Trust No One!

FriendsJumpingOnBeachInSunset

Yesterday I had a conversation with a friend who said he had a hard time trusting people, and that he trusted less than five people in his life. To my surprise, my response to that was that as long as he trusted himself one hundred percent, there is no need to trust anyone else. What? Did I say that? I’m pretty sure I did not know that a minute ago.

But it’s true! Here’s why:

As a species we notoriously trust other people, places and things to be the sources of our happiness. A trust that may be lost in an instant through betrayal, inadequacy, different priorities, theft, misunderstandings, poor judgment, bad luck, intoxication, better options, and… What not?

When we place our trust in others we also place our happiness where it has no place. Our happiness can only be found within ourselves, not in other people, places or things. No matter how trustworthy you may deem them to be or how eager they may seem for the job.

Trusting others is giving them a responsibility they should never have. Trust me (pun intended) this is not coming from a place of having suffered countless disappointments which as a result has led me to the conclusion that people generally suck and cannot be trusted. This is coming from the realization that to entrust anyone else with the responsibility for my happiness is to assign them a job that they are not qualified for.

So why do we feel the need to trust others? What conditions need to be met for trust to be necessary, meaningful and of value? As I see it two conditions need to be met:

  • What you are trusting the other person to do, or not do, needs to mean something to you. Trusting your significant other to only wear red socks on Mondays will probably not mean a lot to you, but trusting them to be faithful probably will.

and

  • You must believe that the entrusted person has a willingness, or at least propensity, to act contrary to your wish. If they indeed have a wish to act in this way, is actually not very important. It is your belief in their inclination to act contrary to you wish that determines the degree of trust that is needed. Trusting your vegan spouse to not eat the bacon you put aside probably does not require a high degree of trust. Trusting the same person to not get messy with his hot co-worker may require more trust.

Trust is therefore a way to control others to behave in a certain way. –I need for you to behave in this and that way, otherwise I will be hurt and unhappy. Regardless of what the other person really wants to do in the given moment. Trusting someone instantly creates a contract where they need to act within certain limits to gain and remain deserving of your trust. And it goes both ways. When someone trusts you, they simultaneously place you under an obligation to fulfill a behavioral commitment to them. Otherwise you will lose the trust.

Twin argumentAnd we all know how difficult, if not impossible it is to regain trust in someone if it has been lost once. Or God forbid, twice.

I had never thought of trust between people in this way before. What used to be something noble and good, now seems like unhealthy clinging to a certain image of how you want this person to be. Often with complete disregard to what they actually would want for themselves.

I now believe that the answer to this endless tit-for-tat tyranny of trying to control other people’s behavior by instilling our trust is them, is to take trusting others out of the equation altogether.

Groundbreaking, isn’t it?

By removing the need to trust others we set the tone for an interaction that is totally free of all bondage and need for control. We set them free. I have also realized that trust and unconditional love cannot possibly coexist. They are an impossible combination.

If you trust someone you love, you have placed conditions on your relationship and it is therefore no longer unconditional. If they break your trust, then you withdraw your love. Consequently, if you love someone unconditionally the need to trust them is utterly meaningless because the love you feel for them is not dependent on their actions. It is only by abandoning all need to trust others that we can really love them as they are. We can allow them to be free of our judgment, and if it is mutual we also get to be exactly who we want to be in any given moment. That is unconditional love. That is freedom.

Climbing team on the summit.This is not because I see myself as a separate entity from other people, and therefore want as few obligations to them as possible. Quite the contrary! It is because I believe that we all are one, we are all spiritually connected but by instilling trust in others we try to create a physical manifestation of the bond we already share. Trusting others in this mindset then becomes meaningless.

But what about trusting your doctor or your bank? Or your politicians? (Sorry, that was a joke). Shouldn’t we still be putting our trust in them? After all it is our hard-earned money and our precious health we are talking about. Even here I don’t think you should let bankers, doctors or anyone else define your happiness. By all means, take precautions and seek out professionals who seem honest, well-intended and in integrity. But nonetheless you should not be putting your happiness in their hands either. Even the most immaculate doctor makes mistakes sometimes, no matter how much you trust her. Trust that you to the best of your abilities have chosen the right doctor and then place your trust in yourself to be able to tackle any situation that may follow. This is how we lose our attachment to the outcome of a situation and claim our absolute power over our lives.

I realize that it may seem that I am now against all forms of trust, but that is not what I mean.

I believe you should strive to trust yourself completely to always do your best and to act in integrity in a way that your actions lead to the highest possible outcome for everyone involved.

I believe you should trust that everything always is well, and that things are exactly as they need to be for your greater good in every moment of every day.

I believe you should trust the Universe, God, your higher power, pure positive energy, The Force or whatever you believe in to always have your back.

You are not supposed to trust other people.

You are supposed to love them.

