Sitting in my office, struggling to write about the self trust I’m finding slowly day by day. Feeling like I want to get it right, no, perfect, the first time I put words on the page. Knowing that I will not. Embracing that I trust myself to say it the way I need to say it. Even if it is messy, weird and full of typos.
Trust is something I’ve not had very much of in the past. In years gone I might have scrapped this whole blog idea and called a break for the week because it wasn’t flowing well at first. But that is not this day! Or, more accurately, that is not tomorrow, when this will be published!
In recent years it has come to my attention, slowly, painfully that the issues I have with trust in general likely stem from my lack of self trust. Ouch! And, I’d honestly thought that I’d been good at trusting myself. Turns out, the answer was a big, hurts-in-the-childhood kind of thing. Why does it always have to be the childhood?
I’ve touched on the ways in which religion gave me ample reasons to distrust everything about myself in My God or Yours? And there are sprinklings of how growing up my main parent seemed insistent that theirs was the only right way to be throughout quite a few of my blog posts.
But the lack of self trust doesn’t end there. I’ve been domesticated to this state of self doubt and have been perpetuating it to myself through many quiet, insidious means. For a time I did rebel. But finally, in my mid to late twenties my inner rebel teen couldn’t keep pushing back against the tidal wave that is the early teachings of self doubt come to swamp me, threatening to drown out a life in which I’ve managed to find joy.
Somehow, even amidst all of that stacked against me I’ve managed to make a life for myself. I’ve managed to help myself to a better space in both body and mind. I’ve allowed myself to trust others. And yet, I still struggle to find reasons to trust myself. Even with everything good I’ve done for myself I still cannot see why that matters when I wasn’t taught self trust. If no one in my early life truly showed me, and meant it (believe me I could feel whether they meant it) that I was to be trusted how could I find that self trust now.
Slowly, carefully, in a place where I feel seen, heard, and loved. Even when I fuck up. Even when I’m angry and a pain to be around. Being in a space where I am safe to be everything I am. All the bits that were too messy, too much or too different are welcome to come out to play. In a place with people who show me love and acceptance even when they see the parts of me I’ve hidden. Even the parts of me I’ve hidden from myself.
Self trust starts with feeling safe and accepted where you are at. No pressure to change, no pressure to be better, no pressure to stop doing this or that. Full acceptance filled with love and support. Because those that lack self trust are full of reasons not to trust themselves. We do not need more fodder for that fire, truly!
Fixing isn’t the goal. Holding space and welcome is.
And I’ve found myself in that space, with my hubs. I know it may sound cheesy but he’s the best choice I’ve ever made, honest. Because of his support I’m finding and trusting myself. And I know that I, in my own way, am doing the same for him. Relationships are a two way street and require effort. They are nothing except what you put into them and we’ve both put in a lot of love.
Self trust also feels very nuanced to me. Somedays it looks like asking to be heard when I have something important to externalize. Trusting that I’m allowed to ask for that space. Other days it looks not letting my brain overanalyze every little word and interaction I had with a friend or friends while hanging out. Trusting that they know they can and will tell me what is really on their minds.
The biggest, most terrifying thing, is that self trust underpins my ability to truly trust others. To truly be available to others in an intentional way. In the way I’d like to be available. The way I’d love to be available to myself. Self trust is the bridge to starting an art business, to following my dreams, and to finding my joy more deeply. It is the key to a full and happy existence.
It isn’t going to be all rainbows and sunshine, though. As much as I’d wish for self doubt to be a thing of the past, it will strike again. But balanced with self trust it will hopefully not wreak havoc like it use to.
PS. I finished this little dude recently, I’d left him as an exhausted little cat-octopus back in February but finally found the inspiration to get the finished piece I wanted. Mainly it had been the texture of octopus skin. I hadn’t known how I wanted to handle that and got distracted by other projects. The more I work on trusting myself the more art I am actually able to start and finish. And even set aside for a time knowing I could come back to finish it, or even abandon it entirely. That doesn’t mean that I’m not an artist, just means that I’m going with the creativity flow and embracing the chaos a bit more.