Learning to Trust Yourself

We’re always told that trust is earned. People must earn our trust if they are going to become friends or lovers, and trust must be regained if broken. Sometimes we lose trust in ourselves, and in our abilities. Or maybe we never learned to trust ourselves at all. I realized that the moment I stopped trusting myself was the moment I allowed self-doubt, insecurity, and anger take over my life. I had to learn how to trust myself again.

Lack of self-trust hinders our abilities to do essential tasks. Second-guessing, negative internal self-talk, and desire to avoid all interfere with our lives. When we don’t trust ourselves, it can stall our plans.

Self-Doubt Prohibits Trust

As children, we were taught to trust in our abilities by our guardians. I am doing this daily for Jai: when he encounters a particular obstacle that he does not believe he can overcome, I reassure and coach him through the steps to overcome it. Because I can see the bigger picture, I know what he can do without me and when I should step in. By granting him the opportunity to learn to trust himself in these moments, he’ll have a better awareness of his abilities.

Life slowly ebbs away the self-trust you built in childhood.

You take one too many blows to your ego; you deal with bullies at home, school, or work; you feel like you fail more often than you succeed. If you have a chronic illness, it might temporarily take physical or mental abilities, which is demoralizing. You reach a self-trust breaking point.

When this happens, we inhabit spaces of the doubt more often than areas of self-trust. It prevents us from taking the necessary steps to get better.

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The Intruder

For Halloween, I wanted to go back to my creative writing roots and share a “frightful” short story I wrote recently.

“I’m going to throw Lorde into the car to get it!

What I didn’t admit to my husband was that I always viewed Lorde to be the most expendable of the two cats. Lorde was sweet, but he wasn’t “mine” and he was always a little…off. My cat, Morgan, embodied all the famous cliches pertaining to cats: fat cat, lazy cat, curiosity “killed” the cat, and in a case such as this, a scaredy cat.

I knew that if I put Morgan in the car to chase off our intruder, I would come back the next morning with him curled up in the footwell of the front seat having not moved since the night before. I wouldn’t be surprised if the rodent popped out of its hiding place to flip me off as I cradled my non-hunter and brought him back to the house to feast on a breakfast of wet food and treats.

I wanted to send in our known killer cat. Lorde was a ratter. He never gave us the bugs he killed as presents, but if I found a dead bug body, I knew Lorde was the last one to see it alive. He cornered a tiny Brown Snake in our laundry room one summer afternoon and meowed in disappointment when I scooped it up with a cup and cardboard to bring it outside.

If he could handle a snake, surely he could hand a rodent?

My husband laughed at my outburst. He thought I was joking, and I was for the most part, but there was an edge of seriousness in my declaration. I wanted to get rid of this rodent that found its way into my vehicle and causing unseen amounts of damage. I had reached the point of crazed desperation.

We discovered the intruder on Saturday.

I was locking up the house while my husband had our child in his arms, preparing to put him in the car seat.

“Oh wow, look what Bodhi did!” I looked over to where my husband was pointing at the car seat after I opened the driver’s door.

“Bodhi?” I was a bit incredulous at what my husband was suggesting, “I don’t think Bodhi would be capable of destroying his car seat like…” I realized I couldn’t rationalize my child being strong enough to fray and completely destroy his car seat straps while sitting in the back.

What could have done this? We rarely come in contact with wildlife, so how could something have gotten into our car and make such a mess?

The only thought going through my mind as I picked the fluff and insulation away from the crotch strap to find that the clipping mechanism was able to slide completely away, was that someone did this. Not something, but someone.

Why would someone break into our locked car, destroy the car seat like an animal did it, lock the car back up again and walk away? That made no sense.

Then I took a moment for a rational thought. Okay. Not human. But animal. What type of animal? Raccoon? Could a raccoon open the door in such a fashion? A bear? Here in the middle of suburbia? We had just vacationed in a rural area, did it happen then?

Digging through the car seat damage a little more, I discovered the poop.

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