Today’s article will be the first in a four-part series on the four essential trusts In Iyanla Vanzant’s book, Trust.
The dictionary definition of Trust is: “(noun) reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person or thing; confidence.”
After reading Iyanla Vanzant’s book, I felt like shouting from the Matagorda intracoastal bridge, “Read This Book!” Considering the uncertainty in our world today, there is no better time than now to return to the basic building blocks to elevate our peace of mind.
In her book Trust, Vanzant lists the essential trusts as: Trust in Self, Trust in God, Trust in Others, and Trust in Life. She notes, “Trusting yourself means having the confidence in yourself to do what is best for you, moment by moment. And if the choices and decisions you make do not work out for your highest good, you know and believe that you will still be okay?” It takes a lot of practice learning to be self-supportive, and one of the biggest payoffs is giving yourself permission to make a mistake. Forgiveness is a priceless tool in your arsenal, and when used regularly, develops and strengthens your ability to trust.
A good starting point is recognizing the truthful inner voice in your head. Vanzant says, “Self-trust is about having an inner voice, being connected to that inner voice, learning how to hear and follow that voice, and doing the personal healing work required to make sure that the voice you hear brings your best interests to the forefront of your mind.” It’s easier said than done! We have a whole cadre of voices chiming in to get in their two cents worth. Just some of the voices Vanzant mentions are: The voice of your parents, the voices of your siblings and extended family, friends, co-workers and bosses, religious leaders, and society. Along with those, you must include the voice of your ego and negative ego.
Accordingly, Vanzant explains, “The ego is the aspect of the mind through which we view the outer world and decipher our experiences in the world. The negative ego is the aspect of the mind that is created in response to fear. It is the part of us that sees fear instead of love in response to any and every difficult or challenging experience.”
You might wonder why we are burdened with a negative ego. The simple explanation is that the moment we encountered fear at a very early age in our lives, we began fueling the negative ego. Vanzant uses the example of hearing loud voices or arguing for the first time. A child innately feels love until fear is introduced. It’s in those initial moments the child senses fear as the lack of love, and the negative ego period of incubation begins.
As confusing and complicated as this topic may appear to be, it comes down to perspective. How do you perceive the world? Do you view the world through the eyes of love or through the eyes of fear? Self-trust and self-love go hand in hand to assist us on our life’s journey.
Originally published in the Bay City Tribune on Sunday, February 19, 2017.