Breathe through the Burn 2


“Hold the vision,” they said,

“Trust the process,” they said.

But what about when the vision, is the ability to trust? How do we trust the process, of learning how to trust? I have been thinking about this a lot lately.

I don’t know about you but sometimes I feel like I tread on tippy toes around the very word, trust. I often feel like it is such a delicate word. It’s an important word that could mean different things to different people. How can I be sure that the word trust holds the same worth to me as it does to you? Or how can I know that the word trust carries the same weight for you as it does for me?

And then maybe it’s got nothing to do with the word itself and maybe it’s got more to do with my relationship with the concept of trust that inevitably colours the way I translate and interpret the word.

Trust has never come easily to me. I struggle. Despite how much I subscribe to the idea that trust brings freedom and regardless of how much of this I have seen in other people’s lives; the display of sheer abandonment to fear as they go about trusting others, including themselves. Even though, I still struggle. I have this dire need to understand and know x, y, and z before I move forward… and a lot of the time, if I can’t get the understanding I need, I get stuck, and when I get stuck, fears and anxiety creep in and mess me up. So, I believe that trust is liberating but how? How does anyone do it?

I am learning that it is little by little. And repeat. Little by little. And repeat. The same way we might develop our fitness. Little by little. And repeat.

On Monday night, I took a boxing class and we had to grab hold of two 1.5kg weight plates and begin shadow boxing. So; jab-jab-cross, jab-jab-cross, into the air in front of us with the weight plates. All it took was 15seconds and the burning in my arms were rip-roaring through. The burn set in quicker than the trained boxer across the room using 2.5kg plates; shadow boxing at the speed of light. At the first sign of the pain, I wanted to stop. And I did. But I also know that the only way to get stronger, quicker, fitter (hold the vision) is to push and breathe through the burn (trust the process) and do it again (move forward).

Trusting is scary because it requires feeling the burn. We only learn how valuable trust is when it breaks and we hurt. Often the reason, my reason, why it’s hard and why it’s a struggle. No one likes the burn. Pain can be so overwhelming. It seems easier to avoid the burn but avoiding the burn does not liberate us. Indeed, we are always going to get hurt and I have found that the process of learning to trust (hold the vision) is also little by little. And repeat. Little forgiveness by little forgiveness. And then repeat. Little forgiveness by little forgiveness. Feel the burn of disappointment (trust the process) and breathe through it and go onto trusting another, in spite of (move forward). Little by little.

And if you are feeling the burn of the trusting process, breathe through the burn, my friend.

It will burn but just keep breathing. little by little. and repeat.



About Jo-Anne Gordon

I am South African born, with a fiery, passionate heart. I absolutely adore the smell of fireplaces burning in winter and freshly brewed coffee first thing in the morning. I am a dreamer, a deep thinker and have been on the most amazing spiritual journey since 2004. I am most captivated by black and white photography and my favourite moments in life are when you laugh until your sides ache. Always seeking, always learning, and always aspiring to a fully present life anchored by grace.

2 thoughts on “Breathe through the Burn

  • Nadia

    Your timing is perfect with this dear, sweet lady!
    I have a chronic illness…well TWO. They truly require “trusting the process”…something I think about ALL the time! If I do a, b, and c, then I will get d–simple right? Except sometimes the d? Well, that gets to be a slippery sucker sometimes–and wow, does it burn! It burns SO deep, it consumes me. But, you’re right: repeat, go forward. Because I already have evidence of trusting in a, b and c to give me what I need and want–to be strong and healthy…. (The vision). So, yes: I let it burn. I fight like hell to breath through it. Then, I fight more to forgive–my body for it’s blip– reframe that it is not deceiving me (because it cooperates WAY more often in SO many ways!) and I trust the process.
    Thank you so much. …throwing some trust vibes your way!

  • Jodie McCarthy

    I love the “feel the burn” analogy. When we stretch our “trust” muscles in ways they are not used to, of course there will be discomfort. But that doesn’t mean that it’s not a good thing. Oh and “breathe through the burn” is gold. xx

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