May 2017 ByShivi Verma Shivi Verma considers her ability to trust as one of the greatest gifts from God One of the biggest factors that have facilitated my spiritual growth has been my ability to trust. It was something which was a part of me since childhood. My mother says that I used to easily go into the arms of strangers unlike other babies. But while as a child, this trait of mine was a source of joy for my parents, it gave them much cause for concern when I began to grow. Though introverted by nature, I would easily open up to anybody who sought my attention, gave me respect, or showed some intellectual prowess. And while I enjoyed forming new connections, most of my wellwishers considered me stupid for this proclivity of mine. And they were often proven right, because I frequently burnt my fingers in the process. This pattern caused me huge inner turmoil and plenty of pain during my growing up years. My mother and younger sister were especially sceptical of trusting others implicitly. Though they maintained good relations with almost everybody they knew, they were protective of their boundaries and did not let others easily into their inner world. And it held both of them in good stead. They had fewer experiences of being let down or betrayed. I, on the other hand, had great difficulty in judging and analysing people. I could never form one opinion about anyone. My heart mostly leapt up in joy seeing the polished image of someone and wanted to believe every good thing he said about himself. Trusting brought forth great joy in the moment, and made me feel light and happy. My friends, on the other hand, prioritised being safe over being momentarily happy and then repentant later on. I began to seriously question this tendency of mine and tried hard to change myself. I began trying to be more careful whiledealing with people, especially strangers. And it wouldstrain, stress and exhaust me. To constantly think that the other might not be what he appears, has an axe to grind, or an ulterior motive made me tense. And I did not like being in a state of anxiety. I had not yet developed the ability to walk the tightrope between trusting and not trusting. Therefore after struggling for some time I gave in to my natural impulse to trust people. I was ready to get hurt if my trust was found to be false later on. It was only later that I realised what a great gift from God it was, and what dividends it reaped me in life! My deep faith in love, beauty, honesty and truth helped me coast along in my search for God and Truth. I never gave up on the idea of finding gold at the end of the rainbow. I trusted with absolute innocence that God loved me and had some great adventure planned out for me. And for this adventure to unfold I needed to trust those who came into my life. Not that I did not get hurt but I also bounced back and gained a lot in the bargain. I learnt my lessons in self-preservation without giving up on trusting others. And I feel grateful for this ability as I see many wonderful seekers get stuck on their paths in the absence of trust. They read the sacred texts, trust the rishis and munis of yore, yearn for happiness and enlightenment but their inability to place their trust in anyone but their own critiquing mind stalls their growth. As for me, as my learnings grew, so did my ability to discern. I never stopped trusting people and life, but I also stopped blocking the tiny voice of awareness that said, ‘ beware, caution’. I learnt to take both of them along. I learnt about the innate goodness of people and also their weaknesses and I became okay with both. And ever since life has become a beautiful journey of cocreation of possibilities. Deputy Editor with Life Positive, Shivi Verma is a devotee who found all her answers in loving God passionately.
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