“Faith is the state of openness or trust.”
— Alan Watts
“Your weak point is the open, vulnerable place where you can
always be hurt. Love, in all its aspects, opens the self so fully.”
— Jeanette Winterson
Yesterday, I was talking about trusting other people and in thinking further on that and seeing a facebook post by someone, I remembered some things surrounding the idea of trust, vulnerability, and love.
The facebook post was a man who quit smoking two weeks ago and said he was now a non-smoker. I congratulate him because I did that for a very long time and thought I would never get away from it. It took a number of things leading up to the final decision that I would actually do it and follow through. It’s now been 9 years.
About a year before I quit, I went on a long weekend men’s church retreat in the mountains. I didn’t smoke from the time I arrived until I left. It was I think the longest time I had gone without smoking.
At the retreat, they had some programs they had us all participate in and they were all about trust–trusting in God and trusting in each other as brothers. So, they would have one person stand rigid, hands at their sides, feet together in the center of a circle of men. Then, they were to remain stiff and fall toward the circle and the circle of men would move that person all around and the person in the circle would have to trust that they would not be allowed to fall. Each of us took a turn to experience both points of view.
There were many other teamwork and trust events where we did an obstacle course and the idea was to help make sure that the entire team got to the finish line, so we had to learn to be creative as a team, and help others who were more challenged get through.
The last and final event was what all of this worked up to and this was that each of us were to stand on a platform about 10 feet off the ground, stand stiff and fall backward and the rest of the group were to catch that person arms raised in the air and insure they didn’t touch the ground. It was a challenge for the catchers and the faller to trust.
I can tell you that I remember that event with clarity and how it felt to fall backward from that height and what it felt like to be caught by about ten or fifteen people and lowered to the ground. It really changed my thinking in many ways. That whole event was powerful and I ended up writing three songs about what I learned there and played them in church and at the following year’s retreat to share it with them.
What I learned was to be more trusting and I learned that trusting was “letting go.” I had somehow thought trusting was something much more manly previously, but it is actually a very vulnerable thing. It was how I quit smoking. I fell backward off the platform and trusted that God would aid me in my decision and help strengthen my commitment. I do believe that trust is what allowed me to succeed.
Here’s a quote that helps support that idea of letting go:
“As your faith is strengthened you will find that there is no longer
the need to have a sense of control, that things will flow as they will,
and that you will flow with them, to your great delight and benefit.”
Is That Where The Let Go and Let God Phrase Came From? Expert Advice In My Book.
Spread Some Joy Today–Let go of some control today and experience a bit of vulnerability. It’s really quite courageous.