“If You Can’t Trust Yourself, Trust Me”

I am a confident person. The last post might have given lie to that, but for the most part, I am sufficient unto myself. I don’t worry about the opinions of other people, I don’t ask for guidance or direction, and in short, I’m almost always intrepid and fearless.

Except when I’m not.

Not much to say about that, really. You can’t be all one way all of the time, or the term ceases to have quantitative meaning. Light requires dark, and all that.

I’d pretty much just come to the conclusion that every now and then, I’ll wake up in a nightmare where I’ve lost my internal compass, my wit, my equilibrium and suddenly I question everything. Nothing is safe, nor so solid that my faith in it cannot be jostled.  I question my motives, my abilities, my passions and my virtues, as well as those of the people around me. It really is like a dream, where I stumble around blindly, hoping to find my way out.

I always do.

But the whole process sucks.

But what else are you going to do when you lose your Pole Star?

Friends

I don’t know if it’s a function of getting older, or a true testament to online friendships, but I have better, stronger, more supportive friendships now than I ever have before. Perhaps it’s because I know that we’re not friends simply due to proximity and habit; friendship online has to be a priority for each participant, because it’s so easy to let drift get the best of you.

Suddenly, when I had voiced my concerns, I was inundated with support and encouragement. Wtf? This had never happened to me before.

Apparently, I give off the vibe that nothing much ever bothers me….which is mostly true, I suppose, but my friends were castigating themselves for not seeing my discomfort sooner.

Best of all was that without exception, they echoed my inner voice. It was almost like they’d found it, submerged, muted, drowning under the weight of all that indecision and uncertainty. They found it, magnified it, and reflected it back on me, so that I would hear my truth.

And soon I was free of my nightmare.


I suppose this would be the part where an ordinary blogger would tell you how to go about getting friends that amplify your truth. This is not that kind of blog. Realistically, I would just be blowing smoke up your ass, because I have no idea how I got so lucky.

But I’ll tell you what I learned from this whole experience. Maybe it’ll help. I know I’ll probably refer back to it later, anyway.

  • Share yourself. Even if it’s hard, even if it’s scary. My friends could never have helped me if I hadn’t been open about my experience. Not just when I was in need — but when I was in my power, too. One friend re-sent me an email I had written in January telling him about a profound and humbling experience I’d had, connecting with a stranger online. “How can you doubt yourself, when you do things like this?” he asked.
  • When they tell you something that resonates, write that shit down. For some reason it takes on greater weight when someone else sees your strengths. For me, that goes a long way towards defeating the sapper in my head. Write it down, because that shit is gold.
  • Ask for a narrative. What do they see going on? When you’re stuck in the nightmare world, you’re caught up in a story of your own creation, and they are so hard to see outside of. Asking for an outside perspective creates an alternate narrative for you to choose. And often garners some incredible insight. (I found my THING!)
  • Cherish them. They are your candle in the window, and though you are deserving of help and support, never cease to be grateful for that gift.
Above all, this was an exercise in trust, a leap of faith. When I couldn’t trust myself, each treasured individual held out a hand and said, “You can do this. Not only can you do this, you have to. You’re dying on the wrong hill if you don’t.”
Thanks, guys.

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