THE BLOG
02/16/2011 03:30 pm ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

Is It Possible to Trust?

Do you remember a time when you really trusted? It seems contemporary life is fraught with reasons not to trust. Politicians, who were elected by those believing they could be trusted, follow other political agendas or are caught flying to foreign lands with their mistresses. Banks that were entrusted with money and homes have acted without scruples, leaving our economy in ruins. Couples professing tearful the wedding vow, "Till death do us part," are suing one another for money to "part to the death." Nuclear families that formed the seat of our lives, providing the security we needed to go out into the world, seem more insecure than secure.

Who and what can we trust when educational communities, religious institutions and police forces all over the world are awash in scandals and controversy?

Thinking about it could get you really depressed. Or, you could find hope in trust by shifting your focus from not who or what you trust, but how you trust.

Truth is, you can never fully trust anyone or anything completely, just like you cannot trust nature completely. As nature's actions are often unpredictable and never personal, so, too, are people's actions when they stem from fear, anger or negativity.

You can expect and trust that bad things will happen in life, by nature and by people.
You can also expect and trust that good things will come to pass. It's the good that helps you deal with the bad. It's your cushion, if you will, that supports you during uncertain and difficult times.

You can trust that as long as you inhale, you will exhale; that what goes up, must come down; that flowers will bloom and then be reabsorbed back into the earth as they die. In turn, you can trust that you will inhale again, go up again and another flower will bloom.

You can trust that if your "gut feeling" is telling you something is wrong, you are probably right; and you may want to uncover what that "wrong" is, because if you do, you could find the resources to handle it.

To question or distrust is good. It's what allows you to obtain information that you need before taking a necessary action. It allows you to be realistic about the ups and downs of life so that you can create and innovate new ways of being and living. It makes you do more research so that invariably you have more options and tools.

Too much distrust can be problematic, however. Too much distrust can breed fear -- fear of failing, of being alone, of not being loved, of never trusting another human being ever again, of going hungry, of falling and, ultimately, of not being enough or having enough. The fear clouds clarity. In fact, when in fear, the amygdala -- the primitive part of the brain -- fires signals to the higher functioning parts of the brain and shuts them down. You literally cannot think.

It is also this fear that can lead you to trust blindly, in your search for salvation and security. When you know that inherently you are enough or have enough, you can have the inner trust that, come what may, you will have the resources to handle uncertainty. With this trust, your fear response can be more quiet, your body more calm and your mind clearer. You just might be better able to see truth in front of you and make better decisions.

So yes, it may be possible to build trust. You may just have to look at trust in a different way, though. You may have to perceive trust as an inner knowing that utilizes your intuition, your knowledge and the knowledge of others. You have access to this knowing when you let go of your fear of not being enough or having enough.

Try repeating these words to yourself next time you are not sure whether or not to trust: "I am enough, I have enough. I have all that I need. Come what may, I have all that I need."

It may not solve the problem or question for you, but you may find yourself feeling a bit better, perhaps more calm and more capable of doing the research you need to do to find the resources and answers that will help you.