Why I thank my anxiety & what it's taught me.
Thanking your anxiety?!?! Why on earth would I want to do that?!
For anyone who suffers from any level of anxiety you know how outlandish this concept sounds... thanking something that is causing you mental, physical and emotional pain just sounds foolish doesn't it?
Well I thought that way for a long time too but it didn't get me very far.
Starting from around the age of 23 I started to feel something I had never felt before. My chest would get heavy, my pulse would race, I got short of breath, I was light headed, my mind was racing and I straight up just didn't feel good. I was starting to experience anxiety and I did NOT like it one bit.
Each year I felt it took a different form or shape shifted it's way into areas of my life that were, from all accounts, stress and anxiety free. I will never forget the night when I was playing cards with my parents and sister and out of nowhere KABLAMO I had one of my most intense anxiety attacks ever. My sister had to rub my back and read to me until I calmed down enough to stop crying and go to sleep. This was my rock bottom.
This was when I realized there was something happening inside of me that I needed to listen to.
This was when I knew I couldn't ignore these feelings any longer or pass them off as stress or general worry.
This was when I started to dig deeper into what anxiety was and why it was affecting me like this.
For the next 5 years I dove into any self help book that resonated with me in my current state. I listened to audios and watched videos related to bettering yourself and your life. I attended self development workshops and seminars in hopes that they could wake me up to something bigger than the pain I was feeling. I experienced a plant medicine ceremony, Ayahuasca, where I purged, healed past wounds and so many of my scars, negative self talk and insecurities were exposed. I learnt how to meditate, find stillness and how to observe my thoughts. I did whatever I could to heighten my level of awareness and find the source of my agony.
What I started to uncover has changed the way I see and how I feel about anxiety.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE UNDERSTANDING ANXIETY:
EGO VOICE VS GUT VOICE
This is something I share with practically every single one of my clients and is something we truly need to get a grasp of before any real self awakening can begin. So buckle in.
The EGO VOICE is the ever evolving narrative that happens in our heads. The voices that have created their scripts from external factors and experiences. The things your parents, teachers, elders and role models told you about how you should look at yourself, others and your life. The pains, betrayals, losses and failures. The relationships that hurt you mentally, emotionally and even physically. These are some of the things that shape our EGO VOICE.
Your EGO VOICE says things like this:
(and let me know if any of them ring a bell because they do for me) :
" I am not good enough."
"I know he (she) is bad to me, but I don't think I could find better."
"Don't do that because you might fail."
"I am unlucky."
"Who am I to deserve that."
"I need you to love me so I feel validated."
"I can't be myself because what if they don't like me."
"I want to fit in so I can feel special."
"What I wear is a reflection of my self worth."
"I can never be successful."
"Why do they not want to love me even though I have given them so much of myself?"
"I cannot do things for myself because that is selfish."
"I have to take care of the needs of others first to be sure they like me."
"I can't say no because I could be rejected."
"But what if they talk badly about me."
The list is long, ever evolving and the voices are relentless.
Every choice I made was riddled with insecurity, fear and neediness in one form or another. It was running my life and I was no longer the driver.
What I learnt was that when your ego voice becomes so loud, it drowns out one other very important voice, your GUT VOICE.
Your GUT VOICE says things like this:
"You are worth more then this."
"You can accomplish anything."
"You can succeed."
"This isn't right for you, leave."
"You don't need him(her) to feel validated."
"You are not living to your true potential, adjust your direction."
"You are not dependent on material things to make you feel accomplished."
"You are calm and balanced."
"You can handle anything that comes your way."
"You are lovable."
"You deserve kindess."
"Do not settle for something that doesn't make your heart fill."
"Follow your passion."
Anxiety is when your EGO VOICE and GUT VOICE are in conflict.
When what you are doing is not what you should be doing
When you are not honouring a part of yourself.
When you are acting in ways that are not in line with your true self.
When you are not where you should be.
When your heart is pulling you one way but your fear is pulling you the other.
When you are not living according to your own true nature.
When you are living out of fear and insecurity.
When you are not taking care of yourself mentally, emotionally and physically.
When you are second guessing a decision that you know "in your gut" to be right.
So why do I thank my anxiety?
I thank my anxiety because it woke up a part of me that needed more. It pushed me to realize that I was valuable. It didn't rest until I started to listen and adjust my life accordingly. It motivated me to seek more of myself and my situation. It got me out of constantly choosing the guy who would hurt me, belittle me and diminish my worth. It made me ask myself "but what makes YOU happy?". It directed me to find not only myself but my passion. It has given me access to a part of myself that knows I am a powerful creator and not just a victim of my reality. It was such an integral part of my self-development, and still teaches me lessons today in different ways.
And for that I am forever grateful.
So start to thank your anxiety instead of resenting it. Start to listen to what it is trying to say to you. It will show you the dark spots so you can start to fill them with light. If you listen and dedicate more time to self care, you can move towards a better feeling, more fulfilling and happier life. You just have to make that commitment to yourself and have patience with your journey, because you did not get this way over night.
One breath. One meditation. One day at a time.
.....because life is meant to rock!