How I gained my trust back in the darkest moment of my life and how I cultivate it again and again when challenged. It has everything to do with this quote:
To trust means to be self-assured and confident. If we mistrust, we feel miserable and alone.
To trust we need to develop self-awareness and the courage to look at our fears. It takes time and the willingness to work on ourselves.
If you’re new to my blog, I’m the mother of an adult daughter on the autism spectrum. Sarina was born four months early in August of 1990. She had only a slim chance to live.
The day she was born I earned the title Special Needs Mom. I had no idea what that meant. It was scary. I didn’t know what a bumpy road I had to travel and how painful my life would be.
It taught me that trust needs to be at the center of my being to not break by the challenge.
I had plenty of trust as a child. In Germany, we have a word for the type of trust this is about: Weltvertrauen. Weltvertrauen describes an unshakeable belief and confidence in the world. It assures us to trust in the bigger picture. It’s grounding us into a sense of security that we can handle what life delivers.
Tragic events in our life can rob us of this primal sense of trust.
I had lost mine while sitting for six months by the incubator afraid my girl would never be able to breathe on her own. I felt alone and hopeless in this unmanageable chaos. What was there to trust?
Until magic arrived shortly before Christmas in form of a large envelope. The sender was from Germany. Inside was a print of this little elephant.
Tucked behind the print was a framed poem, titled:
The Dream Dancer
The poet invites the audience to let go of fear and replace it with trust. While watching this impossible balancing act of the little elephant he inspires and asks us: “Why so anxious, why giving up? Why don’t we let his courage inspire our trust? Can’t we see in front of us he is held, and he trusts?”
The Dream Dancer became my token to learn to trust again. He reminds me of my commitment that I will not drown by this tragedy and ongoing difficulties in my life: I will make every victory count.
If you want to learn more about the little elephant? Read here!
This story touched my heart and I learned an important lesson:
Healing happens in tiny steps.
- Noticing the little wins – They hold magic! Don’t wait for the big bang.
- Feel the joy – Your tiny wins deliver. Their magic holds joy. Let them charm you.
- Let fear go – fear doesn’t like joy. It shrinks in its presence!
- Pay attention to messages – they come in words, smiles, thoughts, dreams, road-signs and often in the sky.
Last week a gift like this came in the form of a conversation with my friend James. I shared with him: “I have been trying for years to find a place for Sarina to belong. Turning every stone.” I heard the exhaustion in my voice.
He said: “When nothing works the way I want it to go I stop.” And he shared a struggle he had with one of his goals until he learned his lesson. “I had to break my ankle to learn to listen,” James lifted his hands to the sky: “I had to take my hands off the steering wheel.”
Hands of the steering wheel! Was one of the messages I needed to hear that day.
Of course, most of us know about this. Every other word our self-help-world has let go at its core! But are we doing it? And how are we doing it in the face of things and life events we cannot change?
I know I didn’t. Not in the most vulnerable part of my life which of course is the hardest – Where will my daughter belong when I die?
I wanted to rebel. Rattle down my at least one-hundred-and-eleven reasons why that is not possible with Sarina.
But I got it. Nailing down my obstacles, no matter how real they are is a cry for help. It has its place and time. It doesn’t matter that my struggle is real. What matters is I am holding on to the steering wheel with the effort of one person trying to rescue a car hanging over the cliff. Ready to drop it takes a firetruck rescue to save it. But here I am trying it all alone with my bare hands while my heart is crying let go.
Gravity is real. I understood either I’m pulled down with the car or I take my hands off and obey the magic twin of what is too much. It’s the divine partner to the effort. It spells s u r r e n d e r .
To trust when nothing goes our way is a challenge. My pain list is long. But, I got the message!
I salute The Dream Dancer. He together with my girl are my teachers.
I wish for you to find a tiny gift right now. Close your eyes and see – it’s in the sky!
Stay tuned for my first Whisper for 2020! It will have the hands-off message at its core!