Trust

Leaving my job took some balls. I was raised in a home where you better just take what you can get and deal with it. Just think of all those people out there who are unemployed and/or homeless. You don’t want to be one of them do you?

We are conditioned to believe that we need to work hard for everything. If you are not exhausting yourself by the end of the day, you are capable of doing more. If you see things that you don’t like at your workplace, you are to shut up and keep your nose to the grindstone. Don’t stand out. Don’t be a target.

In your list of priorities, a lot of people might say they put “God” or their family first, but take a look at the time and energy they spend on things and work is really the their first priority. This is conditioned from a very early age. My parents both worked. My parents would justify their dedication at work as their method of supporting us. I could even almost understand it if their work really filled their passions, but it didn’t. They were distracted. Sometimes it was a pleasant distraction, but it didn’t really fulfill them.

I don’t recommend that people just quit their jobs when they get frustrated or angry. I do recommend that if you find that what you are doing is not serving you, to honestly consider trying something else. Let yourself be inspired to move towards that which brings you real joy and fulfillment. You might not even know what that means right now, but just asking yourself the question is a start.

One thing that I have gained is time. At first, when you are not used to taking time to be with yourself, it can feel unpleasant. Many people pack their day with activities to avoid being with themselves and dealing with their baggage. With the lack of activity, it is easy to hear your fear based thoughts and develop anxiety over the future.

I find that I have gotten better with this over the years, but there is always going to be a part of you that will have a foot in the past or a little concern over how what you are doing might be perceived by others. I have been working on focusing on myself and not giving a rip about what other people think. It is hard to not feel guilty about doing this because I have been taught that being “selfish” is a bad thing. Really, the only way you can thrive and help others is be being “selfish.”

When you allow yourself enough space to separate yourself from the noise of the world, you can focus on your needs more clearly. I have time to focus on what I am most curious about. I have time to follow my interests. This allows you to develop some clarity on who you really are.

Our journey on this planet is based on us wanting to learn and grow. It is supposed to be fun. Just the fact that we are here and breathing makes us worthy. If we are attracted to a way of life, or when we see something we authentically desire, the Universe says okay, it is done. Abraham Hicks says that our rockets of desire deliver our manifestations in a sort of vibration escrow until we raise our vibration to match our desires. We don’t have to necessarily have to be asking consciously, it is automatic. We determine what we really want in the contrast of our lives. What we need to do is to figure out how to raise our vibrations to the point of allowing.

My main focus in this time has been how to raise my vibration. How can I fill myself with more joy? As my self-worth has increased, I realize that I want to take care of myself better. I want to feel at my optimal. I want to tune my instrument so I sound better when I am played because I know that I am worth it.

As I look for ways to raise my vibration, I have also found myself working through old bad tape. I often find that when I visit with Max and Alex, I feel comfortable enough to start examining areas of my life that don’t feel as good. Sometimes this is just in a conversation, but I also meet a lot of my fears when we are dressing up in drag.

As you can imagine, it takes some balls for a man to dress up in women’s underwear and prance around in heels. Yeah, some queens make it look natural, but the truth is that you have to confront all the stereotypes and negativity that you perceive others to have toward your art. It questions your sexuality, your sanity. As an overweight girl who has identity issues of her own, it can equally be as scary.

When I relax and submit myself to the process, I have to often confront my own fears and insecurities. I have noticed that I am completely overly sensitive to touch. Yes, I have been celibate most of my life and I am sure that it plays a role. I haven’t been touched much as an adult, and I feel like I was often neglected as a child in the touch department. Touch might be a sensory overload. Still, when I feel overwhelmed, there is a more carnal fear. I worry for my safety and go crazy.

After a recent freak out, Max asked if I had ever been sexually assaulted. My immediate answer is no. I haven’t been kidnapped. I haven’t been raped. I didn’t have relatives touch me inappropriately, so no. When I think about when I might have had similar freak out sessions to touch in my life, there is a set of experiences that do come to mind.

In middle school, I was a fat awkward little girl. I had boobs before most of the other girls in my class. In some way, I must have also known that I didn’t like boys. I know I was a really easy target. Leave it to a hand full of guys on my bus to focus in on me. They called me “Titanic.” From the second I got on the school bus, to the moment I got off, I was harassed by these guys. I was often fondled by them, called names, had horrible pranks played on me, you name it.

