I’ve been diligently avoiding writing this.
It’s the deepest of wounds, and the one that will likely give me the most freedom if I face it, yet it’s the one I find myself doing everything I can possibly do to avoid it.
Today alone I’ve cleaned every inch of my already clean apartment, did dishes by hand instead of using the dishwasher, finally went through the random stack of papers that’s been collecting on my desk since Christmas, and even took the time to match my socks.
I have gotten close to facing it once or twice. I’ve gone through many immersive experiences to dig through past relationships and create forgiveness in the places that haunt me the most.
It continues to linger in the corners of my life. Between all of the excitement and passion and growth it beckons me to take a time-out and listen; to slow down and solidify an integral piece of foundation before continuing to build.
Alright, trust… I’m here. Now what?
In typical Maggie-the-MAVERICK fashion, I didn’t think any of this through before starting to write. You’re getting to see the work as live-action as you possibly can. The only editing that ever takes place is for spelling, or when I repeat myself… if I catch it.
So first, I want to state the obvious… I have every reason not to trust.
I love people, but they let me down, hurt me, or leave. I love my body, but it has failed before. I love love, but it doesn’t last. I love my dreams, but they don’t come true. I love being in a community, but that means I have to change everything about myself.
Trauma is real. Pain is real. Loneliness is real. Disappointment is real. Distrust is a learned behavior; one that I learned quickly and repeatedly. I have very tall, very thick walls and live in a world where I am the only one I can truly rely on.
Over the years I’ve decorated the walls, built in a few windows (albeit bulletproof ones with darkening shades), put in a one-way mailbox, and even drew some plans for some pretty cool ladders. But, I’m still here in the fortress! A little lonely, a little bored, a little suffocated, yet safe, secure, and sure of the fact that no outside force is going to cause me pain.
Alright, enough metaphors. What I’m trying to say is, my feelings are valid. My pain is real. My experiences are not made up. Validation for these things is an important part of the process. I needed these walls to survive. And I’m proud of myself for learning how to live my life despite my circumstances. But, I believe that the “thriving” portion of my life exists outside the pretty walls.
Now, let’s move forward.
What steps am I going to take to develop new beliefs around trust? Well, I don’t know exactly what it’s going to look like yet, but I do know what works for me. I am an analytical person (hard to believe with all my big-dreamin’ right?!).
When I was in college I attended a seminar that provided me a visual tool that I found very effective: a Venn diagram. For a particular instance, write what happened in the left circle, and how you feel about what happened in the right circle. Where the two intersect is the reality you create.
That’s going to be the starting point of this process for me. I am going to write what happened, how I felt about what happened, and the reality I created because of it. Then, I’m going to draw new Venn diagrams in each subject that show a better reality. Because the truth is, I have also met people who do love, who don’t leave, and who don’t cause pain. That’s a reality, too. So, I’m going to reverse-engineer better, but still true, Venn diagrams. And I’m going to stare at them, re-read them, and flood my conscious mind with them until they become my actual reality, solidified in my subconscious.
Yep! That’s my plan. Just came up with it right now. Let’s see how it goes and be open to the process expanding and changing and becoming what I need it to be as we go along, okay?
I’ve already written a small novel and I didn’t even share any of the scenarios that created my reality around trust. So, I’m going to break this into sections and release them one at a time. I didn’t create this reality overnight, and I am not going to recreate it in one post – that’s not real life.
If you’ve read this far, then consider this an official invite to come on this journey with me. Each week I’ll share another chapter, be transparent with another piece of my reality, and openly work through how I’m re-creating it.
My ultimate hope is that you’ll work through your reality alongside me. Or at least, be inspired to consider it. But, I also understand that humans like knowing things, so if you want to read it just to read it, that’s cool too.
Nothing left to do now but put on another pot of coffee, have a little snack, and get to writing!
See you on the other side, MavPack!