PART 1. DO ANXIETY AWAY
Anxiety is my second most persistent lifelong companion. (Depression is first.)
Last year - feeling secure in other aspects of my life - I made a conscious effort to try to understand my anxiety.
That journey took me many places, which I'll share with you this year.
I'll start with a practical tip.
Often, we have to do tasks that give us anxiety. For example:
- We have to return a friend's call from last week, but it's gotten too late now;
- We have to read an email from a colleague that we saw a notification for; or
- We signed up for a friend's event that we know we're going to flake on.
I realized a few months ago, that what gave me anxiety was NOT these tasks themselves - but NOT DOING them!
It's not the tasks that give us anxiety; it's not doing them; avoiding them; putting them off; that gives us anxiety!
Last night, I finally caught up on all my emails and messages from the holidays -- Not because I was so busy until then, but more because my anxiety kept pushing me to postpone some tasks until later.
All the while though, those tasks were on my mind, and so was anxiety.
When I was done, I felt amazing. Free!
When in doubt, DO anxiety away!
PART II. LOVE IS IN THE GIVING, NOT THE RECEIVING.
Recall, I'd asked my therapist to help me manage my life-long struggle against anxiety.
He told me a story, about a scene from a movie, he had seen years ago.
In that scene, a mother whose young son has died, is alone at home; on the couch, under the covers; watching childhood home videos of her son; crying quietly, incessantly. Her son is gone forever; and she can never, ever, feel his love, again.
Then, in the scene, the camera pans up, and shows the (soul of the) son; sitting on a perch; watching his mother; with a beautiful, deep smile on his face.
My therapist said: "From the point of view of the mother, this is a sad scene; because the mother can never love her child again."
"But from a higher perspective - where the son is sitting - this scene is FULL OF LOVE! What love higher, purer, than a mother's love for her child?!"
If you look at things from a higher perspective, you'll find the things you thought were missing, originally.
At least because you, yourself, can be the source of those missing things. YOU, can bring love into any situation.