“Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.”

Chinese Proverb

I love this quote from that famous quotester Chinese Proverb. He certainly thought of some clever things to say!

This week I have been mostly eating weet-bix for breakfast and mostly thinking about – or at least giving some thought to – the idea of trust. Those with keener eyes will note that the word ‘trust’ isn’t even in Chinese Proverb’s quote, but it’s really a quote all about trust. The more I thought about it, the more I decided that if you are trusting someone or something then you are in a state of relaxation. It’s like that cheesy trust exercise you do at team building activities. The one where you let yourself fall back into the arms of your work-colleague-turned-bestest-friend. But you have to actually relax and let go of your built-in need to balance and allow yourself to let go! And this is exactly what trust is like on so many levels!

Let’s return to the quote above for a sec. Relaxation is who you are. In other words, when you are trusting yourself and those around you, the best and truest version of yourself comes out. You’re not trying to please people or perform for them (which produces internal tension and stress ), but you’re trusting that who you really are is good enough for you and for them and you don’t have to pretend.

Let’s think about what happens when you hug someone. Ever hugged someone you don’t really trust? I didn’t think so. If you really distrust them, you probably aren’t going to go near them let alone hug them. But a good hug needs two physically relaxed people who are willing to trust each other with their personal space for a few seconds and have a squeeze! Hugging some who is as stiff as cardboard isn’t very satisfying and doesn’t even feel that good!

Let me finish by saying this. I think practicing our trust muscle will open some worlds for us. One way we can exercise this muscle is by trusting the significant people in our lives with our true selves. But what else? After reading this, can you think of other ways you can increase trust in your life?

‘A trusting heart is a beautiful heart.’

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