My friend, Joel, challenged some friends to try a technique he learned called ‘Memory Mapping.” I am going to give it a shot this morning. The prompt he gave us is “Trust.” The technique is to think of five words I associate with the word trust in the next few seconds.
Here I go: Patience. Freedom. Courage. Betrayal. Comfort.
The next step in the assignment is to write about each word inspired by a memory from my past.
Patience. As I sit with the word patience, I see myself as a child…waiting. I’m not sure what it is I am waiting for, perhaps someone. I read books as a child, lots of books. I was always reading. I am feeling now that I sometimes read books to fill the time while I was waiting. I think my books cultivated patience for me. They showed me that if someone was not showing up in the manner they promised, I need not sit in idleness wishing that they were there, but rather I could trust that the characters and ideas in the books would always be there for me, no matter what.
Freedom. Trusting my life skills and trusting in the Universe to supply me with whatever I might need, allowed me to step away from the support of my family. Those first days on my own, living alone in my little cabin in the woods, I experienced an ecstatic feeling of freedom. For the first time ever, I had no one to answer to, no one to compromise with, and no one judging my actions. I was free to live by my own code of conduct.
Courage. It takes courage to trust. Trusting implies no guarantees. When I choose to trust, I am taking a leap of faith. Trust may be based on past experience, but in the end, to trust truly without reservation, I must let go of the need to be right and believe that whatever happens next is exactly as it needs to be for the best and highest good of all concerned. I moved from Illinois to California with very little research into where I was moving and without knowing how I would find work when I got there. When I dare to trust, life becomes an adventure.
Betrayal. Trusting puts me at risk for feeling betrayed. I got on a horse as a child with naive trust. The horse bucked me off and I felt betrayed by him. With more experience, I would have known that the horse, which had been pastured all winter, could not be trusted to keep me on his back. I trusted my father’s urging and got back on the horse and rode him without incident for the rest of the day.
As I remember this story I realize that the horse didn’t betray me. He did what was natural for him to do. Whenever I feel betrayed, I am taking the actions of another personally. They are just acting out their nature. It isn’t about me. When I choose to trust and I recognize that the actions of others are not about me, I cannot feel betrayed.
Comfort. At first glance, I was puzzled by this word in association with trust. I am feeling into it and realize that when I am trusting I feel a deep sense of comfort in my body. It seems that false trust is frightening but authentic trust is reassuring. Trust has become a default position for me in times of stress.
I am in the midst of a huge creative project. My financial resources are being depleted as I invest in the future of my land and my dreams. When unexpected costs arise and I start to feel stressed, I stop and literally rest back in the sensory feeling of trust. I have learned what trust feels like in my body and I can recall it whenever I need to. As I choose to rest into trust, the stress leaves and I feel secure in the relief and the well-being of comfort.
Thank you, Joel, for inspiring this page. When I first read your email it looked like a lot of work! But when I trusted to let the words flow in the free-writing style I love, it became a joyful morning exercise from which I have gleaned some interesting and useful information.