Why do people trip? When someone stumbles, how often would you hear “Watch where you’re going”. No, don’t watch where you are going. Watch the ground beneath you. To watch where you are headed is to not see where you are at. That is why people trip; their eyes are on the path ahead and not on the ground beneath their stumbling feet. This is a metaphor, of course, for life.
A disappointment is a big trip and can stop us in our tracks. When we expect something to happen, whether a positive or negative situation, and it doesn’t happen, it can be a huge disappointment. We feel like the rug is being pulled out from under our feet.
Some people say they trust in the Creator, or in Jesus, but the words are no sooner out of their mouths when they start to worry about all sorts of things – their health, finances, career path, family, etc. If they cannot trust the little things in their lives, how can they expect to trust the really big things, like God? Whenever I rob myself of joy and inner peace – and I am the robber, no one or nothing else – I ask myself “What am I expecting to happen?” Expectations have nothing to do with reality, only with the human mind. Reality is the present moment, the now. Everything else is a mental illusion.
To worry is to not trust, and worry is an aspect of human nature that is based on fear. When we feel fear, and it comes in many forms, it is usually because there is something that we do not understand about ourselves or the world around us. Then we proceed forward on a search for answers. That leaves the question of why do we have the need to know so much? I believe because we don’t trust ourselves, we don’t trust life, and we really don’t trust the Creator. If we did, we would not worry. We would not feel the compulsion or need to take things into our own hands in an attempt to control our own lives. This must also mean that we believe our lives are out of control.
Sometimes we want something to happen so intensely that we allow our overactive minds to set up a possible future scenario to a point that we eventually expect it to happen. When it doesn’t, we feel devastated and revert back to a wounded place, a place of victimization where we blame others or situations for preventing it from happening when all along it is ourselves that we can blame for expecting too much. Where is our trust in all this? Why do we feel the need to be two or three steps ahead of where we are? We are robbing ourselves of the joy and peacefulness of being fully in the present moment.
The present moment is all we really have because that is where we always are. The past is gone and the future is never here. All we have of the past are memories, but we are never actually living in the past, only bringing memories to the surface. Memories are only in the human mind, not in the reality of the moment. The future does not exist. We can never live in the future; it is impossible. The future is also a fabrication of the human mind. The future will always be just that – the future, a period of time that is yet to come. Therefore, all we have is now, and yet we continually try to recreate the past or to be in the future. Does that mean that we do not like where we are? Are we afraid to simply BE? There is no other explanation. All human emotional and mental suffering is caused from our overactive brains dwelling on past memories and/or worrying about what the future will hold.
Trust is a hard concept for humans to not only learn but also to practice. Anything that has to be practiced must be a skill waiting to be developed. I see trust this way. Trust does not just come, especially when it is broken; we have to earn our own trust as well as the trust of others. If we don’t trust ourselves, we will surely not trust anyone or anything else in the world, and that is what robs us of joy. That is what causes our minds to fear and to create expectations and worry. But when it comes to our relationships with others, how can we trust and not expect, for the very definition of trust according to Google is “Enabling other people to take advantage of your vulnerabilities but expecting that they will not do this.” Most emotional suffering is caused by our relationships with others, how we perceive them, and what we expect from them.
Lately, whenever I realize that my brain is full of useless chatter reliving a past situation or worrying about where I am going, I tell myself “I don’t know, and I don’t need to know. Trust, Shanomi. Trust.” That stops the mental treadmill at least for a time until the next round of rumination. This is how I figure life to be – joy and inner peace are given when we can let go of expectations and worry. Surrender and trust. Let go and let God. If we can stay out of our own way, a way of mental distractions and fabrications, we will have our freedom. If we can also let go of the need to know so much in our outer world and tap into the wisdom of our inner world where God resides , we will have the knowledge and tools to set us free, to simply BE in the joy of who we are and take life one conscious step at a time.