I like to ponder words. Some days, I will have random words float around in my mind as I reflect on their meaning and what they mean to me. These past few weeks, the word that I keep pondering is “trust”. According to Merriam-Webster, one of the definitions for the word “trust” is “one in which confidence is placed”. The Good Book tells us in Proverbs 3:5 to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding”. When pondering individual words, my mind will also seek out what is opposite. When I think of the word that is opposite of trust, I immediately think of the word “fear”. Merriam-Webster defines fear as “to be afraid of” or “to worry about”. Marie Curie said “Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood.” Here’s another definition of fear: FEAR = False Expectations Appearing Real.
Most of you will admit that you seek answers to the big questions of life. If you go through your life without building a level of trust, then your life will be built on fear. When I was young, my family moved around often because of my Dad’s job transfers; therefore I grew up believing that houses were transitory, but the family bond was a strong cord that wouldn’t be broken. That lifestyle also caused me to have a lack of trust that was very deeply ingrained into me. I never was able to develop long-lasting friendships because I was uprooted often and couldn’t keep in touch for very long after we moved. (Staying in touch before the internet involved letter-writing and phone calls – one was tedious and the other expensive.) In my adult life, this transitory nature keeps rearing its ugly head – even when I don’t want it to. Sometimes when I feel that I need to change things up in my life – whether it’s the big things like selling my home or finding a new job – or the small things like trying a new diet or a new hairstyle; the NEED to change becomes a driving factor in my life, and I feel powerless to stop it. After the “change” has happened, then the fear sets in – fear of failure, fear that I made a bad choice, fear that I cannot ever go back to what was before.
Marriages fail for lack of trust; friendships wither because we don’t trust each other; relationships with our employer or employees suffer when we don’t trust. When we don’t trust – than that which we fear, which is a failure, will happen.
My mantra every day is to recite Proverbs 3:5. It reminds me that I’m not in control, and that’s okay – because I trust the One who is in control. When I do that, I am able to trust myself: my choices, my decisions, even my opinions. I am able to function as the strong, capable person that I am, and not operate in fear.