I started sharing bits and pieces of my anxiety story in a pretty bold blog about facing the fear that arises along with anxiety. That blog was warmly received with a surprising amount of inspiring feedback. To the people who reached out to me: thank you with all of my heart. You are a big reason why I’m going to keep sharing my story especially when it comes to anxiety. Let’s keep this conversation going.
When you’re in the thick of it, let’s be honest, you can’t usually tell (especially if this is a new sensation or emotion for you). Your life keeps ticking away, you keep dealing with whatever life throws at you and overall it feels hard. When I began to feel a little lighter and have a little more faith that I could overcome those feelings, these are the three facts (or statements or affirmations etc) that helped me keep going… and I still remind myself of them every single day.
1. The World Is Not Against You
I totally thought everyone was out to make my life difficult and the Universe hated me. Why else would all the bad hard stupid stuff keep happening?! Well, to be bluntly honest: because I chose to see it that way. Because it was easier to blame and point fingers than feel what I didn’t want to feel and say the things I didn’t want to say. A beautiful friend of mine who has recently been going through a challenging time told me that it’s just been too hard for too long. And doesn’t that put it all in a nutshell so neatly? It’s been too hard for too long.
It’s not that you aren’t strong and it’s not that you haven’t had to find your own way through dark forests. It’s that you’re tired and craving simplicity. Why can’t it be easier?
This bad hard stupid place is something we should all learn to cherish (yep, try it). The world is not against you. I promise that the World, the Universe, the Divine Mother, God, LOVES YOU. And that when you feel like you just can’t anymore…. there is a greater good (whatever s/he looks and feels like for you) that is teaching you something.
The world is not against you. Your internal dialogue is telling you that to feed your fear, your insecurities, your anger.
Whenever I find myself in a particularly difficult place I remind myself it is an opportunity to grow, a chance to use every ounce of energy I have left to push through to the other side…. to the easier awesome sparkly place.
2. You, And Only You, Are Responsible For Your State/Actions/Emotions
Oh yes. It’s true. Stop blaming the world and start looking inward. Because every single time you have reacted to something, you’ve had a choice. You can choose to show people many different sides of you. You can take things personally or you can allow them to float by. You can choose to blame others (spoiler alert: it’s not going to help). You can choose to ask yourself why you just put up your walls or why you just cringed or why that whatever-it-is triggered you.
I’m going to reference another previous blog here and reiterate: you can choose to be mad, angry, insecure, pissed off, negative, sad, distant, passive, mean, closed off, empty. You can also choose to be content, happy, pleased, kind, nice, funny, grateful, open-minded, opportunistic, loving.
You have to be aware of the fact that you are choosing to feel defeated, and more often than not, victimized. It’s okay to be overwhelmed. It’s even okay – actually it’s more than okay – to allow yourself to feel/be down and stay there for a while. Go inward. Go deep soul-diving. Notice what comes up when you’re down. But you have to know that if you choose to stay jealous, it is your choice.
This awareness will lead to more questions, more understanding and a greater acceptance of who you are. That’s your trump card right there; they key to unleashing all of your super powers.
3. Speak Truthfully
If you don’t want to be around too many people tonight, tell them. If you need help cleaning the house, ask. If someone said something that offended you, talk about it. If you really want something or really don’t want something, express that honestly.
Fact: We are not mind-readers.
Fact: If you don’t say it, no one is going to hear you.
Please! Please! Say what you’re thinking. Express your needs, desires, triggers. If you don’t, then you can’t get upset that “nobody understands”.
Seriously. How is anyone supposed to know how you feel if you don’t tell them?
This can be tricky. If you haven’t been super honest with yourself then being honest with others is a whole new ball game. If you’ve been putting on a facade for a while and all of a sudden you’re honest about your anxiety, then people might be surprised or confused and they may have questions. Putting yourself out there and being truthful is scary (but I’m all about facing fears, so go for it!). If you feel like no one gets it, or no one is helping, or no one is saying the right stuff, or whatever… if you’re not feeling supported then you have to tell those around you the truth. People love you. They will support you the best they can once you express whatever it is you’ve been hiding. Time to be bold.