Just as they are. And then trust that that is enough.

Free Will vs Handing Our Power Over

Climber on the summit.I guess I have been confused with free will for quite some time. I know I have it and that it is one of the fundamental laws of our existence. But I haven’t realized that it means that it is free. It doesn’t mean I have to be in control all the time. It only means that I may choose to be in control if that is my wish.

This means I may also choose to hand it over to God, My Higher Power, the Holy Spirit or whomever I choose to invite into my life. As a student of A Course in Miracles, I will choose the Holy Spirit.

I can look at my current life experience like my car. My own car. Since it is my car I can choose to drive it myself and I can choose to drive it wherever I want. If I choose to go driving in areas where I have no clue as to where I am or what lies ahead I will probably get lost. Which has happened many times.

I can however choose to invite the Holy Spirit into the driver’s seat and schooch over to the passenger seat myself, trusting that the Holy Spirit knows the road better than I do. That he knows where I should go and when, in the best interest of myself and everyone involved. This is no violation of my free will since I allow him to take control. At any point I can choose to kick him out and take over the driving myself. That is always my decision.

Today I invite the Holy Spirit into my driver’s seat. Please take over the steering wheel and take me to where I want to be. You know the way, and you know how to get there swiftly, safely and harmoniously. For everyone involved.

A few weeks back I had the pleasure of attending the Sunday service at Agape International Spiritual Center in Los Angeles and during Rev. Michael B. Beckwith’s speech he said that fear leads to manipulation. Love leads to right action.

Key of successThat’s right. I believe that fear prevents us from handing over our power and instead try to sort out and manipulate our surroundings ourselves. With limited results. Love will allow us to trust a power greater than ourselves to lead us to wonderful places. The Universe has any miracle available at all times, and all I have to do is to get out of the way and allow it to work its wonders.

God only knows that my own futile attempts to drive the car has lead me astray so many times. Till now.

So Holy Spirit: Here are my car keys! Let’s go on a roadtrip. You know the way, so I’ll just sit back and enjoy the ride.

K

Are you growing through what you are going through?

WalkingOnWater

Life presents you with all sorts of problems and difficulties. Situations don’t turn out the way you want them to, people let you down and things go pear-shaped. As much as these struggles, big or small, are an integral part of everybody’s life, it is pretty normal to feel that something has gone wrong somewhere. The unpleasant notion that you are experiencing something you shouldn’t be experiencing in an ideal world.

MuscularBlackManPushupsI like to think that just as physical strength is not built while chilling out on the sofa, mental and spiritual strength is not created while floating around on a pink cloud. We need problems to grow and learn. Without a problem there can never be a solution. Without resistance there can never be any release.

When you learn something in school you are probably learning it because you don’t already know it. You attend lessons and are given problems in the form of assignments and exercises to practice your new skills. Everyone accepts this as a natural way of learning. However, when life presents you with the same opportunities to grow, learn and refine your skill-set then the normal response is to freak out and see the whole situation as something undesired. Something must have gone wrong.

Not long ago a friend came to me with a relationship problem. She has struggled in the relationship department for a while, and had now found a partner who wasn’t giving her what she wanted. She could not get the validation she craved and was therefore considering ending the relationship as she felt that the guy was not worthy of her. Just like many of her well-meaning girlfriends had already assured her he wasn’t.

My first reaction when listening to her talking about her heartache, doubts and stress in her relationship was that life had decided to send her a lesson in the form of a man who was not feeding her insecurities. This is an opportunity for her to learn that no one can ever love you enough if you don’t love yourself, and an opportunity to learn that the validation of others should be completely irrelevant. Others can only make you feel bad if you give them the power to rule your world.

Some might say that this is a cold response that lacks empathy. Don’t get me wrong, I have been where she is and know how devastatingly painful it is to crave the attention of someone who is not giving it to you. However, it was only through going through this pain and refusing to see it as something that was going to get to me, I was able to realize that I alone am in charge of how I feel. I had to learn this if I am ever to have a healthy relationship with anyone, and the universe presented me with the perfect learning situation for this. At a time when I was ready.

vintage flowers backgroundLife’s lessons should not be seen as punishment, but rather the opposite. It means that you are ready to grow some more, that you have the chance to become something greater and stronger than you already are. Tackling problems with this attitude is empowerment on a new level. Don’t ever see yourself as a victim, because trust me, the rest of the world is not seeing you as a victim until you proclaim that you are one. And how do we proclaim this? By complaining about the unfairness of your miserable life, which through the law of attraction just makes sure there is a steady supply of gloom headed your way.

A Course in Miracles starts by saying that it is a required course, which I think is a great way of seeing life. I see life as a course and embrace the contrast that is headed my way, because it was attracted by the best in me to make me stronger than I was before.

I saw an inspirational quote in a gym once:

  • It doesn’t get easier. You just get better.

