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  • Writer's pictureeschaden


Such a tricky business.  I have placed my trust in people, in ideas, in things and have been a total fool.  And yet, I am still here learning, loving, growing up.  I am not sure why my life feels like this very prolonged adolescence.  But it does.  I am often shocked at the woman who greets me in the mirror every morning.  I am equally shaken when she pays the mortgage, the bills, and saves money.  That feels so adult.  And I so do not.

I have a trusting nature.  And I think this is mostly due to the fact that I don’t have a great deal of ulterior motives going on below the surface.  I want to do good work, so that I feel good about myself and how I am showing up in the world.  I want to love and be loved, so I attempt to do that daily, though I know I am often misguided in my attempts.  I want to live a simple, faithful life that doesn’t hurt myself or others.  Of course, I fail at both those things repeatedly.

I guess my point is that I do not try to hurt myself or others.  And almost all of the things I have done in recent years where I have hurt others, it was the byproduct of living and loving and learning and losing.  I have rarely gone out of my way to hurt someone else.  I don’t make up or repeat rumors about people and I do not wish bad things for them.  I truly want everyone to find love, happiness, comfort, safety and joy. No exceptions...

And because I feel this so fundamentally, I am always taken aback when I find out that others do not feel the same or behave the same.  This resulted in me getting hurt a great deal in my life.  Trusting those others because I couldn’t fathom that they had other motives.  Well, I learned some very hard lessons but I did grow up.  I did learn that trust is something that is earned, not something one just provides another without cause or familiarity.

It took me a long time to trust myself again after getting sober.  I mean, I was a grade A fuck up on so many levels and a liar.  So it was very hard for me to believe that I could show up when I said I would, that I would do what I said I would and I would hold your confidence when I told you I would.  I was unreliable in so many things in my life.  I cheated on pretty much everyone and everything...for years.

But getting sober began a process of seeing myself for who I was and not liking what I saw.  And then having to work very diligently to change that in myself...and the work continues.  But generally speaking, today, I am trustworthy.  I can count on me and so can others.

Trusting this whole God concept was similarly difficult for some of the same reasons.  I had some early life experiences that would shake anyone’s faith. It was easy to believe that I was supposed to be punished, to be chastised for being me.  And I kind of took that idea, that idea of this very punishing God and ran with it.

It was a life stopper when I was told, in early sobriety that I could pick my own God.  That I could choose to what I would pray to and what that benevolence might look like.  I was flummoxed.  Really?  It can’t be this simple...all those years that I labored under the delusion that there was just this one God who didn’t like me very much. The revolutionary thought that I could just change my conception of that God was in fact life changing. And so my life was changed, fundamentally and forever.


But over the years, I have developed this idea of this loving kindness, this gentle being that is patient with me, who loves me and wants good things for me in this life.  Not great fortune and certainly not fame, but a good, decent life that lives in service to others.  And so my life has become.

It took a great deal of effort to trust this God and myself.  And as my relationship with this loving kindness grew within me, so did too my ability to discern which of you were trustworthy and which of you were not.  I kind of fucked that whole thing up royally last year.  But I learned, one more time and to new highs and new lows, just what happens in a relationship that moves forward at a frenetic pace, that is missing that foundational level of trust...disaster.  Again. Still.

I would love to say that my life today I am surrounded by people I trust implicitly.  And yes, there are quite a few of those people.  But I have teenagers so...certainly not everyone in my life is trustworthy.  Or honest.  Or sober.

But the adults that I allow in, that have remained, that continue to show up for me, I do trust them.  The great junk hunt of the past two years has eradicated those people in my life who were not trustworthy and good for me.  They are gone.  And I am better for their absence.

But harder than trusting you or God has been this idea that I can trust myself.  That I can make sound decisions.  That I will and can have my own back.  This has been a much harder road.  I have allowed want and need to blind me to seeing what is really there.  I have allowed this amazingly huge will of mine to dictate and control me, warp me, on occasion, into someone who does not show up for herself and lets herself down repeatedly.

But I am learning.  I am learning that I do not have to whip myself into a frenzy.  I can just sit in the discomfort of not knowing what to do, or if I should, or even if I want to.  Having habitually been a person that takes action over inaction, sitting with the discomfort lack of action provides, makes for hard going.

I have a tendency to forget that taking action the first sign of discomfort rarely leads me to a better place, and in fact, often, puts me behind the proverbial eight ball.  So inaction seems to be a place where I have grown and changed and morphed into someone that has not really been all that present in my life.  So sometimes it is hard to trust myself still, because while my recent decisions have been better, I am still a work in progress for sure.

There are a few decisions I have to make in the days to come.  Big ones.  Emotionally demanding ones.  And I am somewhat scared of myself in this decision making process.  I am trying to maintain my right sizedness, to not allow my giant ego to take off and railroad me into a position that I do not really want to take.  I am sitting in the gap, while I mind this gap between thought and behavior.  While I sit in the place where I am good with taking the action, and I am good not taking the action.  Trusting that if I do the footwork, I will be lead not to the easy decision, not to the most ideal situation, but to lead to a place where I get to practice this intelligent trusting of myself and god and whatever plan there is for me in this world.

I mean, fuck, I have seen the results of moving forward in this life, in love and in any endeavor knowing that I do not trust this person, this event, this idea and pushing forward anyway because I wanted to know, or experience or gain something which wasn’t mine at the time. And looking back, probably would have been better if I hadn't come to know.

It has been a very painful lesson, that regardless of why I don’t trust, the fact that I don’t is significant and cannot be swept away and under the rug just because the trust I do not feel is inconvenient.  I have learned, the hardest way, that loving and trusting only comes when you trust God first, and yourself second.  Only from there am I capable of accurately assessing  the situation, the decision, the person with the level of self honesty and truth that is required to make a good decision.  And by good, I don’t mean necessarily that there is a “good” outcome.  

I must always remember that I learn best and most completely when things are subtracted from my life, not added.  There is still a great deal of work to do for me in this life...experiences that will deepen my faith and my ability to trust and the wisdom to know the difference. Hopefully. Again. Still.

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