Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Discernment and Self-trust

Discernment is strongly effected, it seems to me, by one's ability  or inability to trust in oneself.  Self-trust may take a beating, if you will, by others' dismissing our contributions as insignificant. Eventually, if we experience this often enough, we begin to believe it personally.  Our self-trust is also eroded by being told by our parents, our teachers or other significant adults in our lives that "we don't know what we are talking about" or that "children are to be seen and not heard," or by simply being ignored whenever we'd attempt to share our views.  Other children may also have made fun of our insights. A teacher, verbally or nonverbally, may have communicated her/his disappointment in our answers to questions or our input into a topic under discussion.  Critical thinking skills, analyzing, thinking through situations, doing research and trusting our findings or conclusions may simply not have been encouraged in our home, school or church environments--however, we can still develop these skills. Or all of the reverse may be true and our self-trust is strong. Then, too,  I believe, is our trust in God's direction rising from within.

Apart from the above examples of how mistrust is nurtured, we may have personally weakened our ability to trust ourselves by having been deceitful in our dealings with others, having told "white lies" to get by with something or to avoid embarrassment or shame.  We may end up doing or saying something we really do not want to do or say because we are trying to please another and end up betraying ourselves. When we lie in order to avoid that of which we are afraid or in order to avoid hurting another, the person we ultimately hurt is ourselves.  When our goal is to please others at our own expense, we betray ourselves. Trust is eroded, weakened or shattered and needs to be rebuilt.

Ever say "Tell me the truth," or "Be honest with me."  Above all we want people to be honest and we ourselves want to be truthful with others.  We want others to trust us. Trust begins at home, as does charity.  As we build self-trust, we also strengthen our ability to discern God's truth, God's will for ourselves.  Grace builds on nature.

On a scale from 0-10, how would you rate your self-trust?  If low, what may be the root cause of your lack of self-trust? What can you do to strengthen your ability to trust in yourself?  How can you strengthen a weakened trust of self?  Only you can do that. That is why it is called self-trust.

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