Using "Trust" as Your Life
by Sunny Schlenger
Several years ago, a series of unexpected events tossed
me out of Life Cruise mode, and into the cold rapids of
Uncharted Reality. A good friend counseled me to grab
onto the only thing I could--my faith that things
would work out the way they were supposed to--and
just hang on. In other words, use trust as my life
I’ve never forgotten this advice, and fortunately
haven’t had to use it too often. But every time I do,
I’m both amazed at and comforted by its power to get
me through whatever requires navigation.
Crises test our beliefs, and I’m pretty sure that
they occur when they do as a way of showing us what we’re
made of; they make us walk our talk and demonstrate how
far we’ve come since the last time our foundation was
shaken. We’d much rather do without them, of course,
but handled correctly, they can lift us to the next
level of our growth.
Crises can range from small, unpleasant surprises to
(literally) earth-shattering events. We may just be
knocked off-balance, or thrown to the ground. But in
every case, our feelings of security are at least
momentarily derailed. And that’s what can prove to be
"This isn’t supposed to be happening," we
tell ourselves. "I didn’t bargain for this; I
didn’t plan for it. I did everything I was supposed to
do and knew how to do. It isn’t fair." We’ve
all experienced the shock and disbelief of events
occurring, big or little, for which we don’t feel
prepared. Our first reaction probably is to fight the
unwelcome reality, but our success in dealing with it
will, in large part, depend on how quickly we can move
to the next stage--acknowledgement.
With acknowledgement comes the acceptance that yes,
the event has indeed occurred. We are no longer on the
boat; we are in the rapids. And we have a choice: we can
resist by frantically attempting to swim backwards, or
we can flow with the current and see what our options
are. And to flow or float, we need a life preserver.
By accepting trust as that life preserver, we’ve
enabling ourselves to relax and assess the situation
without wasting all of our energy flailing about. We
need that energy, and all of our wits about us, because
sometimes we’re tossed overboard for a reason that’s
not immediately apparent. Very often there’s something
hidden in the depths that can be of use to us, but when
we refuse to accept that a change or reversal has
happened, we limit our ability to learn or develop or
benefit from the knowledge we gain.
If you can trust that things do often happen for a
reason, you’re in a position to see things from a
different perspective, and look for whatever messages
there might be for you.
I’ve found that many times we settle for what we
think we can get, instead of going after what we really
want. Or we underestimate our talents, or value, and don’t
utilize those assets that would be so helpful to others.
Or we assume that we know how things are supposed to
work out, and ignore messages to the contrary. And,
therefore we need to be tossed into the river from time
to time in order to shake up our perceptions, and
ultimately move forward.
Sometimes the message is that we should be doing
things differently. Maybe we need to appreciate certain
things more. Or certain people. Maybe we’re being told
that our timing is not right. Maybe we have to learn the
value of patience, or honesty, or kindness, self-love or
humor. Maybe we just have to learn to weather adversity
with dignity and faith.
We’re all here to learn our own special lessons and
we can do so, much more easily and with more grace, if
we heed those messages. At the very least, we should
"look" for positive information in whatever
form it might come. Not every cloud has that silver
lining, but we’ll never find what could be there if we
don’t seek it out.
Having trust doesn’t mean that everything will
necessarily work out the way you want it to. Having
trust means that you know that you are being supported
through your ordeal, and that if you are patient and
perceptive, you’ll find a way to persevere. You’ll
come out stronger, maybe wiser, and hopefully with a
greater sense of peace.
© Copyright 2004 Sunny Schlenger.
All Rights Reserved.
Sunny Schlenger has been a
professional organizer for over 25 years, working with
large and small corporations, non-profit agencies, and
individuals to help them manage their time and space
more creatively and effectively. She does personal
coaching as well as group training and special project
facilitation. Sunny is the author of the best-selling How
To Be Organized in Spite of Yourself, a
Book-of-the-Month-Club featured selection. Her next
release will be Organizing for the Spirit, to be
published by Jossey-Bass/John Wiley & Sons in April,
2004. Sunny has degrees from Johns Hopkins University
and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her
clients have ranged from the producers of Live with
Regis and Kelly, to her husband, an air traffic
controller who tells us that the skies are now safer,
thanks to her assistance.
Her website is www.suncoach.com.
TO "FEATURES" PAGE