Trust the process has been a theme in my life a lot lately. I am also seeing this theme in others around me. Trust the process is often used in the work I do as a therapist. Seems like a great day to look at trusting the process.
The origins of the phrase “trust the process” comes from the basketball team the Philadelphia 76ers. According to Dictionary.com “Trust the Process is a slogan used by fans of the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers, though it has since become popular elsewhere in sports and culture. Coined during a rough patch for the team, it basically means “things may look bad now, but we have a plan in place to make it better.”
My definition is slightly different. In the process of having a plan and doing the work when things are bad it is also having faith that things will get better. Holding onto your faith with all of your might and not letting go.
Mandy Hale said “Trust the wait. Embrace the uncertainty. Enjoy the beauty of becoming. When nothing is certain anything is possible.”
Yesterday morning I went to a electronic recycling event in Henrietta, NY. You needed to sign up for a time. I left early because I was uncertain about where I was going. The first time my GPS directed me to an incorrect location. The second time it felt like I was not on track. I perhaps missed some turns due to not focusing and belting out some songs in my car. I did not know where the heck I was going. At one point I decided to focus on what the GPS was telling me, turn down the music, and pay attention to what was around me. That became a game changer. I saw the beauty of my surroundings. My course felt certain and accurate. My frustration of not knowing where I was going dissolved. I knew I would get there and all would be well.
This a minor example of the hardships so many people are facing in this world. After I left the recycling event with all of my electronics gone I spoke to my friend who had back surgery. She is in the part of her healing where the pain medication is being decreased. Pain, while not as horrific as before, has returned. She drags her left leg and can barely move her left foot. The next phase of work has begun where she will go to physical therapy. She was grouchy because she is tired and hurts. I reminder her of the fact that she only had surgery one week ago. Her body needs time to heal. That by doing the work she will get better. There will be less pain, more mobility. To trust the process.
“I am learning to trust the journey even when I do not understand it.” Mila Bron
Part of what can trip us humans up in trusting the process is our need to hang on to as much control as possible so much that we feel we can determine the outcome. In an article in by the NCBI titled “Born to Choose: The Origins and Value of the Need for Control” talks about our biology plays a role in our need for control and our choices. “In stressful situations, perceived control may modulate emotion by reducing negative affect. Though it is adaptive to automatically generate emotional responses to threats in the environment, it is necessary for an individual to appropriately modulate those responses for the given context.”
Do our choices make a difference? Absolutely. Do our choices guarantee the results we are expecting? Not necessarily. Your mindset and actions play a huge role in trusting the process. To hold on to your faith with everything you’ve got that things will be better.
Remarkable person times are challenging and hard. How you approach the process can present you with glorious potential and possibilities. Will you need to do work and take action. Yes. Yet if you tune down the distractions and pay attention to what is around you perhaps you will discover a new thing or two about yourself. Perhaps the destination will provide something more incredible than you ever imagined.
May you trust the process💜