I saw my therapist again. I didn’t think the meeting was particularly helpful – I left more confused than when I started – but I had some important thoughts afterward. I realized that I have particular difficulties with trust.
- I rarely trust others – they’re often unreliable, may abuse their power, and may make mistakes that could result in pain (or death) for me.
- I rarely trust myself – my thoughts, feelings, abilities, or decisions. OMG, I make mistakes, am unreliable, and abuse my power too!
I can, generally, trust people who appear to have their heads on straight. Those that have confidence in themselves allow me to confide. Like, for example, the great spiritual teachers I’ve followed. But people, who seem just as confused and doubtful as myself, are anathema, and I won’t trust them at all. I also notice that I’ll trust a man more than I’ll trust a woman, and it’s particularly true if the man is gay. Yet, if a man expresses any sexual interest in me, he’s automatically and totally, untrustworthy!
When I had a boyfriend, this was always a key issue. No matter what he did, I always believed he was ‘out to get me’. I would accuse him of trying to control me (without acknowledging that I was trying to control him), and since I usually behaved in alternating extremes, I either trusted him with far too much, and too soon, or with nothing at all. It was all deeply unconscious, at the time, of course, and I’m sure we both played into it equally. Our unconscious energies ‘clicked’, and that’s why we attracted each other.
As soon as I stopped having intimate relationships with men, I started projecting my trust issues to my work. If I distrust, I can find the untrustworthy anywhere. On page 462 of the text of A Course in Miracles, it says:
Yes, it [ I ] can dream it found an enemy [the untrustworthy], but this will shift even as it attacks, so that it runs at once to find another, and never comes to rest in victory. And as it runs, it turns against itself, thinking it caught a glimpse of the great enemy who always eludes its murderous attack by turning into something else.
Therefore, when I’m tired of projecting distrust on something else, then I project it on myself. After all, something has to be the untrustworthy ‘enemy’. If I distrust, and feel weakened, something must be the cause. Something or someone must have taken my power, and left me helpless. And since I think I can’t trust myself, perhaps I’m doing it; I become the enemy, in my own split mind. The Course says on page 463:
Could he admit that no one made him powerless? Reason would surely bid him seek no longer what is not there to find [the enemy boyfriend, or the enemy job]. Yet, first he must be willing to perceive a world where it is not. It is not necessary that he understand how he can see it. Nor should he try [but, oh, I have]. For if he focuses on what he cannot understand [no kidding], he will but emphasize his helplessness, and let sin [a.k.a. unforgivable mistakes] tell him his enemy must be himself.
The projection goes from outside, to inside, and:
[...] your belief that truth may be the enemy you yet may find. Here, then, would seem to be the last remaining hope of finding sin [mistakes], and not accepting power.
How can I trust myself to choose anything, even truth or power, when so much of my choosing has been a mistake? As my choosing became more and more erratic over the years, I saw that no choice ever led to lasting happiness. Happiness was inconstant – and so, it couldn’t be trusted either.
Elusive happiness, or happiness in changing form that shifts with time and place, is an illusion that has no meaning. Happiness must be constant, because it is attained by giving up the wish for the inconstant. Joy cannot be perceived except through constant vision. And constant vision can be given only to those who wish for constancy.
I tested the world through goggles of distrust, and found it lacking. Like an army of little tin soldiers, I knocked it all down. I proclaimed the whole world to be false, inconstant, and untrustworthy. My toy box got smaller and smaller, darker and darker. I felt more and more helpless. I appealed to many: “Help me,” I begged. But they couldn’t help – no, they can’t. Somehow, I have to trust myself to choose again.
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