For a number of years now, I’ve been choosing a word (or a word chooses me…) for the coming year. I first heard about this from the glorious Shanna Germain, and it seems like the practice has spread among creative types. Past words of mine have included Create, Joy, Focus, and Present.
We’ve just begun the Celtic New Year, and I started pondering this year’s word a bit before our Samhain ritual. Immediately several things clicked into place: a realization I’d had after doing some meditation on why I was blocked a couple of months ago; some things that came up during recent business of writing workshop I took.
But it still took me a while to find the right word. I started by trying to figure out what the opposite of fear was. Of not being afraid of things, of not letting myself put up walls and say “That’s too hard” or “I don’t know how” and use those as excuses. I proved myself wrong several times at the workshop—those things weren’t so hard after all. The opposite of fear, but not bravery, or fearlessness, or even confidence, although the latter was close.
It wasn’t until got home from the ritual and, yes, looked at thesaurus.com that the word on the tip of my tongue was so very obvious:
It’s kind of a loaded word. There are so many caveats “Yes, but…” Yes, but don’t be stupid. Yes, but keep a clear mind.
Yes, but…yes. Trust.
For me it’s about trusting my abilities. I’m in the middle of change—leveling up, if you will. I love learning new things, but I’ve always hated the middle bit, the flailing around and feeling stupid and awkward and uncoordinated. Problem is, lately, it’s made me feel like I don’t know anything, which is flat-out wrong. I haven’t backslid; I’m just in a period of growth. I have to trust the abilities I already have, and trust the process.
Usually during our Samhain ritual, we draw a Tarot card to help clarify the coming year. This year, because I was working with different friends (and it was wonderful!), I went for a three-card spread. I won’t go into details here, except to say that it was for Past, Present, and Future, and the future card stole my breath away.
It was the Chariot. The deck we were using was Halloween-themed, and depicted, of all things, a hearse. It had navigated down a twisty road but the journey was just beginning, and it was clear it was going to be a doozy. But the hearse had wings above the windshield, and instead of a rear-view mirror, there was an eye, looking forward—not behind.
Whether I like it or not, I’m behind the wheel. The road ahead is twisty and turny and scary, but I still have some level of control. It’s my choice whether to trust my abilities or to take my hands off the wheel and cover my eyes and scream. Either way, I’m going to be hurtling down that road. Better that I keep my eyes open and steer. Because I have the skill to steer around those blind curves.
It’s going to be a roller coaster, but damn, I love me some roller coasters. Controlled terror. They say that the Chinese characters for fear and excitement are the same, and whether or not that’s true, the physical reaction to both is pretty similar. I’d rather call it excitement than fear. Wouldn’t you?
Trust. It’s not about leaving things to chance, or blindly trusting. It’s about doing what I am capable of doing, of setting things in motion. It’s trusting my experience to help me make the right decisions. Of trusting others’ judgment and counsel when I need advice. Trusting my gut, when need be.
I trust me, and my abilities.
I trust the process.
I trust that if I ask for help, I’ll receive it. I trust our connection.
I trust that if I step off that cliff, I’ll have the wings to fly.
I trust that if I fall backwards into your arms, you’ll catch me.