Written by Telana Simpson
In my journey of the last few years, one of the words that came up often, and that continues to come up, is the word ‘Trust’. “You need to trust yourself more”. “Trust that your body will heal itself”. “The more you trust this healing process, the more effective it will be”. “Trust that what you need will be provided, in the right way and at the right time”. “Trust your abilities”.
It was challenging at times to trust, especially when I wasn’t sure if what I was experiencing as trust was the kind of trust that people were referring to. When I thought that I was in ‘trusting mode’ and someone I believed in kept reminding me to trust more, I found that I started to question what they meant, and what I understood by the term trust.
Through many conversations and attempts at ‘trusting’, I learnt that trust is as much a state of mind and being, as it is an action. I also learnt that faith is a close companion to trust, and that when faith and trust get together, we can let go of control and the need to know, resulting in a sense of freedom.
I’ve had a desire to try rock climbing for years, and knew – maybe even trusted in some way – that when the time was right, the opportunity would present itself when I was ready to give rock climbing a go.
Something about seeing those images of a well built, strong body hanging from a few finger grips on a tiny ledge off the side of a cliff, just appeals to some aspect of myself. I’ve come to realise that those things that have a strong appeal to me, usually have a strong learning somewhere in that experience for me, that takes me a leap forward on my journey through life.
Well the day came quite suddenly for when I would try rock climbing. I happened to be helping my friend hang up some of her paintings at her home with some other friends, and one of them invited me, in true spontaneous and last minute fashion, to join her the next morning at Strubens Valley to try rock climbing. I had no plans and nothing on, so I could go. Co-incidence? Well actually- more like synchronicity.
The signs that it was time for me to give this rock climbing thing a bash had been there for a few weeks. Signs like making a new friend with an avid rock climber, and having a romantic moment with another rock climber, and missing a previous invitation to go climbing on a day I couldn’t make it. I’m still amazed at how when you are open to it, life can synchronistically help us explore new directions.
Part of my journey has been to trust this synchronicity of life, and go with it. This opportunity came about for me at the right time- when my body was much stronger and healthier than I think it has ever been. It’s over a year now after having gone through a long and tough, yet most rewarding and exciting, journey of healing my self of a serious health challenge.
I’ve had to learn a lot about many things, and trust was one of them. Now it’s like a resource that I can tap into, and even use for having fun expressing myself in activities like rock climbing.
“Off you go!” my avid rock climbing friend said to me. I’m in my harness, all tied up and ready to climb up the steep cliff in front of me. She’s connected on the other end of the rope, ready to belay me as I go (which for the non-rock-climbers reading this, is the rock-climbers speak for pulling up the slack on the rope as you climb higher, and holding it so if you fall they catch you and you just dangle in mid-air: safe!). In this moment, she is someone I have to put a tremendous amount of trust in. And I do.
So off I go- one foot on a ledge, a hand on a nice little grip of rock, next hand on another grip, pushing up on my leg to put my other foot on the next and higher ledge that I can find. The first little bit seems easy- until I’m a couple of metres up and the only way to go the next bit requires a toe- literally my toe- on the tiniest of ledges.
With my fingers awkwardly gripping some rock, and resting most of my weight on one leg, I reach my other leg out to place ever so strategically my toe on this tiniest of ledges, and I freeze. I think in that moment I realised what it is to trust- to truly trust in the moment.
If I was to make this next move, to get to my goal of reaching the top of this climb, to not only celebrate the challenge but to admire the view, I had to trust completely. I had to trust that my friend would ‘catch’ me if I slipped, that the rope would hold my weight, that the rock was solid and that the equipment would not fail.
But most importantly I had to trust myself.
I had to trust my instinct that my toe on that ledge would be enough. I had to trust my body to move in that direction. I had to trust that this was the next step for me. And I had to let go control of the need to do it perfectly, not worry about anything or anyone else’s opinions, and be totally present in that moment, with complete trust.
So with total trust I stepped onto that tiniest of ledges with my toe, and stood up and took the next step.
I got to the top. I got to the top of three climbs actually, and each time I admired the view and celebrated achieving the challenge. And the biggest learning I took from the day was the experience of trust.
For to live life from a place of freedom within, trust needs to be cultivated and used continuously. We need to trust ourselves fully. We need to trust those that we choose to put our trust in. We need to trust the flow of life, and that what ever we are experiencing or not experiencing, is right for that moment. We need to trust fully with our thoughts, feelings and actions.
Trust me: trust Trust. For if you do, it will lead you through many challenges, and will bring along its companion of faith. You’ll feel less of the needs to control and to know, and more of that sense of flow and freedom that makes the experience of life rewarding and pleasurable.