Trust is a concept that you know well. From the time you were born, you learned to trust in the inevitability that a person would do what is expected and promised. Trust is an essential part of your relationships first with your family (parents, siblings, and even extended family). It evolves to become the basis for learning and growth experiences, romances, and (hopefully) something more self-centered: self-trust.
What is Self-Trust?
It’s usually called self-trust or self-esteem. The concept traces back to the works of William James, the father of modern psychology, in 1890. His concept of self-trust or self-esteem involved a combination of achievements and expectations, so you could either achieve great things or just lower your expectations. That earliest concept of self-esteem, self-worth, or self-trust changed through the 1960’s as influential figures like Nathaniel Branden ushered in the self-esteem movement, and John Vasconcellos politicized the concept. Fixing self-esteem was lauded as a “social vaccine,” the magic bullet that would remediate or prevent drug abuse, crime, teen pregnancy, etc. The persuasive efforts of Vasconcellos inspired a task force in California turned into the National Association for Self-Esteem (NASE) in 1995.
Further studies by Psychology Professor Roy Baumeister in the 1990’s demonstrated that the premise for self-esteem was problematic. It could not cure all societal ills, nor could it be easily boosted by artificial means. In 2006, Professor Jean Twenge further found that the current laser-focus on self-esteem not only fueled depression, but also facilitated narcissism. While the concept of “self-esteem” has gradually taken on a negative or skeptical tinge, self-love and self-trust as a more positive spin-off. If you go back to the innocence of youth, before self-doubt crept in, you get the core of who you are and what you want. It’s a diamond in the raw, unmarred by pretension or the fear of failure. It’s something precious, because in that state it’s really about knowing and loving yourself, which naturally equates to self-trust.
Why is Self-Trust Important & How Do You Reach It?
The concept of self-trust is important because it relies upon a firm faith and understanding of your own integrity, or sense of self. As you trust yourself, you find a confidence and clarify that you are making the right choices. Self-trust is not about arrogance or narcissism. With true self-trust, it is something beyond external validation or seeking approval, because you have an internal roadmap that lays out your path and direction. Self-trust is unconditional, beyond fear or risk. Even when it feels out of reach, at the bottom of the well, or just beyond reach—self-trust never goes away. It remains, unbroken.
The question, then, is how do you reach self-trust, particularly since it’s so important for self-care? You might just find that it’s easier than you think. Here are a few top tips for redirecting your focus and mindset inward on your journey toward self-trust.
Get to Know Yourself!
Julia Cameron calls it an “artist’s date.” The idea is that you need to find out what makes you tick, feed your creativity, and explore your bliss. It could be a book store, a library, or a toy store. Your exploration could involve a dinosaur expo, a botanical garden, a robot or tech show, a gemstone exhibit, an art museum, or a nuclear science museum. There are countless variations on destinations that could start to restore your self-trust.
Look Inward, First Thing
You probably reach for your phone as a first thought when you wake up. It feels natural, but what would happen to your sense of self and self-trust if you repossessed the first moments of your day. Look out the window to notice that the sun is rising. Open a book of poems or quotes, and take time to let the words sink in. Meditate, practice your breath exercises, take 10 or 15 minutes to do Yoga or Pilates stretches in your comfortable spot. Stand in one spot, allowing the silence of your place to surround you. Embrace the blank slate that is the day ahead, as you restore your self-trust.
Focus on the Now
When you focus on past regrets or future worries, you’re focusing on fear, loss, and suffering. Instead of living in a state of fear of failure, self-trust allows us to live in the present moment. It can be scary, with a feeling that it’s an unprotected or vulnerable state. What you’ll find is that living in the now opens up a realm of other possibilities. It’s not for the faint of heart. It can take courage, inner fortitude, and more strength than you ever thought you had.
It can feel hard. It may seem possible… It also might just change your life.
You’re Never Alone, You’re Always Loved
When you look around, what do you see? You probably see people living care-free, going about their day to day lives with ease. That’s only because you only see the surface. If you were to peak underneath, though, you can see the truth. Everyone has struggles. Everyone has demons they are battling.
We all want to put our best self out for the world to see, so we put on a mask and show what we want them to see. With everyone carefully calculating the exact image the world sees them as, it seems like you might be the only one confused, or struggling, or feeling overwhelmed.
You might push yourself away, feeling like nobody understands the way you feel, like nobody has been through your experiences. Maybe you have even opened up to someone, but the response you got showed they didn’t truly understand you. This feeling of isolation, of being alone, can cause you to lock yourself up.
But you’re not alone. You’re not the only one going through it. They’re out there, thinking those same thoughts, putting on the same mask for everyone to see, so they don’t seem hurt. So they don’t seem fragile.
When we all wear masks to hide the pain, the turmoil of emotions that is what makes us human, we emotionally isolate ourselves from each other. If we don’t show the world our pain and struggles, we lose essential opportunities to help others with our shared experiences. We are all more alike than we might care to admit.
Nobody is ever alone. Whether it’s friends, family, caretakers, coworkers, neighbors, teachers, or lovers, we all have someone who can relate to our experiences. We all have loved ones looking out for us. They know you. They care for you. They are there for you.
Just because you might not get a text, call, or knock on the door every day from them doesn’t mean they don’t see you as special. You are important to them.
We all show love in different ways. Not everyone is vocal about their feelings, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there. They might show it in different ways: a warm meal, a gift during the holidays, or even a hug when they see you. They love you and they want the best for you.
We all get lonely. We all feel like the only one who has gone through something or has felt a certain way. Even if you don’t feel like someone would care about your experience, you have support– someone to encourage you and help you throughout whatever it is you may be going through. They are always there.
