So often we hear the advice from well-meaning spiritual advisers that all will be well if we just ‘trust.’ What does this advice really mean?
When I think about 'trust' there are several aspects. I trust in my ability to cope with what occurs in my life, particularly the major events. I trust that I am always loved and supported through whatever those experiences may be. I also trust that the long term outcome of those experiences is going to be okay, because no matter what happens, I believe and I trust that on my return to Spirit World, my human experiences are seen as opportunities for my learning, for my understanding, and for my growth.
I don't trust that I or my loved ones will be spared suffering or loss. It would be helpful in so many ways, to believe that, and yet I cannot. However, I believe that where trust really finds its value is when we trust that we can dig deep within and access the strength and resources we need to deal with whatever our life brings us or brings to those we care about.I don't believe that it's appropriate to trust that nothing painful will happen to us. If that were the case, then a lot of the suffering in the world just wouldn't be happening. What does that expectation of trust mean for those individuals who don't receive that level of protection? What does it mean for the many inexplicable lives lost from the COVID 19 virus or for victims of seemingly senseless killing on the roads? In a recent mediumship reading, a young girl who died at the age of 15 came through from the spirit world. She had experienced a heart attack, and no-one had known she even had a heart condition. So, to say that I trust that that all things are going to work out the way I prefer, doesn't feel like the right way to use the word 'trust' from a spiritual perspective.
For me, trust is about believing that no matter what is going on in my daily life, behind the canvas of my life's story, there are lessons and resources being developed that relate to why my soul has chosen this incarnation. The human 'I' may not understand the need for the experiences or even be able to glimpse the lessons, and yet I trust that the need and lessons are there.
Delving into this topic a little bit more deeply, I need to remind myself that although I love and care for my children, my friends and my family, the karmic lessons these children, friends and family chose do not belong to me. I may play my part, but I am not the director of their 'play'. Their lives are their responsibility, and gift.
I think that for trust to be powerful it must find its home within us. Trust is knowing that our lives are spiritually guided and supported. Trust enables us to believe that no matter what happens, we can dig deep and find the resources to get through our challenges. Trust offers us the vision that there is a greater reason and plan that guides our lives. It reminds us that judgement, resentment and guilt have no place in the evolving story of our soul's growth.
Sometimes, trust needs to find its roots in the future. We may not feel okay right now, but somehow, we trust that we will regain our strength, or learn to cope with loss or grief given the passage of some time. That kind of trust takes even more courage. It takes optimism and faith, and speaks to the shining light of the person who holds it. Not everyone chooses a smooth path for their life's experiences. Remembering why we are here is the nourishment that trust needs to survive difficult times.
We look at a jigsaw when it is dissembled and see nothing but confusion. The individual pieces make no sense until the jigsaw is assembled, and the theme is revealed. What one piece looks like, when separated from the rest of its parts, could easily be discarded as a misshapen, worthless piece of rubbish. Yet that one small, irregular, unique piece of jigsaw contains in its mystery, a vital clue that reveals the jigsaw's whole. So it is with our experiences in this life and in our other lives. We should not expect one life to reveal a jigsaw's perfect cohesion. Perhaps, our soul has a vision that requires the artistry, precision and the experiences of multiple lives for many of its lessons.
This leads me into what I believe personal responsibility and free will is about, because free will isn't always about getting what we want. Quite often our only freewill is how we respond to a situation that we are presented with.I disagree with views that declare that suffering, abuse or violence is experienced by a person because they chose it. I disagree that it was their free will at work. It seems to me that this perspective is naive in its interpretation of what 'free will' means. When I feel into the energy of free will, I sense it involves 'responsibility'. I have responsibility for choosing how I create and respond to the events in my life. Every person has this same responsibility. The responsibility for causing harm cannot be evaded. A lesson can be learned without imposing abuse on another person.
If I am triggered to anger, distrust or fear based on experiences from my past, then every moment presents a new opportunity to choose a different emotional response from before.
That is my free will in action. I can choose how I respond to old programmed triggers within me and I can change my feelings and behaviors for the present and future. I can deny the power of old triggers of blame, self-pity or distrust and choose responses that empower freedom, learning and contentment.
That's where I believe our freewill finds its strength. If we had actively chosen every experience in our lives, we would be constantly doubting our soul's sanity. Does a soul choose for a small child to be beaten or sexually abused? I don't feel this is true. I think some human appetites and impulsive behaviors override the soul's guidance. Carnal desires for power, greed and gratification sometimes overpower spiritual guidance.
Personal responsibility requires us to take an objective look at our contribution to the outcomes we create for ourselves, others and the planet.
For myself, I need to see my part in the pain that I may cause others and then take responsibility for my actions. No-one 'has it coming' or 'deserves what they get.' As spiritually awake beings, we know that judging others is a hollow and short-term diversion from things we are uncomfortable with in ourselves or our lives. Much judgement is seated in fear and the notion of separation.
How wonderful it is to remember that no matter what confronts our human eyes, each person is a soul, on its journey back to Love. The route may be circuitous and the path hard to follow, but each one of us is part of the jigsaw of creation and has a purpose, a contribution to make and reason for existence.
With Love and Light,
Founder and Principal - Academy of Spiritual Practice