We try to find peace in our lives in various ways. Some of us look for peace in our families, others in our hobbies. Some of us are at peace when we pray, others when we are outdoors in nature. Some use various activities to help them escape from a turbulent reality- one that we are not ready to face. I struggle at times to find peace. My mind runs away with me on various errands, it projects various insecurities and it disrupts my life. How do I rid myself of the things that haunt me most? First you and I, all of us, must acknowledge that we have things that haunt us. We have things that we fear and that the only way to deal with it is to face it head on. How? Well, let’s bounce around some ideas, shall we?
I often find that I cannot address an uncomfortable feeling unless I define it as comprehensively as possible. Lately, I had a very uncomfortable feeling involving events in my own life and it led me to a very dark place. Do you sometimes experience hurt and resentment? Do you become bitter by the events of your life? Why? Ask yourself what triggers those emotions. Are you not sure how you feel to begin with? Try writing it down. “I feel hurt because I think that …. I feel betrayed, I feel lost, I feel alone…” Later you might add reasons to why you might feel the way you do. Think about it deeply because sometimes our feelings are spurned off of misinformation. Sometimes we are really looking at the world through a cracked lens defined by our many scars we have accumulated throughout our lives. We then help define the future in terms of the past, getting stuck into a downward spiraling abyss of pessimism. The truth is we don’t guard against what went right in our lives. Rather, we only guard against what went wrong. Hence, we tend to have the propensity to judge the world through the need to prevent pain. No one can really fault anyone for doing that. It’s a smart thing to do. However, sometimes we make the wrong cognitive associations and we risk alienating ourselves from the entire world, usually starting with the people we love. How can we have functional, good, meaningful relationships if we can’t trust in the goodness of people?
Willfully blind or paranoid?
It’s hard to know when one is trying to judge the character of another person as ‘trustworthy’ or ‘untrustworthy’ as a yardstick of needing to keep a person around if you are either deliberately overlooking things your subconscious mind picks up on, or if you are seeing things that aren’t there. It’s hard to work these things out when you deal with people who are habitual liars. What do you do if your relationships disrupt your peace of mind because you are unsure whether you can actually trust the people around you? The answer is, “make trial” of them. People who, when they make a promise, generally uphold it are likely not habitually going to lie. It’s too much work for someone who values his or her world to lie. If you can’t trust the people in your close relationships, you need to dismiss the possibility that you have difficulty trusting ‘anyone’ and make firm clear mental notes on the people around you. The truth is, the longer a person in your life ‘keeps’ his or her word, the stronger the trust will grow in the relationship. Of course, this means that you too have to keep your word.Trust and dependability go hand in hand. If you aren’t dependable people will not trust you. The situation is compounded ten fold when it comes to intimate relationships where another human being has made himself or herself vulnerable to you.
Cut them off
Unfortunately, all relationships aren’t equal. If you find a person lacking in dependability to the extent that you simply cannot trust the person’s word, nor can you rely on the person to follow any sort of convention (ethics and morals) in behavior, the best thing you can do is cut that person off completely. Life has enough uncertainty in it. You don’t need someone to create the rollercoaster ride for you. I often tell people that they are free to use the book I follow to try and predict what my behavior will be. I live by a code, it’s not hard to know where you stand with me, and if you don’t know, I’ll tell you. It’s better to have an ethical enemy than a friend who hasn’t committed to anything. Simply, a friend without moral convictions, loyalties and commitment to principles is more of a danger to you than an enemy who has a value system that you know of! At least you can say, “I know he’s bad and that he stands for everything I disagree with, but I also know what he won’t do!” If you don’t know what someone will or won’t likely do in ways that it counts or will disrupt your life, you can’t have them around.
Once you have found a person to be trustworthy, erase any unfounded suspicions you might still have. It’s too much energy to have to second guess the people around you. Leave things in the Hands of God and carry on with life. If someone is going to betray you after you’ve trusted them, they will do so. You are not going to see it coming. You might as well stop looking for it. Do your due diligence, accept those who are trustworthy as part of your immediate circle and allow the process to unfold. No one can really predict the future and no one needs to. What you need is to do what you can with what you have right now. There’s no point in being suspicious of people who are supposed to have your back, without very good reason to be. More importantly, practice integrity yourself.