Choose to Trust: Inspired by Tich Naht Hanh

Posted: June 14, 2016 in faith based, Freshly Pressed, religion, spirituality
Tags: , ,

By Charles W. Sidoti, BCC

Wouldn’t it be nice to look forward to the future with hope, expecting good things? The following reflection is about the way we choose to stand before an uncertain future.

One morning when I sat down to pray, I noticed that it was much easier for me to worry than it was to pray.  It seemed that I actually preferred my worry over my usual five minutes of quiet centering prayer.  In the midst of this, a wise saying that I always admired came to mind:

People have a hard time letting go of their suffering.  Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer their suffering that is familiar (Thich Nhat Hanh, Buddhist monk and poet).

When the quote surfaced in my mind, I was able to understand for the first time why I so often find it easier to worry than to let go and open my heart in prayer.  It is because the act of worrying actually does something for me.  It gives me the illusion that I have more control than I actually do.

Although this illusion is at the same time a kind of suffering, it is one that I am familiar with.  You do get used to, and in a strange way comfortable with, your own suffering.  The mental connection that occurred between my worry and the quote helped me to realize how I was susceptible to preferring my “familiar” worry to the vulnerability involved in letting go of it for “the unknown.”  This realization enabled me to let go and assume a more open posture (open the door of my heart) for the remainder of my prayer time.

In reference to the same observation, the disdain we tend to have for the “unknown elements of life,” world renowned psychoanalyst Erich Fromm once wrote:

We become necrophilous, lovers of what is dead (the past, the settled, the inanimate, the secure, the already determined), rather than biophilous, lovers of what is living (the future, the unsettled, other people, living beings, the new the uncertain). Instead of enhancing the possibilities for growth, we limit the situations of life to the familiar, to what seems already well under control (From – The Heart of Man: Its genius for good and evil).

The good news is that becoming aware of our own defensive posture can be the first step toward changing it to a more open, less defensive, more trusting outlook toward the most important day of our lives – today!

Connecting Point:  We choose the way we face the future.  Trust is always a choice.  Trusting that God is at work in your life and that good things will eventually come is something that is within your control.  Deciding to trust is your responsibility.

Prayer:  Loving God, without you I can do nothing.  Awaken in me the desire to open the door of my heart to you.  Help me to trust you enough to face the future with confidence and hope, expecting to find your presence and peace, both along my journey and at the journey’s end.  Amen.

This article is from my book “Living at God’s Speed, Healing in God’s Time”  

Read the Introduction, Table of Contents and a Sample Chapter on Twenty Third Publications website:  http://store.pastoralplanning.com/liatgospiing.html

Buy it on Amazon $13.46:  http://www.amazon.com/Living-Gods-Speed-Healing-Time/dp/158595831X

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