Guided Writing Sessions

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Guided Writing Session One: August 11

Thanks to all that joined the session!

Listen to the Audio Playback

Writing Prompt 1: Are there relationships in your life where trust is in question? If so, why and with whom? If not, why not?

Writing Prompt 2: Who do you need to love more in your life? Why does this matter? Be specific.

To share a piece of writing, click 'Reply', post your work, and click 'Submit'.

The playback links will be accessible through the end of September. The writing prompts and responses will remain here in the Writers Circle.

Deleted user has reacted to this post.
Deleted user

I do not trust my mother. Does it get any deeper than that?
I do not trust her to want to listen to how I am. She certainly never asks "How do you feel?". I cannot trust her with a secret; she always shared my letters from college with the rest of her family, just like my grandmother used to do, making sure everyone had all the news. Not allowing any confidences or closeness. I now see what a boundary violation that was. It eroded any trust I might have tried placing in her in my 20s.
I don't trust her to be warm and receiving of my love and I cannot trust that she will show me love, understanding, nurturance, though sometimes she occasionally does, in her own way which is incredibly guarded and usually removed with a negative comment the next time we chat.
She calls herself "mean" (as in measly, miserly) and so I have learnt not to trust her to be generous. She doesn't give gifts at Christmas or on birthdays. Sometimes slips a few dollars into a card for her grandchildren, but doesn't trust herself to be able to buy something they would need/want and no amount of my encouragement has changed that. She is a self-hating lost cause. 
I now know that as a baby I couldn't trust her to hold me (there were rules against it, plus my brothers would get jealous). She didn't pick me up to feed me when I cried, there were rules about that too. "Healthy neglect" she calls it. I now think it verged on child abuse. So I couldn't trust her to resolve the hunger in my belly, nor the hunger in my heart. 
I still cannot trust her to not shame me in front of others. She herself is ashamed of showing me love or cherishing in front of others; preferring to call me attention-seeking when I used to seek it. 

I can and have explained that all away with understanding her upbringing and her own self-hatred, but today I don't need to make those excuses for her and take care of her reputation. Today I see the damage that did to my ability to trust others and to connect with others. Today I acknowledge it and promise to continue the work that leads me to trusting myself. And I see I have trusted myself to share this in black and white. An act of self-love.


Tender, raw vulnerability and seeing Emma.

You definitely experienced the mother wound full out.

Interesting you are traversing the ancient wounding of the feminine, and coming to a deeper wholeness and wisdom in your life, that will most certainly infuse your work.

This is definitely the time of the sacred feminine voice rising.  Magnificent!

Mark Matousek has reacted to this post.
Mark Matousek

Thanks for this, Emma.  When you can't trust your mother -- an experience I shared -- it cracks the foundation of trust in the world ("You learn the world from your mother's face").  Luckily, you see how this happened and rightfully hold her responsible for poor mothering rather than blaming yourself for being unworthy. Dropping the habit of reflexive mother-defense is a big step toward healing.  Two things are true: your mother was wounded and she withheld her love. The former does not justify the latter. 

krystal has reacted to this post.

Trust is in question in all of my relationships because I have never learned to truly trust anyone.  It was a lesson learned the hard way, at a very early age, at the hands of my parents.  Yet it hardly seems credible that these lessons still affect my relationships and sense of safety in my sixth decade. Regrettably I do not even trust myself, which makes it even harder to trust other people. 

But why can I not trust myself?  I have been in charge of my own safety, my own growth, my own success for as long as I can remember.  I’ve done a pretty good job. Yet despite all that I have accomplished and all of the resilience and strength I have shown throughout my childhood, adolescence and adulthood, it seems there is never enough ‘proof’ that I can trust my strength, my power, my intuition, my own capacity to keep my loved ones and myself safe.  Or that I can be happy even without being able to fully trust.

Never enough proof that most people are good, kind and not out to harm me if I let them get close. Never enough evidence that I am safe, well and capable of staying that way. Never enough proof that I am doing the best I can at this thing called ‘life’ and that my best is perfectly good enough.  Never enough evidence that some people actually like, respect and love me, exactly as I am.   

How can I trust their love and regard when I have not learned to love or trust my own?

How can I trust that this will ever change? 

How do I learn to “trust the trust” that I see glimmers of at various times with the very few people who have gotten past my outer barriers? 

How do I stop myself from immediately looking for signs that my trust is misplaced, premature, a disaster in the making? 

How do I learn to comfortably and safely put both feet in the boat instead of always needing to keep one in and one out, so that bailing and running are easier when bailing and running are indicated?

Perhaps I cannot trust myself because I cannot love myself.

