Underneath anxiety is a lack of safety. And underneath a lack of safety is a lack of trust.

Said in reverse: When we trust, we feel safe. And when we feel safe, anxiety quiets down.

But, oh, how challenging it can be to trust!

Worry is a Buzzkill

When Everest turned nineteen a few weeks ago, he wanted to celebrate his birthday by going up in a hot air balloon with his younger brother, Asher. As I’ve shared in several places, I come from a long line of expert worriers, so worry tends to be my default in a situation that includes risk, especially one that involves both of my sons! As such, worry-mind sent me all kinds of catastrophic “what if‘s” in the days leading up to the adventure, but I’ve worked with that part of me enough to be able to bring in a calm, rational mind so that I can allow my sons to follow their passions.

The morning of the launch we woke up at 5am so that we could arrive at the launch site by 6:00. The sunrise was glorious; fire lit across the blue skies of Colorado. The boys were in good spirits and excited for their adventure.

Everest had made it very clear that if my husband and I were going to go with them to the site that he did not want any of our worry. He’s been a real teacher for us lately as he has been clearly communicating that, contrary to what a long line of worriers believe, worry does not equal an expression of love. He wants us to celebrate his joy and join him in his excitement.

In short, worry is a buzzkill.

So we promised we would leave worry behind, and off we went.

The Antidote to Worry is Trust

As they lifted off the ground and I heard worry-mind tap on my brain with its familiar warnings, I had to turn to the antidote for worry, which is trust.

I trust the hot air balloon pilot.

I trust the balloon and the basket and the heat that makes it float.

I trust that my boys to make good choices.

I trust the wind and the sky in the mountains and the geese.

Trust does not necessarily mean trusting that no bad things will happen. We know that bad things happen. And trusting blindly is to be in magical thinking and fantasy.

But in a situation that is known to be quite safe, trust means choosing to trust the more likely outcome. It means recognizing the default mode of worry-mind, and choosing instead to be in joy, and dare we say, perhaps even to trust joy.

And yet… as weIstarted with, it’s not easy to trust. Trust is a practice.

Trust is a risk. 

Why is it so hard and scary to trust? We enter the world full of natural trust, but for most people, trust was ruptured early in life.

If you cried and nobody came, trust was ruptured.

If you were bullied in school and nobody stood up for you, trust was ruptured.

If you received the message that you were too much or not enough, trust was ruptured.

If your passions and gifts were judged and not supported, trust was ruptured.

If your learning style didn’t match the style taught in school, trust was ruptured.

If you were given an idea of God/Spirit/the divine was anything less than pure, forgiving, compassionate, unconditional love, trust was ruptured.

If you were rejected by a sibling, trust was ruptured.

There are a thousand ways for trust to ruptured. But the more important question is:

How is trust repaired?

Trust is repaired when we re-learn healthy attachment – the places of belonging – within ourselves, with others, and with the spiritual/creative realms.

Within oneself, trust is repaired when we learn how to show up for ourselves in healthy ways, tenderly and skillfully tending to our thoughts, feelings, and sensations as we would a child.

With others, trust is repaired when we feel seen and loved exactly as we are. Trust is also repaired when we bring our gifts to our community.

With the spiritual and creative realms, trust is repaired when we learn how to access a reliable source of love, comfort, and deep purpose. This can happen through committing to spiritual or religious practices, and it can also happen by growing a consistent relationship with nature or with a creative source (which are also spiritual practices).

Repairing trust is foundational to inner healing work, and it’s a significant part of what I teach in Break Free From Anxiety: A 9-month course on the art of living. 

Through slowly and gently spiraling through six modules – Resistance, Responsibility, The Physical Realm, The Emotional Realm, The Cognitive Realm, and The Soul Realm – as well as meeting regularly with me and other members in group coaching calls and in smaller, carefully selected groups of like-minded seekers and learners, you will learn how to repair broken trust in all directions: with yourself, with others, and with the spiritual realm.

If you struggle with career anxiety, relationship anxiety, insomnia, intrusive thoughts, health anxiety, or OCD and you’re ready to take a deep yet gentle dive into your inner work, please join us for the 5th round of the course, which starts next Sunday, September 10th. This is the last week to sign up. Learn more and sign up here.

Pin It on Pinterest