I used to trust everyone… without any discernment whatsoever. I talked myself out of any “negative feelings” because I didn’t want to be “judgmental.” As a result I got myself in some really amazingly intense growth relationships!! Looking back, I could have avoided the pain had I trusted my own feelings…
You see, in my early thirties, I was needy! I had just overturned my conventional life – got divorced, quit my wonderful job in engineering and became “psychic in the window” at a local bookstore. I started dating a man who didn’t feel right… but he validated me. His words made me feel good. His inconsistencies and energy did not.
It got worse by the month. He couldn’t pay bills, and told me the day before they were due. He traveled to visit other women “for business.” I knew things were off. I felt it. Common sense even started to kick in, but I didn’t want to see the truth in front of me. I didn’t want more change. So I trusted him until things became so painful I had to confront him for his lies. He immediately dumped me. It was a gift. I had been lying to myself.
I’d like to say I was more self-aware back then but I repeated this exercise several times, both in friendships and intimate relationships – even in spite of the angels’ loving guidance – until I finally learned to trust myself. It used to be embarrassing to share these stories, but now I have a sense of humor about the past. Lessons have been learned. I trust my feelings impeccably now.
Your feelings can come as a subtle discomfort, a sick feeling, or a sense that something is “off.” Sometimes the guidance is blatant. You catch someone acting inconsistently a bit too often. You catch them in subtle lies. Sometimes it is subtle but you sense it.
This guidance isn’t given to us to make others wrong, but rather to steer us right. We’re given these feelings so we can create the most loving life. If my brain is telling me I should check something out by my heart isn’t in it, I turn it down. If my brain is telling me something is unreasonable, but my heart leans in that direction I’ll listen to my heart. I don’t worry about trusting others or not anymore. I trust my own heart and my own feelings to guide me, as the angels say, one moment at a time.
Here are some pointers this week to help you learn to trust yourself…
1. Trust Your Body to tell you the truth… esp. your gut.
Practice this often. Look at celebrities, strangers, even people you know and ask yourself, “How do I feel when I connect with them?” For example, how does your body feel around the various people you know personally? How does your body feel when you look at a stranger or a celebrity on TV?
Look at, or think of someone briefly, then shut your eyes and pay attention to your body’s reaction. Do you feel tense or comfortable, uplifted or tired? Does your gut feel relaxed (good), tight (not good), or neutral?
Your physical reaction tells you if that person is right for you or not. You body simply tells you whether or not the person or situation resonates with you at that moment.
2. Trust your strong “Yes” and “No” feelings
There are times when everything in you says “yes” before you can even think or analyze a situation. I’ve entrusted some database work to a total stranger because he felt reliable and trustworthy. I didn’t even have to think twice to hire him. He’s been very helpful and honest.
There are times when everything in you says “No!” This is your soul’s way of saying, “Please don’t go there!” Had I listened to a “no” in my thirties I would have avoided three years of a painful relationship. Instead I talked myself into it because the gentleman was convinced he was my soul-mate. “Maybe I should be nice and give him a chance,” I told to myself. Never mind that nothing felt right and I dreaded our dates! I laugh looking back. “No” means “no” or “not now.” In any case, honor it in the moment.
If you don’t get a strong yes or no feeling that means the person or situation is neutral – it doesn’t matter if you go there or not. There are no huge benefits and no huge drawbacks.
3. If someone or something you’ve previous trusted feels “off” pay attention…
People and situations change. You grow and change. If something that once felt right suddenly doesn’t feel so great anymore, pay attention. Check in with yourself. Ask, “Is this right for me still? What should I do next?” Listen to that.
I once had a close friend. At first we had a great relationship. She and were like sisters, emailing every day and getting together frequently for fun outings. However, the longer I knew her the more I noticed there was something “off.” She made almost everyone she knew wrong sooner or later. She showed signs of paranoia. She started to exhibit signs of insecurity around me. I knew something wasn’t right but wasn’t aware enough, at the time, to speak up and ask.
Sure enough, the pain of her entire childhood came up and out and she aimed it at me. She vacillated back and forth between wanting to be friends and pushing me away. After many attempts to resolve the issues and a great deal of drama, my heart told me a truth I didn’t want to hear, but had to trust. Until she was ready to do her own work, this friendship was over. I listened to my soul, cut ties, and returned to a peaceful, happy life. I trusted God would guide her along the right path for her own growth.
We try to tell ourselves that it would be nice if everyone stayed the same and remained predictable, but that isn’t real life. We all grow and change.If you trust your signals in the moment you will always know what to do at any given time. I had many beautiful outings and memories from that friendship. It is sad that it ended but God has provided me with many new and more stable individuals in my life.
Trusting yourself isn’t always easy. We do get our own signals. We don’t always want to hear them. However, if you’re willing to trust yourself, to trust God, and to trust your guidance, then you’ll always be steered along the path of greatest love, ease, and joy!