I hate anxiety. I really really hate it. Over the years I’ve struggled with worry, and when I married into this situation…..look out! I have walked more valleys in this blended family than I ever thought possible. I try very hard to keep a positive attitude, but let’s be realistic – when shit hits the fan, my initial reaction is not peace. It’s not to be calm and collected. It’s not to remember how God can help me, and it’s not to remember how to stop and think of the many different perspectives before my nerves and thoughts get up and run away.
They say when something disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up.
I say, easier said than done. You can’t give anything up until you’ve realized why you don’t need it, worked through the feelings and then were strong enough to release them, in my experience. I feel like some people were born with this incredible trait – they don’t give a shit about anything, or anyone. And when someone pisses them off, they cut them off, and move on. Smooth and simple. I’m not convinced that’s necessarily a positive trait, but I am convinced I don’t have it and probably never will.
When I feel nervous, guilty, or generally uneasy, it’s like my insides are trying to crawl out. Sorry for the description, but that’s anxiety to me. It’s right in my belly and moves all through me. But worse than the physical symptoms for me, are my thoughts. I start to feel like I can’t stop thinking about it, and it totally robs my peace.
But one thing I’ve learned is that we can either pretend our feelings aren’t there, or sit with them, as GOD AWFULLY uncomfortable as it is, and let them sharpen and change us. Recently I had something happen that brought up a long dead (so I thought) set of feelings, and my first reaction was to get rid of these feelings as fast as humanly possible. Just make them go away. I don’t want to feel overwhelmed, I don’t want to feel anything. I want to go back to feeling the calm before this. Can you relate? Of course you can. All seems to be going okay and then some shitstorm breaks in and messes everything up.
This happens to us all the time. As life was never promised to be easy, it brings about trouble. I always loved the saying, “you can’t calm the storms in your life, but you can calm yourself.” As soon as this shitstorm came about today, I thought immediately that I just hated those feelings, and I wanted to rid myself of them quickly. But then I took a deep breath and remembered, I can just get through this…or I can grow through it. The difference is that growing through it ensures wisdom. Getting through it ensures when it comes back (and it will – trials are a guaranteed thing), I will feel the same way the next time, and the next time and it won’t have taught me anything.
One lesson that’s currently on my radar is sitting with my feelings and letting them change me for the better. The definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over and expecting different results. If you’re like me, when the same storms come upon us, we often think “when will I ever learn??” The answer is that we learn when we walk into the shaky space that is uncomfortable yucky feelings and we allow ourselves to decipher what those feelings really mean about us. This helps us grow and this gives people and situations less power over us. Turns out it is really possible to calm our inner storm, but only if we find the tools within ourselves to weather it properly. Don’t let your feelings be cinder blocks that hold you down. Let them be lighthouses to a better you.