written by Princess R. Lakshman
Three decades ago when I started my own journey of learning to trust again, my counsellor asked me to define what trust meant to me. Today, I ask my clients the same question. Take a few moments and reflect on what trust means to you. Often, after a string of naming different emotions and experiences that revolve around the practice of trust, we come to two words that pretty much sums up what trust means to almost all of us – safety and security.
Learning to trust again requires you to firstly identify, acknowledge and understand two things:
- Where do you feel safe and secure?
- With whom do you feel safe and secure?
The process of identifying, acknowledging and understanding these two aspects of your life requires you to be completely honest with yourself.
Remember not to confuse love with trust. Sometimes we may love people, however, we may not be comfortable trusting them.
Trust gets damaged when your sense of safety and security is attacked. It may happen in your marriage, at work, in your other relationships with friends and siblings. It may happen with your doctor, dentist, tenant, landlord. Each time you feel unsafe or insecure, that small, calm voice, known as intuition, will caution you to “be careful”.
Following this intuitive voice of caution is crucial to living authentically. However, be mindful that you are not obsessing over it and letting it manifest in you as fear. It is vital to understand that safety and security depend on the choices that you make in your daily life. Where you go and with whom you spend time are as a result of your own choices.
This world would be difficult for us to live in if we stopped trusting each other. If you have experienced a time where your safety and security, in other words, your sense of trust, was damaged, it is vital that you heal from that experience and learn strategies to live from acceptance, forgiveness and faith. When you dwell in those past experiences you begin to live in fear, not faith.
Learn To Trust Again
Try these strategies to help you to accept, forgive and allow yourself to trust again.
- Know that first and foremost, you need to trust Allah. And also place your trust in Allah. Often, we acknowledge this on a conceptual level but we fail to really place our trust in Allah when life requires us to. If you feel uneasy, unsafe or insecure, ask Allah to give you the strength to let go of your fears and move on in life fearlessly. Place your trust in Allah and steadfastly believe that only Allah knows you and therefore will carry you to and through every ebb and flow of life that He has preordained for you.
- Know that trust happens gradually and respectfully. Building a wall around you and shunning people out in the fear that they may hurt you is NOT the answer. Let go and let in…gradually and respectfully. Do not feel compelled to share intimate details about your life with a new friend. Wait for when you feel totally comfortable, safe and secure.
- Make choices with confidence that only Allah is your protector, not people.
- Be kind to yourself and acknowledge that your past choices are in the past. Right now, in your present moment, mindfully choose your thoughts, words and deeds with utmost faith in Allah.
- Listen attentively to the small, calm voice inside you and follow it fearlessly. Your intuition will never lie to you. Your intuition is also always joyful and loving. If you hear negative whispers instead, that is NOT intuition. That is Shaitaan. Recognising intuition requires constant and consistent faith in Allah and total abandonment of fear of people’s judgements. Your judge is Allah, not people. Trust your intuition, that still, small voice.
- Observe people without judging. Observe how they treat other people. Trusting people who practise kindness is important. People who display kindness will not gossip about others or use unkind words.
- Learn to respect confidentiality. For you to trust others, you must also display trustworthiness.
For more inspiration, check out the YouTube Channel for Muslimah Mind Matters