This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man…
Polonius (to his son, Laertes) in Shakespeare’s Hamlet
Understanding this passage “from the inside out” as I would describe it, takes a considerable amount of life experience. Psychologists claim that the unconscious runs 97% of your life. Given that, how do you find out which Self to whom to be true? Well, mostly by trial and error. We find out the situations in which we cannot trust ourselves, whether it comes to food, speed, sex, money, violence. The list is endless. But it’s not enough to know that and pay attention to it.
We have a center, an organizing Self, if you will. The captain of the ship. The one at the head of the table. This is the Self to which you have to answer. It has a highly evolved bullshit meter. You know this. When you put this Self in charge of your narrative, chances are it won’t be a horror movie. This requires 3 things – Trust, Surrender, and Love (more about Surrender and Love another time.)
There is a movement of sorts based on something called Heart Math (see Resources) that posits that our heart is the place to find our truest Self. Trust your heart, in other words. This makes a great deal of sense. Not only that, it works as a strategy in the clinch. I’ve been testing out the Heart Math tools (because God knows I can’t trust my Mind!)
Those with whom we have the strongest heart connection are the same folks in which we place our Trust. When we misplace our Trust in this manner, WOW does it hurt. This is one of the ways we learn (see Wisdom). Some trustworthy individuals are given to us for a lifetime and this is a spectacular gift.
Others come along to learn Trust from us (God help us if we let them down.)
The Sacred Trust of parent and child is arguably the strongest bond on earth and thus, when it goes awry, the most destructive.
When we choose well the one in whom to place our Trust, we’ve embarked on an exciting and fulfilling journey. As it says on my Home page, traveling in pairs can be a safe choice.
Most of us seem to be hardwired to seek this quality of union. Those who find it are not simply blessed. Chances are they’ve done some work on themselves to earn it. When a couple who trust in each other hit the inevitable rapids along their path, I’ve observed that one or the other keeps their head, takes the lead, and guides them through. In the best pairings, the ones that endure, each takes their turn in a natural rhythm.
As important as that is to appreciate the journey itself. Don’t take the trustworthy ones for granted. Tell them any chance you get what they mean to you. And when it gets rough again, remember how you got through before. See you on the other side.