One of Erikson’s stages of psychosocial development is Trust vs Mistrust. It is the stage that infants are in until about 12 months of age. But I have often wondered if we, as adults, don’t battle this concept out in our lives when we are faced with trauma, or a loss or even coming in contact with the wrong people.
I have written about loss and fear these past few days and now I want to share a little bit about trust and how trust or the lack of trust keeps us from moving forward in our grief journey. Since I started the journey almost 3 years ago, I have struggled with the jump from fear to trust in about every aspect of my life. Fear has kept me from trusting on many levels.
One level is trusting that life will be ok. That I will survive this loss. That there is a reason I am left with this huge gaping hole in my heart. Life isn’t what I once knew to be good. For me life became a job to do or a task to finish. I lost all sense of trust in what I knew to be true.
Another level was trusting that I would ever be happy again. Whether it would be appropriate to be happy again. Trusting that in time the happiness I once had and the joy I once experienced would come back. That was a hard lesson to learn. Life as I knew it changed at 6:55 am October 13th 2006. I no longer trusted life, the medical profession, myself or anyone around me, but most of all I didn’t trust my faith in God.
What I have learned in these past 3 years is that the life I knew is gone and will never return. I had to create a new life, one that didn’t include Brittany, but did include the memory of her. I knew I wasn’t going to settle for forgetting her. I wasn’t going to stop talking about her or referencing an event about her just because it made other people uncomfortable. But how does one create a new life. Where do you begin?
You begin with learning to trust God. In the end that is all we got. If I didn’t have my faith, I couldn’t have seen the hope that exists today in my life. The hope that life can be made a new just as the day I let God take over my life. But as a person who has always taken the reigns and got things done, turning over my life and the healing process wasn’t going to be easy. And it has not.
But today I can say with all honesty that I am learning to trust. To trust that life can be and will be good again. To trust that I can let love back in my life, knowing that loving again and possibly losing someone is still better than living a life alone without love. I just can’t possibly think that life would be worth living unless there was love there. Love is a wonderful thing.
So trust my friends is the very key to moving forward. Trust is what makes us vulnerable to loss, but it also makes us keenly aware of the beauty that God has placed before us to enjoy. Live your life full of wide-eyed wonder and you’ll be guaranteed a life fully lived with love.
Until next time