Trust. It’s a loaded topic, but I started thinking about it when I proclaimed to trust “The Universe” that it would all work out. And when I say “it”, I’m specifically talking about finding a job where I work with good people, feel challenged in the work I do and be excited to go to work everyday. When I started my year with this approach, my hope was to accept that I have only so much control over what the future brings, and that I need to stop stressing about if I am doing enough to make things happen for myself.
Sounds like a great plan right? Less stress? As it turns out simply putting that statement out into the ether was not quite enough. Because even after this new “worry free me”, I could barely sleep. I still felt anxious, with the weight of the world on my shoulders. But I know where this comes from.
I never believed in the lottery and I never believed in gambling. I never believed in opportunity just falling into your lap, because unless you are a Kardashian, they don’t. Hard work always helped me win the race in my world. Never missing basketball practice. Leaving the library when the lights went out. Long hours at work. Endless job applications. Things always happened, dreams always came true only after putting in every ounce of blood, sweat and tears into it. So, my idea of “luck” is when preparedness meets opportunity.
And therefore, trusting the Universe can only happen if I do my part, if I prepare. Right? Basically, I can’t just sit on my couch, watch “Making of a Murderer”, trust the Universe and wait for a call. But there is something about THE LINE that needs to be moved in all of this. Me thinking about finding a job can NOT be a 24/7 thing. It can’t even be a 7am-7pm thing. Where is it though? A few hours a day? A few days a week? I have no idea what is appropriate. Especially since every tactic is like throwing darts at a board never knowing what is going to stick.
I think this concept really applies to a lot of things. Finding a partner. Knowing when to leave work. Being a good friend. It involves trusting that we are doing the right amount of things at the right level of effort without reaching the point of diminishing returns. So this is one part of the equation; accepting that there is a level of effort that is enough – and that doesn’t mean 100% of your effort has to go against that one specific objective.
On the other hand, trusting someone else? Trusting the Universe? WOOOO NELLY. That is entirely different. We are told to trust, but not too much. And some believe that trust is earned, not given. We are supposed to trust our doctors. Trust our husbands. Trust your parents to know what’s best for you. Trust that the craigslist buyer will actually show up at 2pm with $100 cash. Without these foundations of trust, does the world not unravel? Any yet, so many times we are failed by these things – people and institutions. Shall I even mutter “Flint, Michigan”? I need not go into detail on how our ability to trust only continues to deteriorate as our list of experiences gets longer. But their is a point when the distrust becomes dysfunctional. This is where psychologists really make their money, isn’t it? And I mean, I think Oprah has been preaching the idea of putting faith in a higher power for decades. Relinquish control. Be your true self. Follow your strengths. And when you do, things will fall in place. More or less, I feel like this has been her mantra.
So how do we learn to trust again? After a cheating boyfriend? A colleague that stabbed us in the back? The homeless guy that bought a bottle of booze instead of a sandwich, like he promised? Praying for a family member who didn’t make it. I won’t pretend to know how to really learn to fully trust again when there are deep wounds surrounding this topic. What I do know is that good can happen when we put our trust in people and processes that we believe in. And also when we put faith in the Universe. When we relinquish control. Beauty happens there. Miracles happen there. I imagine you can think of a few examples of this in your own life.
So the journey continues to put a little more trust back in the Universe. And a lot more trust in knowing that the effort I’m putting in is also enough. If I tell myself this often, start making lists of all that I am actually accomplishing, and appreciate that I am not spending every waking moment focusing on “the search”, I think eventually I will sleep a little easier and worry a little less. And I continue to make time for the things that make life worth living and say “thanks!” in advance to the Universe for what is surely to be right around the corner. 😉