“God is the strength in which I trust.” ~ A Course in Miracles, W, 47
I trusted you, God. You were supposed to keep me safe. You had always kept me safe before. What happened? How can I ever trust You again? Or anyone, for that matter?
Do these thoughts sound familiar? They are a common response to trauma, especially if you had a relationship with God before the trauma. We are left with shattered trust. We no longer trust God, our fellow man, family members, and ultimately ourselves. It’s a scary place to be.
A common symptom of PTSD is the state of hyper-vigilance. This is a state of being constantly “on guard,” maintaining a heightened awareness of potential threats to your safety. It is exhausting. It is the ultimate state of living without trust.
When we try to live without trust, we are choosing to live in a constant state of fear. If we look at that idea in terms of relationships, it becomes quite clear. When there is a breakdown of trust in a love relationship, you live in constant fear. Fear that the person will let you down again, fear that they don’t love you anymore, fear that the relationship will end. These fears, if not addressed, lead to the eventual undoing of the relationship.
The same is true when we lose trust in our world, God, and ourselves. Those relationships are at risk. The restoration of trust is urgent if we are to heal these wounds of trauma.
How can we come to a state of trusting again?
When we have been traumatized by our fellow man — sometimes even a family member — our sense of safety in the world is gone. But we find there is within us a drive to find those who we can trust in. It can be a slow process, but every time you trust another soul, the trust will grow. Remember, you’re trying to restore a vase that has shattered into a hundred pieces. Joining two pieces is no small miracle. Take the time to put it back together at your own pace, with your own sense of comfort, but remain diligent.
There are days when the nightly news and the people you encounter and your own memories and thoughts will bring you to despair in the human race. Don’t sink into the despair: take action. Seek out that friend that raises your spirits, read the writer who makes you smile, and if all else fails…