It went on for three years. During that time, no teacher or school administrator ever did anything. I told no one. It was pervasive enough that I knew adults saw it happening. Their lack of interest in confronting them, only lead me to believe that the students had more power than the adults. I didn’t mention it to my parents, because they were big bullies to me too. My mom had told me previously that if someone was being mean to me, it was my fault. My father made fun of my weight all the time. I felt like they didn’t have my back.

As an adult, I feel I should be over it. I never thought of it as sexual assault, even though it had aspects of unwanted touch and coercion, because it wasn’t “bad” enough. I had assumed that these incidents were only meant to humiliate me. I attached my self worth to what they thought of me. I didn’t feel that they desired me sexually. Maybe I did ask for it by just being that ugly.

What I have come to realize is that it was abuse. The fear they instilled in me still lingers. I learned so well from my bullies that I became my biggest bully. I believe this is how other sexual assault victims must feel like.

My intention in telling this story isn’t to rehash the emotion of it, but to understand why my primary responses are what they are. I am trying to confront the old tape and you have to be able to look at that initial old tape honestly. I didn’t deserve to be teased. I didn’t deserve to be assaulted. Now that I understand that I am worth better treatment, I have to confront one key aspect of my damage: trust.

Trust is the faith that ultimately everything is coming out of a place of love. Fear can’t exist in an environment of love. We trust because we have to. We feel better when we do.

Too often, we let past experiences or the acts of a few people destroy our capacity for trust. I believe that most people show their true colors early, and it is okay to reserve our trust for people who have proven themselves trustworthy. But for those of us with huge trust issues, we can find people who we trust and still hesitate to give them trust because of our fear of being screwed over.

As Alex was draping me with some fabric for a dress, he took out sharp shears to trim off some of the access. The entire time I was filled with fear. I was terrified of being cut which makes it so much easier for one to cut you. Alex had made sure that his hand was in the way, so if anyone were going to be cut, it would be him. He made sure to be extra careful. Besides, he had done this before with success.

I trust Alex and Max more than I trust anyone else in the world, but I couldn’t surrender. The fear backed up till I couldn’t take it anymore and I exploded in tears and protests. I was overwhelmed by emotion.

Fear is incompatible with anything you really want. It is our emotional guidance system letting you know that you are far out of alignment with how Source views the situation. Yet, it can emotionally hijack you. Your body courses in all sorts of chemicals, endorphins and hormones. Your body resorts to the primitive fight or flight response.

You can just let yourself get enveloped in the situation and break off friendships or vow never to do certain things again to try an avoid an unpleasant response, or you can try to check yourself out of the emotion and try to examine it as a third person. When you know a response is crazy, and have the ability to stand back and really reflect on what is going on objectively. This process really helps provide one with clarity. I knew immediately what I did not want, so I can now see what it is that I do want and walk closer to it.

I have noticed that when I am fed and have been fairly stable up to this point, I can separate myself from the experience to mine the nuggets I need for growth. It doesn’t mean that I don’t have a melt down from time to time, but it shortens its duration and allows for a quicker and more long lasting recovery.

I used to not trust that I could have a mini-meltdown without alienating myself from others. I used to be so embarrassed and used these incidents as a way to shame spiral for weeks. Once you can establish that you are a good person, no matter what, and you have developed a team of people that you can trust to be vulnerable with, you can overcome what ever it is that you need to.

This experience led me to focus on an area that I want to improve in my life: trust. Although I know that I feel better while doing it, I am still not where I need to be to improve my vibration. Besides, I don’t want to live the rest of my life always being convinced that someone is around the corner, just wanting to screw me over. Life is too short to waste good energy on that.

I noticed something else from this incident. As I distrusted the process of the shears coming at me and the person behind it, I created the right atmosphere to deliver exactly what I feared. If my worst fear was being cut, my trembling only produced fear in the person trying to perform the act, which could lead to more mistakes. Really, what was the worst that could happen? Be cut? Even if I was, it wasn’t going to really hurt me. Some people knowing that they even feared this outcome would prevent themselves from even being in that situation. This might produce a temporary comfort, but missing out on the experience prevents one to benefit from addressing one’s fears and from enjoying the fruits of getting beyond the fear.