Mark Matousek has reacted to this post.
Mark Matousek

Thanks for this, Pat!  You've written about lacking "evidence" and "proof" that you can trust people (including yourself), as if you were prosecuting a case against Humanity (indeed, Life) itself before an Old Testament judge and jury that refuses to budge from its negative, fixed position.  I wonder what might happen if you shifted this stereotypical "male" perspective (inflexible, unforgiving, damning, judgmental) to a more integrated one that includes the "female" view (empathic, open-hearted, generous, inclusive)?  Feminine wisdom promotes flexibility and the capacity for change; it doesn't see the world as us-versus-them (or me-versus-everyone else), but understands that we're all damaged goods, works-in-progress, who want love even more than we want power (over others); and that openness (spirituality) is the only dependable path toward healing.  When it comes to emotions and relationships, the feminine is far braver and wiser than the masculine, which gives you a powerful head start. : )

I'm so glad to have you with us in the Forum!




Beautifully said, Mark.  Thank you.  

I hadn't planned to participate in this writing session as I'm writing other things, but then I watched the recording and discovered the questions particularly meaningful for me at this time.  Trust has definitely been an issue in my relationships over the years.  Often betrayed, I would become so disappointed in people. What about character, I would ask myself.  I remember some years back, finding the 20th anniversary edition of To Kill a Mockingbird with Gregory Peck and writing in my journal how watching  it had restored some of my faith in humanity at the time.  Deeply touched by the character, Atticus Finch, and having discovered through the DVD's bonus features that Gregory Peck was much like Atticus, I could believe again that there are people who try to do the right thing.

How could I be betrayed by another?  By not always seeing clearly--by wanting to see the best in someone and overlooking bad behavior, and not confronting bad behavior when I did see it. 

Something else that has troubled me over the years, and it happened again recently, is finding out a family member has talked about me behind my back, said something negative to someone else.  It is always hurtful.  I used to tell myself what someone else says or does has more to do with them than is does with me, and then I would try to let it go and move on.  I have to admit though the family relationship was never the same; the trust was broken, and I always withdrew a part of myself from the relationship. Today I'm asking myself another question--What is it about me that  makes someone else talk about me in a negative way?  I'm still pondering, but one thing did come to mind.  I remembered, as a child, my mom telling me that my dad had always felt like he was the black sheep of the family.  At the time, I thought white hat--good guy, black hat, bad guy.  I didn't get it, but later in life, I realized black sheep meant "different from," and that I did see. My dad was indeed different from his six siblings.  He was quiet (not prone to talk about others), compassionate, and loyal to his family; he was the one they all called when there was a problem.  And as I think about him now, if someone had spoken negatively about him, would he have reacted?  No, I don't think so.

Good questions, Mark.  Thanks for listening.

Mark Matousek has reacted to this post.
Mark Matousek

Reading everyone's posts I see we all have trials, which brings me great comfort!  After leaving fundamentalism, patriarchy, and religion, I have had to create new ways of thinking.  Believing that if you were a true follower of Jesus, I was taught our life should be almost perfect, which is a difficult way to live. 

I still struggle with this type of thinking, but I'm growing and learning how to use new tools such as meditation, yoga, and using selective scriptures as mantras. 

Thank you all for sharing your deep struggles, it reminds me, I am not alone.

The relationship that I struggle with trusting, is the relationship with myself. My rule book (the bible) I no longer follow as I did before. The only place I know to go, is within. This is when my soul feels the soul or love of the spirit. Sometimes I miss it (my correct direction.) Sometimes I don't. Most of the time it is uncomfortable, but I am able to talk to myself and say, "Shannon, wow, look at that wonderful decision, you are doing better than you think!" 

I need to love ME, more in my life! When I spend time singing, meditating, crying, stretching, and paying attention to my connection to source BEFORE my kids wake, even before the world wakes....I am able to think, make decisions, and respond IN LOVE to the day, my kids, situations, and I am even anxious to random compliment other people where ever we go. My older kids are now random complimenting when we go out and they on their own, see needs such as a mom with groceries and kids, an elderly couple that needs help carrying packages, and without saying a word, they step up and help. 



Dear Diane,

The truth about gossip is that everyone does it (to greater and lesser extents) and the question, "What is it about me that  makes someone else talk about me in a negative way?" is misguided and irrelevant.  This family gossip has nothing to do with you (you could be anybody) -- the rest is a story. This doesn't mean it wasn't hurtful, and doesn't mean you shouldn't be mindful of where and how and with whom you open your heart. But don't pin this relative's loose lips on yourself!  There's nothing to learn there. That's my two cents. : ). Great to have you here as always.


Dear Shannon,

I'm glad to know that you're benefitting from reading about other people's stories and tribulations!  It is so helpful to be reminded that we're not alone, as you put it, and that all of us are struggling in our own ways, for our own reasons. It sounds like you are learning to give yourself credit ("to love me more") and take the time you need to re-connect, do your spiritual practice, and have appreciation for every blessed day. : )

Hope to see you in the writing group tonight.  Take care!