I feel like 90% of this blog is based on my own personal issues, but I guess that is how we become the best kinds of teachers, isn’t it? We learn from our own experiences and then go on to teach others so they can lessen their own chance of making mistakes. I try not to make this blog seem like a personal venting zone, but rather somewhere I can share my wisdom learned from these, sometimes trying, experiences. And it is my hope that the knowledge I do pass on is actually beneficial to someone – even just one person out there. That would make my day or my entire life, perhaps.
With that being said, here’s more of what I’m learning.
I’m learning that I find it difficult to trust happiness (or really trust most things in general). I think the wariness was born from years of betrayal and disappointment, sad to say. I’m not saying that because of this I am a permanent cynic or pessimist, but I do tend to lean towards that side of the spectrum.
I don’t want to. Really, I would love to believe the best of everything, but after experiencing years of mistrust, it becomes hard not to be a little cautious when giving your all to something.
Now I really wasn’t aware of this difficulty trusting until more recently. The awareness came to me through prayer. I wouldn’t say I am a fairly new Christian anymore, but when I just started out, I had a difficult time accepting the idea of trusting God with all areas in my life. Being the control freak that I am, I would only allow him to manage the areas which I thought didn’t really need too much of my own input, which was pretty much just my job – since it was mostly unchanging. Everywhere else, I needed to manage it myself so I could have some sense of control. And God wasn’t really having it.
Trying to control all aspects of your life rather than trusting that God has got it covered is not a good start to supposedly trying to form a relationship with Him. It was always taught to me that He cared for my well being and that He would provide what I needed to get through life if only I would just trust His judgment.
But I thought I knew better, like always. I didn’t want things to be outside my control or move in a direction that I wasn’t ready for. So I held on pretty tight and all it did was cause me more worry, more anxiety, and overall more stress.
The reason of why I had so much anxiety and worry over my life was revealed to me through a moment of conversation and prayer and He basically said that it was time for me to learn how to surrender and TRUST in Him that things would be ok, that one way or another, He had it covered.
It’s been quite the journey learning how to do that on its own. I can’t say I’ve got it all down, but I’ve definitely loosened my grip and life has become less frantic.
However now the time has come for another season of learning how to trust – and that is trusting happiness. What I mean by that is trusting that good things can actually happen to me. Because I’ve experienced quite the load of misfortune, I tend to have the “everything is too good to be true” view on life.
If something feels way too happy or seems to be going way too smoothly, I start to feel that same kind of panic. My mind begins to question it. It brings up doubt where no doubts should normally exist. It goes so far as to create thoughts that cause me to assume things that haven’t even really happened. You could say this is truly self-sabotoging behavior.
I react this way as a form of self-protection. My brain doesn’t want to get hurt again, so it puts up these guards when it senses that things are going too well. It tries to convince me that inevitably they will go bad, so I should so I should prepare for it in the best way I can – which most of the time means backing off.
This is no healthy way to live. And it’s even worse because I haven’t been fully aware that I have been prolonging this accidental sabotage of the happy things in my life all this time.
I really began to take notice of this issue more recently in my current relationships. Now my boyfriend is a wonderful man, he’s not perfect, but he really doesn’t give me much reason to panic in the way that I do. As our time being together has increased and I become more deeply attached, I’ve noticed that my mind, every few weeks or so, it decides to try and perform this act of accidental sabotage.
Thoughts will pop up in my head out of the blue sometimes and try to convince me of either backing off, breaking up, or trying to push him to admit something I am trying to assume is true. For example some of the thoughts I have are things like, “did you notice he’s being a little distant? Maybe he doesn’t love you anymore? Maybe he likes someone else? Maybe he’s cheating on you? Maybe you should break up with him because he’s inevitably going to leave you anyway?”
But this isn’t the only area of my life where it has affected me.
With friends – “you shouldn’t really trust her. She’s going to end up judging you or talking bad about you in some way like the others.” Or with career moves – “don’t go after that job, it won’t work out. You’ll probably get fired because you can’t do it.” Or with my life in general – “things are way too happy for you right now. it’s got to be too good to be true. Something bad is going to happen soon. Be prepared.”
How terrible to think this way. To live in this kind of constant state of anxiety and worry. It can drive a person mad, but most importantly, keep someone from living a truly happy life because they are always going to be doubting their happiness – or not trusting that it’s real and that they deserve it.
See, I think that’s where the problem lies at the core. After experiencing so much pain in the past, I think we almost believe this lie that maybe we just don’t deserve good things anymore, that we are almost cursed to always feel pain or that things will inevitably not work out the way we hope. We kind of arm ourselves with this truth (or lie) that we should always be on guard towards everything so that it minimizes our chance of experiencing hurt – and we do this because at least we can stay in control of protecting ourselves from the pain. There’s that control word again.
Trust is always about control. And when we allow ourselves to give up control, that’s when we are finally able to trust. When it comes to trusting happiness, we need to learn to give up that idea that we can control every little thing that happens to us, and just accept what comes – good or bad. And honestly, the bad will come. We will get hurt again. We will be disappointed eventually. It’s inevitable. But this is life.
The other things we need to wrap our brains around is accepting that we are not doomed to a life of hardship. If we continue to believe the lie or the story that we’ve told ourselves for years that we don’t deserve good things in our lives, then good things are rarely going to happen. We attract what we think we deserve. If we believe that we deserve good things, then we will begin to have a more positive outlook on life that allows us to trust in the idea that good things will happen in our life.
We can’t assume that role of the realist who sees the negative in the situation before it sees the potential. Sure, the realist might have a point, that things might possibly go wrong and we might possibly get hurt, but what if it goes the opposite. What if it’s the best thing that ever happened to us? What if we trust in optimism instead and believe that it WILL be the best thing that ever happened to us. Maybe that way we will manifest its success rather than accidentally sabotage it with our cynical assumptions.
I know it’s hard to trust that good things can happen, especially after years of pain. But take that leap of faith. Trust that you at least deserve good things, so you won’t always feel like this is what you deserve so you might as well make the most of it.
I need to stop acting like a cynic myself. I need to start seeing potential instead of seeing warning signs. I need to believe in the best instead of automatically assume the worst. I need to trust that happiness does exist and I do deserve some of it in my life. I think you should too.
Make a list of your worries or fears in your life, then decipher whether it is 100% true or whether you are projecting your own personal mistrust onto it and making it appear worse than it is. If it is indeed you, try finding a positive way to see the situation. If it’s a relationship that you are afraid might not end well, try to see the good aspects of it first. The reasons why it will succeed. If it’s a job that you are afraid to go after because of fear, list the reasons why you will succeed instead. Try this with different aspects of your life and see if you can manifest thoughts that project a sense of trust that it will work out, rather than fear.
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