Aren’t we taught that we should always be striving for perfection? Anytime we fall short, haven’t we been taught that failure is the worst outcome possible? Aren’t we told that if we can’t do something perfectly, that we shouldn’t try at all? In reality, failure is the only way to find success. We often have to figure out what doesn’t work so that we know what does work. Great thinkers often produce 1000s of bad experiments, drafts, or products before they get the one breakthrough that changes everything.

People often say that they may have trusted someone or something and then one thing occurred that made them question their trust. Because their trust was no longer perfect, they decide that they have to refrain from trusting in order to preserve themselves. Their lack of trust just attracts more incidents to cement their distrust. It can create so much fear that people just cower in their beds.

What I am learning is that trust is the belief that, more often than not, the Universe is only interested in our well-being. Trust is excepting that the major energy at play in our life is on our side. Trust is believing that you are worthy and that we are all connected. Trust is believing that other people are for the most part good. Trust is believing that we are all connected. Trust is believing that what we are called to do, what we are inspired to create, is worthwhile. Trust is knowing that what you need in this life will be provided for you. Trust is knowing that the core of this Universe is love.

When we can accept this, when we can believe that we can trust, we relax. Things will happen organically. Life is easier. We enjoy ourselves more because we are not constantly looking over our backs. Our energy is free from being rerouted to counter fear. All of a sudden, we have an abundance of energy to focus on things that are aligned with our true power. We allow ourselves to become aligned with who we really are. We become aligned with our true self, which extends beyond our physical manifestation. We realize that we don’t have to fear death, because there is no such thing. Energy can be neither created nor destroyed. We are eternal.

Once you are more clear about who you are and why you are here, you can start to see others in the same way that Source views them. Other people are kinder to you. Your relationships become deeper. You learn to love yourself and others. You realize that there is more that unites us than divides us.

The trick is when you decide to have full faith in the Universe, and in yourself, do not lose it if you see a slight flaw. When someone you trust messes up, how can you learn to forgive? How can you learn from the contrast? The trick is when you trust, it needs to be unconditional. You need to allow room for us to be human, to make errors. Often, what we perceive to be a mistake is actually a good thing. Most things that happen in life are neither good nor bad. They are just a necessary part of the journey. Although we might not be able to understand the significance in that moment, often such incidents are meant to push us toward what we really want.

I trust that the best part of my story is still ahead of me. I trust that I am right where I am supposed to be. I trust that there are really no mistakes. I trust that no matter what, I will be okay.

Freedom

Once I knew I had a week to recover before going back to work, I tried to push my anxiety and stress aside and just enjoy myself. I went to an apple orchard, hung out with the boys, watched only higher vibration videos or music, and did my best to keep nourished and treat myself gently. My breathing got better as I relaxed. I felt more peace, more joy.

As I kept listening to Abraham Hicks, I kept hearing that focusing on how you feel is the most important thing you can do. Your emotional guidance system is constantly showing you where each thought you have resides. Bad feeling thoughts are farther away from the truth or how Source feels about you. The uncomfortable feeling is an indication that you are pinching yourself off from Source. It is an indication that your thinking is out of alignment.

As I thought about it, how many times have I kept thinking thoughts that didn’t feel good? Often times, I justified it with needing to keep my feet firmly planted in reality. I rationalized that everyone has to deal with unpleasant things. By being irritated with them, it was just showing my weakness. If you don’t like something, you just have to work harder. My lack in satisfaction was only a result of not putting in enough effort. This kind of thinking allowed my inner demon to go on a litany of how much I sucked at a moment’s notice.

I wanted to believe that my happiness meant more. I kept thinking that it was such a wonderful idea, too bad that it was unrealistic. As I laid in a hospital bed, gasping for air, I began to think that maybe my happiness was the most important thing in my life. Every choice I have made in my life has been based in fear of some sort. I worried about how people would view my choices. I felt that my options were always limited, so the goal was to pick the lesser evil. In every choice, had I ever really thought that I had another option?

I thought about how I felt about my work. I came to teaching because I wanted to get out of sales and recruitment. I thought helping out the next generation would sit well with me karmically. It had good benefits. Once you got in, there was some job security. I knew it was a career people viewed with positivity. I also hope that it would mean more financial stability.

