Trust is the invisible foundation that affects our relationship to ourselves, others, and to life itself. It's what allows us to feel safe in our relationships, to relax, to feel confident, be resilient, to act with power and effectiveness, and to feel free to love and create together – Patricia Albere
Developmental psychologist, Erik Erikson, pointed out that our first task when we come into this world is to establish trust versus mistrust. A foundation of trust is what allows our development to unfold naturally. In fact, it's what makes everything worthwhile in life possible.
Where does this trust come from? It emerges out of our holding environment.
What's a holding environment?
Part of my healing journey was writing my life story. But I couldn't write about myself, so I created Talia and wrote fiction. One piece I wrote had Talia remembering pre-conception. Who are you before your mother is born? That kind of koan. She used her imagination to go back in time before she was born. Let's join her. And let yourself go back before you were born, before conception.
And she found herself in a soft, golden-white light, a boundless dimension of utter love, where she felt safe, held, and enfolded inside a loving presence. In the scene I wrote, she knew exactly which family she was going into, had a clear purpose, and she was thrilled. She was going to bring love into their lives.
And then, the big bang, the moment of her conception, and off she went into a human body.
So, the boundless dimension of utter love, where she felt safe, held, and enfolded in a loving presence, inside that alive soft, golden-white light is a holding environment.
In fact, we could call it Origination Space, through which the uniqueness of each of us emerges. Author and teacher, A.H. Almaas, calls it the Living Daylight, some call it Unity Consciousness, others call it Love, science is calling it the Living Universe. Whatever you would like to call it, it's the space from which we all emerge.
When we perceive the Living Daylight/Origination Space, we see the whole Universe as alive and animated. We experience that everything is pervaded with consciousness and intelligence and love; and that the universe is an expression of this intrinsic goodness.
When we first come into this world, we're in contact with this Living Daylight. It's our original holding environment and it’s what Basic Trust emerges out of.
Just imagine if we could stay connected with it as we grew up. But we don't, we lose contact with it, to one degree or another, as we grow up.
Duane Elgin, the author of The Living Universe says: "The deepest wound we have as a species is our separation from the living universe. If we can heal that separation with the living universe, it's going to heal our relationship with friends, with our intimate relationships with our communities, with our organizations, and so on. It cuts through all of that."
So we all have holding environments that we are born into. They consist of many factors from the city, state, or country we're born in, to the politics of the time, to the emotions of the family we're in.
When our holding environment is attuned to us, we unfold. We develop and grow naturally. Our souls aren't impeded with in ways that require us to recover. We still develop an ego, but it's more porous, less rigid and defensive, and we have this invisible foundation called Basic Trust (a pre-conscious conviction that we are one with the essential goodness of existence, and can never be separated from that).
When our holding environment is not attuned to us, when it's inadequate, then what we feel is that it was an unloving or rejecting, abandoning, inappropriate, harsh, un-empathetic, intrusive, un-protective or abusive. It could be non-nourishing or neglecting. Sometimes, it wasn't terrible, but we just endlessly felt like our parents were incompetent. They just didn't know how to be there for us in the particular way that would work for us.
So we develop defenses, and our egos form around them; egos formed without Basic Trust are less porous and more rigid.
Recovering Basic Trust shifts our entire experience of life and of relating. It permeates everything. As we find Basic Trust again, on all levels of our being, we begin to relax and release our projections of mistrust on the world that get construed through our egos.
When we experience ourselves inside of the Living Daylight, there's a sense of Basic Trust that:
If we fall, we'll be held.
If we let go, things will be okay.
If we don't know, we'll be guided.
If we don't manipulate and control, our life will be optimized in a way that is perfect for us.
One of the things about the Mutual Awakening Practice is that it supports us in restoring Basic Trust by creating an utterly safe holding environment in which to practice. And we do it in the only way that it can be done, with and for one another.
If we were having a Mutual Awakening experience together, I'd ask you to take an area in your life where you feel that you don't have basic trust. Somewhere you feel defensive. You're self-concerned. You're efforting. You're trying to make things happen. You have to make sure that things are a certain way.
Or you're holding onto a relationship or a job where you know you should let go and you can't. A place where you're judging yourself. You're judging your actions. You're not trusting the way that you'll handle something naturally or a situation where you feel that you're not going to be attuned to or cared for.
See if you can find one area of your life and then just talk a little bit about it – for example, how does it occur to you? Feel into the mistrust. How do you respond to that part of your life? How do you act? How do you function? What are you doing?
It's always that we're trying to make something happen – or make something not happen.
Notice how you do it so that you can begin to understand and sense who you are there, and how the ego operates in that particular situation?
In this experience, feel the agitation as you're thinking or saying it. Close your eyes and report on how you're sensing yourself; how you're experiencing this particular area of your life. In the Mutual Awakening Practice experience, you would share this exploration with a partner. In that sharing, the experience will start to wake up what's actually happening.
If you're interested in learning more about Mutual Awakening, please contact me.