I think that sums up life pretty well. Take every opportunity to grow and don’t have a meltdown whenever the universe sends you a lesson you can learn from. And chill out! It’s not like any of us are getting out alive.

Growingly yours,

Kristian

 

PS! Just like when you fail something in school, the universe will keep sending you the same lesson over and over again until you get it. How many times you want to re-live the same problem depends on how eager you are to learn.

 

Meditation Generation

MeditationOnMountainInSunshine

I meditate daily and have done so for more than a year. As promised in my previous post I will now share some of my experiences with meditation with you. What started as a remedy to feel a little bit better while going through some difficult stuff has become an amazing sanctuary that has surpassed all expectations from a year back. I really had no idea what would come of it or where it could take me.

So what is meditation really? There are several ways of describing it: -Cardio for your mental stamina. -Stretching for the soul. -Relief from the mind’s perpetual chatter. And much more.

My first real experience with meditation was in Hong Kong several years back when a friend told me about a meditation teacher she had heard of. For quite some time I had been curious about what meditation was and wanted to learn to do it. I did however not get a lot out of the two sessions I had with this teacher, which probably was not the teacher’s fault. I wasn’t really ready and besides, the style she taught was not something that really resonated with me. Meditation is not really a skill you learn, and so, there are no rights or wrongs. Each must find his own way.

With meditation really not being a skill anymore than lying down or relaxing, it is something everyone can discover or rather remember. Although being a natural state of the non-physical part of us, it is a state that most of us forget as we grow up and are assimilated into the hectic mindset of modern society. Meditation is re-connecting with your inner self, which quite frankly is an amazing resource that most people are more or less oblivious to. Meditation can help you access your intuition in a way that is impossible if your mind is active. I am not talking about hunches about doing this or that, I am talking about a reliable and consistent connection to your intuition, inner being, sub-consciousness or whatever you choose to call it.

MagicFlowerOnWater1When  I meditate I generally prefer to use guided meditations that fit my mood and life situation at that time. There are several good ones to choose from, and I personally recommend the ones from Meditation Oasis simply because they are the ones I used in the beginning. They can be downloaded for free as podcasts from iTunes and there is one to fit your every mood: breath awareness, patience, grief, gratitude, opening of the heart, relief from stress, accessing intuition, Chakra meditation etc etc.

I prefer lying down when meditating but you can also be seated if you prefer that. Personally, I don’t like to meditate when I’m so tired or sleepy that I drift in and out of sleep, simply because I find it confusing when the surreality of the dream state is mixed with the consciousness of the meditation. There are however no rights and wrongs here, what is important is that you find a way that works for you.

So what does it feel like? Well, it is more or less an exercise in not thinking thoughts, but to allow the mind to go quiet leaving space for everything else that is inside of you to come forward. By gently focusing on your breathing or just enjoying the gentle stillness of the mind you can experience inner peace, emotional ease or just a comfortable feeling of well-being. By all means, thoughts will appear in a meditation. This is completely normal, especially during stressful or emotionally challenging times. The trick is to not follow the train of thoughts but to allow them to drift out of your consciousness from whence they came.

It is not about making something happen, or trying to induce a particular experience. However, when you get more and more used to meditate, extraordinary things can happen that could leave you baffled and eager to delve deeper into your inner self. To many this may sound scary, I have however never found anything that has not been to my benefit. (However, if you know that you have a lot of unresolved junk in your past, seeking guidance from a professional may be a good idea before trying to fix things on your own).

I think my most “tangible” weird experience with meditation happened a few weeks back. I had meditated for about 25 minutes, finished and went to watch TV afterwards. After about five minutes I realized that I hadn’t put on my glasses after finishing the meditation (I normally wear contacts) but to my surprise I could see everything clearly. Completely astonished I checked if I could see clocks and other stuff far away that I normally need glasses for. And I could! When putting on my glasses it was as if they weren’t mine; I couldn’t see clearly with them. This lasted for the rest of the day until I went to sleep and woke up with my regular -1.5 nearsightedness the next day. When telling my optometrist about this he had no good explanation as to what might have happened here.

Meditation and relaxation on an empty roadI know that many people are curious about meditation, but don’t quite know where to start and how to go about it. By all means, it is not a quick fix for anything, but instead offers a more soothing relief over time. It is however an exciting path where you can reap fruits in areas that you never imagined you would. Meditation could give benefits such as self-confidence, self-acceptance, patience, stress management, self-love, peace of mind and much, much more. Please don’t lose your courage if you feel you cannot get the hang of it straight away. Practice makes perfect and remember that continuity is of the essence here.

So if you feel like trying this, you are not alone. More and more people are discovering the world of meditation, and hopefully in not a too distant future meditation will be as normal as brushing one’s teeth or reading the newspaper. I am absolutely convinced the world will be a better place for it.

Meditatively Yours,

Kristian