Frenemies: Managing Anxiety
I carry a little anxiety. When I say a little, what I really mean is that I carry a lot of anxiety. I can truthfully say, I’ve never felt the full force of it in my body before well… now.
I grew up with rules and a clear understanding of what was expected of me. There were consequences for my choices when I chose to disobey the powers that be. Rules became my guideposts. I was very comfortable with structure; in fact, I became reliant on it. I felt very safe knowing that we all follow these “rules,” and we hold people accountable when they break them. Yes, I truly thought we all honor the same rules and suffer the consequences when they are ignored. As long as I felt someone was in control and ruled fairly, my world made sense. When things felt out of control, my anxiety grew, and with it my need to control my circumstances. I was a perfectionist. Trying to be perfect in an imperfect world tightened my grip on the reigns of my reality. Eventually as the sands in my life started shifting, I had to let go and make room for the possibility that I was not in charge and Anxiety and I had to renegotiate our dynamic.
Here are a few guidelines that I’ve discovered as I have gotten to know this tight knit group of emotional badasses.
Be loyal: I don’t strive to cut Anxiety out of my life. Although I do not want her to control my life, I do get that she serves me. She alerts me to change. She gives me clear signals in my body when I am in the process of transforming dysfunctional patterns. When the old ways of relating stop working, she starts in on me. I can feel her presence growing inside of me, and my first instinct is shut her up. Despite my discomfort, if I hang in there, we eventually have a conversation. I listen as I voice my thoughts and feelings to determine, based on the vibrational resonance in my body, if it is indeed my truth. The closer I get to my truth the more she understands I do not need her, and she steps back. She knows that when I am feeling confident, she doesn’t need to call my attention to anything, so she gives me the space I need to make new choices. It’s not always easy to refuse her help. She is very invested in my safety on all fronts. When I feel threatened, she is right there sounding the alarms to push me past my limiting beliefs. Set boundaries: It has only been recently that I decided that how I deal with her wisdom no longer works for me and I must now look for new ways to incorporate her insights. In the past when I heard her voice I would panic and seek to stuff that feeling down with food or perhaps a glass of wine. Some days when she was particularly loud, I go for a run. Moving as fast as my legs take me seems to quiet her down. This still works, unless my knees inform me otherwise, so it’s not a viable path long term. What I am learning about myself is that when I reject a part of me, any part of me, I hold myself apart from acceptance. If I can do that to me, law of attraction would dictate that I can and will do that to you. That is what you feel from me when I am in judgement of you. It feels like I am rejecting a part of you that I do not like, but energetically, it’s my inability to embrace the shadow parts of me that increases the space between us. Show them respect: Find positive ways to relate to the negative parts of you. Love all of you. All of your bits and pieces are attempting to show you your limits and alert you to a change you are sensing but cannot yet name. If you are jealous of another woman’s body, your spirit wants you to align with a healthier body. Will going to the gym and eating healthier help you to feel better about you? If you feel good about your own body, you don’t notice others in the same painful way. Jealousy can also tell you that you are sensing something between your partner and another person that threatens your relationship. You may not have any proof other than feeling insecure but stay present to discover Jealousy’s message. She might have picked up on something you are now ready to see. And let’s face it, nobody’s perfect…not even Jealousy. She may have it all wrong and she needs to give you a little more time to get the facts before she goes batshit crazy! Let her know you will listen to her but only when you are in a more calm place, and then do what it takes to get there: meditate, go for a walk, or write in your journal. Whatever it is you need to do that will move you into a better frame of mind to enable you to see things more objectively.
Reciprocity: Our energy system consists of many layers. The shadow emotions come from the emotional and mental layers. They are governed by the lower chakras. Here’s the thing, we need all of the chakras to be in good working order to successfully navigate life. When all of our chakras are lined up and flowing, we push our energy all the way through the body into the higher chakras and connect into universal wisdom and each other. When we ignore or dismiss our feelings that come from these places, we stop the flow of energy in our body and that creates stagnation and dis-ease. By embracing the good, the bad and the ugly we allow those thoughts and feelings to come into the light and to be explored.
Much like we would soothe a small child we can abate these Negative Nancies’ impact on us by being curious as to what triggered their appearance. Often, they show up in an attempt to protect us. These are after all, patterns that were created whenever we felt disempowered in our lives. For many, this could be traced back to childhood when survival instincts took over. Because they always seem to work in the past, they remain buried in our subconscious. As we coax them forward, we now understand that we are very capable of managing our lives in ways that we can control. We can make choices to support our highest and best and no longer need to rely on those outside voices for our well-being.
Any healthy relationship consists of give and take. By taking the time to understand these parts of you, you allow their messages to be heard. When you view these emotions as the enemy, something that is bad and must be stopped, you split your energetic vibration, lowering your point of attraction. You keep yourself tied to fear and far from the higher vibrational force of love. That translates into every experience you have, as you can only experience in the outside world what is being cultivated within you.
Your new BFF The next time you find yourself feeling less than stellar, ask how it is serving you. What can you learn about you and your needs in that moment? As luck and universal wisdom would have it, the compassion that you begin to hold for yourself will draw more compassionate people to you as like attracts like! These are the people that will not only love and accept who you are, but they are the people that will also hold the space for you to unravel the parts that you are now not.
I have a whole new respect for Anxiety. She ramps things up sometimes, but that is often what it takes for me to push through the tasks that I’m not fond of. I am working with her influence on the people in my life. I don’t let any of my friends control my relationships with others, and she’s no exception. I am no longer that little girl that needs a greater force balancing the scales of life. I get that my control in my world begins and ends with me. I let her know that I am aware we are uncomfortable, but we won’t find a workable solution until we calm down and invite Intuition over for a little tête-a-tête.