What Do You Trust?
I don’t remember whose blog I was on, when I followed a link called the “What I Trust List”. why you need one, and how to do it. What I do remember is that it made me think about the things I trust and to a certain extend what I know for a fact to be true.
I won’t get into a philosophical discussion of what is reality and what is truth, because that could go on for ages and has no practical application in this context. I will tell you, however, that I went through a period in my life where I thought I might be going insane, because I wasn’t sure what was real and what wasn’t. I doubted the very fabric of reality, but eventually I came to the conclusion that it didn’t matter if life was “real” or if I was living in a “dream,” to put it in terms easily understood, because I still had to live within the confines of this “reality.”
Just like it doesn’t matter to me whether God exists or not, because in either case it doesn’t really have an impact on my life. Knowing one way or the other wouldn’t change anything in my life, because I live based on a set of principles that stand on their own, despite the existence or non-existence of some supreme power. I still have to live my life. I still have to make decisions. I still have to find ways to make sense of it all.
Metaphysics, ontology, the existence of God, etc, are still questions that interest me and that deserve our attention, but they also have no practical application in our day-to-day lives. Whether you take the blue pill or the red pill, you still have to live within that “reality,” that social construct. Descartes might have theorized that we can’t trust our senses, and in many respects that’s true, but we can’t go around doubting everything we touch, see, taste, hear, and smell all the time. That’s just no way to live. At a certain point you have to trust that the color blue is the fucking color blue, even if it’s a construct, because otherwise how to you go on living, how to you continue to make sense of your life?
[So much for not going on a tangent, right? I guess I lied about that... Oh well.]
Critical analysis and doubt are certainly important facets of making sense of our lives. I mean, thank god (figure of speech) we don’t take everything at face value, but on a practical and personal level I think it’s important to assess what we do trust in our lives. Make a list if you have too.
Danielle LaPorte, the blogger who wrote the blog post that got me going on this tangent wrote:
I drill into my soul foundation, to what feels so true and solid that I just might bet my life on it. Unwaivering. Multi-dimensionally verifiable. Or close as I can get to it. The point: cool my mind and warm my heart. When that’s my state of being, I can respond to pretty much anything.
She goes on to write about how and why we should all write our own “what I trust list,” just click on the link above is you want to read what she wrote, or read on and let me tell you why I think it’s important.
I’ve mentioned before that I’ve struggled with depression (anxiety, agoraphobia, OCD, etc, etc) on and off from an early age. Pretty much everyone who goes through a low period, or a depressed period is prone to low self-esteem, low confidence, self-doubt, negative brain loops, whatever you want to call them. Actually, you don’t even have to be clinically depressed to have days where you have this running mantra in your brain that goes a little bit like “no one cares,” “I suck,” “I don’t matter,” “nobody loves me” or whatever your version of that is. It can be really hard to have your own brain turn against you and repeat “no body loves you” all day long.
I feel like that today, I feel like a bully set up shop in my head and won’t quit taunting me. This is where a “what I trust list” can come in handy. Most of the insults this bully is throwing at me just aren’t true. I can trust in the fact that my mother loves me, that my family loves, that my friends love me. I can trust in those things even when I doubt them, because when I stop listening to the bully, I know them to be true.
It can be a long list or a short one, and it can be really obvious too. Sometimes, it’s important to remember that you can: “trust [your] love for… trust [your] integrity….” etc, etc, etc. Whatever demon you’re struggling with in your own mind, remind yourself about the things that you trust, the things you know to be true even when you don’t feel like they are.