by Kim Olver

My friend recently wrote something on Facebook that, for me, sparked some further thinking: “I used to worry about people I love. Now I just love them.” Later that same day, a client of mine shared a story about her mind wandering while home with her husband on a Saturday night. She began thinking about the persistent cough her daughter has had for the last two years, which evolved into the idea she may have cancer. She imagined her daughter dying, leaving behind her children that she and her husband would need to take care of. She went from zero to sixty in three seconds—persistent cough equals dead daughter and raising her children!

I shared those words from Facebook with my client, and, with Choice Theory in Mind, we discussed why people choose to worry. Choice Theory tells us all behavior is purposeful and most behavior is chosen, so why would a person choose to worry?

  1. To show others how much you care. “Look how much I love you. I’m so worried.”
  2. To control people. “If you see how much worry you are causing me, you’ll stop.”
  3. To control an outcome. “If I don’t worry, something really bad will happen.”

My client related to the first reason; what kind of mother/wife/daughter/friend would she be if she didn’t worry? This led to a conversation about what could be the alternative to worry.

When you really love someone, the best way to demonstrate that is through unconditional trust. I’m not talking about the usual type of trust where your mother “trusts” you won’t have a party over the weekend, or your husband “trusts” you are where you say you are. In these cases, trust is essentially used as emotional blackmail. “If I trust you and you don’t follow through, then I feel justified feeling angry or betrayed when you don’t measure up.”

When I love someone, I don’t need to worry about them because I trust they will do what’s best for them (not necessarily me). This is the unconditional trust I’m talking about. If whatever they do doesn’t work out the way they planned, I trust them to figure out their next best move. I also trust that if they want my help, they will ask me for it. Love doesn’t need worry; love needs unconditional trust.

Ever since I discovered this thought, I have had multiple opportunities to practice unconditional trust. Whenever I find myself wanting a person in my life to make a different choice, I recognize it’s time to apply the concept; I remind myself to trust them to do what’s best and to learn from their mistakes. Do you ever want the people in your life to make different choices? Want to join me in the Unconditional Trust Challenge?

For the next thirty days, practice unconditional trust whenever you find yourself frustrated, hurt, angry, or disappointed by choices another person makes. By putting trust in yourself and the Universe, everything will work out for your benefit, even if it doesn’t seem that way initially. Join me in letting go of the need to have others respond the way you want for you to be happy. Let’s create our own happiness through the freedom and genuine love demonstrated through unconditional trust.

Let me know how it is going.

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