decide how you will choose to shine into the future. Brilliance cannot be rushed, it must be cultivated. Write it all down and then write some more. Keep writing and speaking your truth until your truth becomes your path. Then… when you are ready… you can stop following and start leading.”
As I near the one year anniversary of my liberation from that workplace, I find myself at the edge of a new path. I still don’t know exactly where this path is headed, but I know one thing for sure… I trust myself to lead the way.