I know what you’re thinking, “I hate having anxiety!” – maybe I’m wrong in saying this, but my guess is, I’m not.
It’s not a pleasant feeling: maybe you have a knot in your stomach, tightness in your chest or shoulders, nausea, insomnia, or fatigue. I know for me, I didn’t like it when I had it. In fact I rejected it with every ounce of energy I could muster, mind and body! I HATED it. And all I wanted was for it to go away.
Why am I talking about this? Because I experienced it as a “wake up” call 10 years ago that started me on my “soul journey,” and because I know that it’s prevalent amongst most people, especially women, that I talk with.
So I’m here to tell you something. It’s a gift. “What?!” you scream. Yes, it’s a gift. I know that’s not what you want to hear. But the truth is, it’s a gift.
Here’s my story with anxiety:
It started 10 years ago. I woke up one morning with a tightness in my chest. I’d never experienced it before. I ran around my house re-arranging furniture, exercising really hard, or doing anything to run away from the discomfort.
Several weeks later, I had a panic attack. I thought I was going crazy. Me, the strong, had all my shit together woman, was on the floor in a ball of tears hyperventilating. I knew at that point I needed help. One to be highly independent and believed counseling was for people who didn’t have their shit together, it took an emotional earthquake to get me to ask for help.
So I did. I found out what it was called, and I started reading every book I could find on it. I continued having anxiety. I was in a relationship at the time, I struggled with what intuition, and the anxiety, were telling me. That he wasn’t the right person. The logic of my mind, and fear, however, kept me going: he’s the perfect guy, we’re the perfect couple, I love him, he loves me, we have this house together, what will other people think, how can I go on without him, etc, etc.
The anxiety increased. It was like someone was stabbing me in the chest. The pain and discomfort were so great; I tried anxiety meds and anti-depressents, and finally reached a point where I didn’t want to go on living anymore. That was the “dark night of the soul” for me. Where I hit rock bottom. It’s amazing how much fear and desiring for things to be a certain way, will bring us to such places. It did for me.
And that’s when I told him. We weren’t right for each other. I stepped through my fears. He moved out. And the anxiety went away 3 days later. It was my intuition speaking to me. Telling me that I couldn’t be with someone who loved me with a closed heart. And so I began to open. To awaken to my heart. To awaken to my True Nature.
This wouldn’t have happened without anxiety. I would not be here, right now, writing this blog, sharing my story, being vulnerable. I would be running around in my life with a closed heart, proving myself, reaching for things that ultimately provided no lasting happiness.
I struggled with anxiety on and off for several years following the end of the relationship. I resisted it, read about it, and became more intimate with what it was telling me. And when I listened and embraced it, the anxiety told me I was not being true, or in alignment, with my soul or my heart. And I did not always know why at the time, but when I trusted it, the anxiety stopped, and I saw clearly why later.
So what does all of this mean for you? Anxiety has a message for you. It’s a message from your body that something is out of alignment in your life, either inside or outside of you, that needs to be changed, and/or because you have fear of the future, believing you are in control of how life will unfold for you, or “should” be.
I experienced both. And my guess is, you do as well.
Here are some tools to help with anxiety:
- Embrace it. What we resists persists. Open your heart to it. Acknowledge it. Welcome it into your body.
- Meditate daily or spend 5-15 minutes a day doing something calming for yourself. When I don’t meditate, I begin to feel anxious, or restless. It will calm the nerves, and help you find your center, or grounding.
- Look at your life, and ask: “What needs to change?” or “What am I resisting in my life that needs to change?” – is it within me (like connecting with your Spirituality), or is it needing to change a job, leave a partner, or something else?
- Say to yourself: “I am not in control. I trust life as it is, in this moment.” Say this over, and over, and over, and over again.
And remember, anxiety is your gift. It’s a messenger from your body that something needs to shift. Embrace it. Listen to it. Head it’s calling.
Categories: Conflict & Forgiveness, Stress & Anxiety