Playing god

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How do I develop trust in God or the universe? How do I let go of wanting to manipulate situations in order to get a desired outcome? I struggle with a lack of faith. I’m uncomfortable with what might or might not happen as a result of my actions or inaction. Please help!

Learning to trust God requires the same skill set as learning to trust a new friend, a romantic partner, a business partner, or even yourself. In any relationship, we can develop trust by committing to an ongoing strip search of the beliefs our egos invest in. Other than questioning beliefs, the most direct way to establish trust is honesty. Lies—even peccadillos—can affect our ability to trust or be trusted. After all, how can we trust ourselves if we lie to ourselves? Unhealed trauma from childhood, like the loss of a parent through death or divorce, can be a barrier, too.

Your question is also about resting in God, that is, freedom from the fixation to ensure a particular outcome. If you trust yourself, it’s not a stretch to trust a deity or to accept the universe as reliable (or vice versa). But if you’re manipulating situations to force a desired outcome, you’re trying to play god. By contrast, to be godly is to live from within the union of the soul and ego.

A godly person is authentically awake and wise, but far from perfect. That’s because an awakened person doesn’t adhere to social rules. Self-trust inspires them to follow their own drumbeat. A godly person shines a big flashlight on the brokenness of others, illuminating secrets and wounds. Those who yearn for healing are attracted to that light. They trust themselves enough to answer the call to transformation. These individuals are willing to let go of who they have been and what they have believed in favor of reaching a higher consciousness.

But you say you’re struggling with what might happen. In other words, you fear making a mistake. It helps to play with thoughts as if they were toys: What if your action or inaction was meaningless? What if the energy you bring to a situation has more influence than the actions you choose or don’t choose? Can you see that every action includes inaction and that inaction lives within action? Or as the Muslim poet Rumi once wrote, “Out beyond the field of right-doing and wrong-doing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there.” As we commit to self-trust, integrating opposites becomes second nature.

Trust also determines what kind of relationship you have with God. Choosing to be a child of God means you remain small while projecting the role of parent onto God. If you choose to be God’s friend or partner, you will be drawn into long periods of solitude that are so fulfilling, loneliness will be rare. Another choice is to be one with God. This path requires pushing aside your own needs, wants and preferred outcomes so the divine can work through you in service of humanity. Not sure where you fit? Start anywhere, and trust that a new beginning will lead to your greatest desire.

Meditation of the Week

“We are not held back by the love we didn’t receive in the past, but by the love we’re not extending in the present,” said Marianne Williamson. How much of your energy lives in the present moment?