The entire time I went through the process to become a teacher, I ran into tons of obstacles. When my pre-diagnosis symptoms were at their worst, I had my first interview for a teaching position during my student internship. I could feel that I was bleeding heavily during the interview and did my best to ignore it. I felt the blood overwhelming my protection. When I stood up to shake the principal’s hand at the end, I felt a huge clot fall out and could feel it slip out of my underwear and down my pantyhose. When I looked back, there was a pool of blood on the chair. Embarrassed is a term that can’t even begin to express the horror I felt. Still, I pressed on.

As painful as it was, I wanted to prove that I could do it. I accepted a job at a wonderful school, with a principal that got it. The student body was kind and loved me. I put in the endless hours and resources just to receive a 12% pay decrease within the first four months. Even with the help of great mentor teachers, understanding administrators, and a kind student body, the burn out was high. We were often asked to create something out of nothing because the administration and the school board kept mishandling funds. I felt like I proved that I was a good teacher, but I was exhausted.

The next year, I never came back to school. I was diagnosed and went through treatment. I was given the time and space to heal and I appreciated it. When I came back this year, I didn’t feel super happy about it. I had learned so much about myself in a year. I realized I was a lesbian. Knowing that I was in a conservative district, I worried about being persecuted for it. Having taken a year to care for myself, I didn’t feel great about submitting myself to the pressure and the stress of teaching. I realized that I have social anxiety and being in this kind of environment was never going to sit well. I started to question my competence. My self-worth began to take a hit. I would commute two hours, put in 12-hour days, and have no energy left for anything but throwing myself in bed at the end of the day. My legs and back killed. My ankles swelled and caused great pain.

I tried to plow through the discomfort. This was my life now. I tried to take steps to make things easier, but things are never really easy for a new teacher. The curriculum didn’t exist, so I was trying to make it up. How could I pack 48 hours of work in 24? I started feeling depressed. How long can I do this for? Is this what the rest of my life was going to be like?

By the time Thursday rolled around, I had a serious conversation with the boys. I told them that I didn’t think I could go back. I knew it was ridiculous to give up after a good job and great health care, especially after being so sick. Still, as I thought about going back, all I could feel was this overwhelming sensation of nausea. As I described all of the reasons why I didn’t want to do it, my eyes flooded with tears. It became clear that every fiber of my being was done, over it.

If I am to go through life with ease and joy, selecting only the better feeling thoughts and letting my emotional response guide my behavior, there was no clearer message. The thought of going back, if even for one day, was too painful to even contemplate. If I really want to change the way I live my life, making my happiness my number one priority, the answer was very clear.

Still, this was something I have never really done before. I always have chosen security over my happiness. I didn’t always have faith or trust in the Universe having my back. I believed every news article that said jobs were hard to get. I believed in the myth that no employer would ever hire you if you had a bump in your work history. I viewed failure to be a good employee with homelessness and dire poverty.

When I realized if I only had three months to live, would I rather spend it forcing myself to do something I didn’t want to do or try to follow my bliss, the answer became clear. The boys backed me up. They understood and didn’t judge.

Over the weekend, I took a few things out of the classroom that I couldn’t live without. I looked around and questioned if I was doing the right thing. Maybe it would have worked out in a different time or space, but I was a different person. When I became a teacher, I had no connection to who I really was. I didn’t know what I want or what made me tick. I didn’t realize that I was putting myself in a situation that allowed me to bully myself or be bullied by others. I accepted that it was all right to be talked down to by students, parents, administration, or society because I was trying to do a greater good. I deserved more. I was worth it.

On Monday, I made the call and submitted my resignation letter. It was very quiet. No fireworks. I felt a peace come over me. All of the struggle I had put myself through lifted. I never had to worry about another conference or student fundraiser. I didn’t have to worry about teacher evaluations or the constant staff meetings that never produced anything. I was free.

I am not advocating that everyone quit their job, but it became a matter of life or death for me. I didn’t come through this last year to just go back to being the same miserable person I always was. It is time for me to take radical efforts to put me first. For once, I am not running to another job immediately out of fear. I am putting all of my time and effort into developing who I am and what I want to be and do without limitation. Finally, I feel truly free.