It is corny and a cliche, but you will get through this rough time in your life. You will be stronger and you will have a new perspective. You are much stronger than you may think, and you’re even stronger when you’re not alone.
If you haven’t been told recently, you are loved.
If you haven’t been showed it recently, you are loved.
If you haven’t felt it recently, you are loved
Dog Goes to College in Michigan, to Study!
Golden Retrievers have long been one of the most friendly, affectionate dog breeds available, and one particular Retriever in Michigan lived up to her breed’s reputation. They are fun dogs, easy to train, constantly social with their human masters and others, and extremely loyal. No surprise, Golden Retrievers are often owned in pairs and referred to as one of the best companion dogs to have. They are also regularly chosen for guide dog roles for the same reasons as well. In the case of JJ McGrath, his dog Tahoe was more than just a home companion.
Going to college at Grand Valley State University, JJ wanted to stay connected with his furry friend as much as possible. So, the fellow decided to ask his sociology professor if Tahoe could join JJ in class. Sent by email, the request was titled simply “Dog” in the header, and at first there was no response. JJ wasn’t one to take silence as an answer, so she kept asking until there was a clear response one way or the other.
Now most teachers, whether in college or high school or some other training institution, probably would not allow a dog in a classroom for a variety of reasons unless the dog was there for a bona fide disability support, such as guide dog. Part of the reason is clearly liability and the fear an uncontrolled or nervous dog might harm someone. Dog bites are one of the most common forms of serious injury across the country every year, and they typically come with legal ramifications as well. No surprise, most schools don’t allow animals in classrooms at all unless under controlled lab conditions or as a certified personal aid. The other reason was the possibility of distraction. Small dogs are noisy enough but a large dog that starts making a rack can be heard around an entire neighborhood block. That clearly wouldn’t be conducive in a classroom setting either.
However, nature of dogs in social settings has changed quite a bit. Dogs are now regularly used in health and community setting such as schools and malls to provide companionship and stress-reduction. Even workplaces are allowing pets to be present. Of course, the dogs have to be trained and extremely calm in busy environments to be eligible, but the world has loosened up quite regarding dog presence versus just 10 years ago.
So JJ kept up the campaign and kept sending additional email messages, most including photographs of him and the dog and stressing how friendly the Golden Retriever would be, including not being a threat to anyone and probably making the classroom more interesting to be in. Finally, JJ was successful. His professor relented and agreed to allow it, probably on a trial basis the first day. Tahoe was so excited, she kept looking out the car window on the way school, dog bandana around her neck and all. But JJ and Tahoe weren’t the only ones wanting to know how things turned out the first day. 4,000 followers on social media were tracking the story, the email posts and the final response allowing the dog to attend class with her owner. The story was so interesting, it started to international.
As it turned out, Tahoe did just fine, and even got to participate in class presentations at the front of the class. There were no disruptions, lots of learning and one very happy, social Golden Retriever who probably became one of the few dogs in history to go to college.
Surprise! 13-Foot Burmese Python Found in Unusual Spot in Florida
What’s the most surprising thing you’ve come across on the road? Maybe you found a spare tire on the road before or perhaps even some clothes.
You can find all sorts of things over the course of your many travels along America’s roads, although it will be pretty hard to top what one man stumbled upon.
Nick Bishop, a native of Los Angeles, was traveling through Florida together with a friend when they spotted something peculiar. What they saw was a large shadow that looked like it was being cast by a big log.
According to this article from Story Trender, Bishop knew right away that it was not just a log that they were looking at however. Bishop, who goes by the nickname “Nick The Wrangler” and was actually in Florida at the time to look for diamondback rattlesnakes, said that he knew right away that there was a python nearby.
Still, Bishop did admit that he did not expect to find the python when he did. He noted that he did not expect pythons to move that far away from where they usually reside. At the time Bishop saw the python, he said that he was about 30 miles away from where those animals are typically found.
Bishop could not afford to stand in awe of the snake for too long though. He knew that there was a vehicle closing in and that he would have to act quickly if he wanted to save the python from a potentially gruesome fate.
A Dance with the Python
Bishop knew he had to act quickly if he was going to move the python to a safe location. That’s why he decided to take matters into his own hands.
This article from The Daily Mail features a video showing Bishop as he attempts to wrangle the enormous Burmese python.
In the video, you can see that Bishop immediately goes for the python’s tail. The python then responds with hostility to Bishop’s actions by hissing in his direction.
Undeterred, Bishop keeps trying to lift the python off the ground in order to get it to safety. The python is not very cooperative though and even lunges at Bishop with its fangs.
Bishop continues with his efforts to wrangle the python and he eventually wears the animal out. With the snake visibly exhausted, he grabs the head and finally places the python under his control. He celebrates his triumph over the python by giving it a kiss on the head.
The snake wrangler goes on to describe his encounter with the wayward Burmese python as one of the most exciting moments of his life. He also regards it as a gift from Mother Nature.
Following his encounter with the python, Bishop handed the animal over to the authorities so that it could be cared for properly.
Learning More about the Python
Surprisingly enough, the 13-foot serpent Bishop saw that day may actually be on the smaller side. Per National Geographic, some Burmese pythons can grow to over 23 feet in terms of length and weigh over 200 pounds.
When they are younger, Burmese pythons like to spend their time high up in the trees. That becomes more difficult for them as they mature however.
Burmese pythons usually eat birds and small mammals. They prey upon those animals by first suffocating them. Thanks to their stretchable jaws, a Burmese python can fit its suffocated prey entirely into its mouth.
Sadly, Burmese pythons are still being hunted down for their skin and flesh. They are also having a harder time finding places to live. Because of that, Burmese pythons have ended up on the threatened species list.
Hopefully, more people like Nick Bishop will show care for Burmese pythons so that they can thrive once more.
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