Sometimes we need to learn to trust in the Divine more than we do. But other times we actually need to learn the lesson of trusting ourselves.
On a bunny hill on a frigid but beautiful snowy day in upstate New York, I was watching my four-year-old daughter Elsa, who is tiny but incredibly athletic, learn to ski. Because it had been a good eight years since I’d skied myself, I signed up for a co-lesson from the same ski instructor.
Even though I’d once skied down some medium-hard slopes in Utah without breaking a single bone, that seemed like several lifetimes ago. I figured I’d be starting, if not from zero, then from maybe one and a half. I rode up the little bunny hill escalator with my daughter, feeling only a bit ridiculous, and was doing all right on the itty-bitty slope, as long as the instructor only expected me to ski in a straight line.
“I don’t remember how to turn,” I told him. He showed me several little turning tricks and had me practice doing them without my skis on, then with them on. It seemed hard. My skis wanted to go straight down the hill. Elsa was doing terrific, though. Suddenly, she cried out “Mommy!!” I saw her little snowsuited form lying in the snow way over to my left, and of course I immediately skied over to her.
“You just turned, you know!” the instructor yelled to me, but I ignored him. My baby needed me. She was fine, up and skiing around a few seconds later. Soon we took a well-deserved lunch break, and afterwards my twelve-year-old, Dania, wanted me to ski the regular slopes with her. Daddy could go with Elsa. Knowing it was only fair but quaking inside, I set out with Dania on the real lift, which soared impossibly high over the sparkly white of the snow and deep green of the treetops.
My main fear in Utah years ago had been the ski lift. Never had I done so much ThetaHealing in so little time and at so high an altitude: I had changed beliefs like “I am always in danger” to “I am safe,” and “I must be very cautious to protect myself” to “God always protects me.” When you change your beliefs with ThetaHealing, the changes are real and permanent, so this time around I was brave about the ski lift.
But then I was at the top of a real hill. Dania, an intuitive kid who is almost impossible to fool with fake confidence, had been incredibly solicitous to me on the lift, and now glanced over at me with worry on her lovely little face. “I’m fine,” I assured her. “Don’t wait for me; go ahead and ski as fast as you want and I’ll meet you down at the bottom.” But inside I was wondering if it would be inconvenient to call a helicopter to come get me from the hilltop.
I set off very slowly, as was my plan, and kept looking down at my skis in order to will them to turn at the right time. Skiers and snowboarders whooshed past me. Dania was just ahead at first but then her superior skiing skills kicked in and I couldn’t see her. I focused on my turns. I was doing it! My body remembered way more than I did about skiing.
At the bottom of the hill, Dania cheered for me as I skied in. “You did it!” she declared, as if she’d had some grave doubts on the matter. “I did it,” I agreed. But apparently you have to do these things more than once, because soon we were on the lift again, and at the top of the hill again.
We set off. I focused on my skis. Turn. Straight. Turn. But somehow it seemed hard and boring at the same time, and I knew I was missing out on something. I connected to All That Is. “Trust yourself,” I heard. Great. Wasn’t there someone better I could trust? I decided to follow the guy in front of me, who was gliding in smooth back-and-forth S’s down the broad hill.
And seconds later I was gliding in smooth back-and-forth S’s down the hill! It wasn’t boring or hard at all, but exhilarating, effortless, and joyful. I had stopped looking down and worrying, and started looking out ahead of myself and trusting. Our next time down the slope, I didn’t follow the guy in front of me. I just skied down the huge snowy hill with my daughter.
Do you really trust yourself? What would you do if you did? What are you missing out on because you don’t? Maybe it will be easier than you think — as easy as looking out ahead of you instead of down at your feet, as easy as gliding down a snowy hill to someone you love. Try something you think is hard, trust yourself, and let me know how it goes!