Happy New Year!
Wow, 2014 is here and I don’t know about you but I’m about to tackle some of my fears…fears no one else understands but me. Don’t tell me you don’t have fears now or a reoccurring struggle that you’re unable to get a handle on.
Perhaps, part of getting a handle on this struggle is to share it for it can heal others and so, here it goes…
Never thought I’d be sharing what I know that I know that I know has been a real issue for me in my life, all my life even though I’ve never been officially diagnosed.
I’ve struggled with anxiety in many ways from as young as I can remember. Till this day I’ve determined early factors in my life that maybe the reason why I’ve had this challenge. A dysfunctional home at times, a sheltered upbringing, a rigid religion/parenting, overly protected as a child and just plain old fear from seeds planted in my subconscious mind never forgotten some environmental some not so much.
Don’t get me wrong now, God bless my parents and all who had a hand in those early years for there’s a lot of good…amazing goodness.
And yet, today, I declare and always will that we are products of our upbringing and that our early caregivers shape our perceptions of the world around us and thus, our beliefs and these beliefs you can hang on to for years especially if accompanied by constant negative thinking and conversations. They shape you, make an imprint on your heart and mind and can be the reason why you feel you do not reach your potential.
One of my earliest memories of that uncontrollable feeling of panic, perspiration and a throbbing heart was anytime I was about to do a test of some sort. I know, we all did but I always felt mine was too intense to be normal. This is probably around Grade 4 when testing really became a daily part of the classroom rhythm.
I managed to get through the test but easily distracted, watching where everyone else was on their test and worried sick I wasn’t there yet, so, I’d skip this or that section. Sheer panic!
I excelled in every subject for the most part but French and Math were a challenge in those early primary years.
Panic became almost unbearable exam time in high school but thank goodness, I had gotten through the hour or hour and a half and by each year’s end, maintained my honour roll status.
I hadn’t learned any coping mechanisms up until this point. What motivated me was the simple reality that if I just gave up, I would maybe pass the course but not with the flying colours I was used to. I had high standards and just couldn’t be being anything less than an honour roll gal.
By now, I began a walk of faith, a very sincere one but with all my sincerity I still struggled with worry.
Here comes university, more challenges, more demands and more balance required. At this time, I was also away from my family in America and so, this time called for courage and getting to know myself.
Again, who we are socially, emotionally, mentally, spiritually and so on has much to do with those early beginnings or environment. I still found myself trying to learn myself in all these areas.
Somehow, with all my anxiety I never said “no” to opportunities I knew in my heart I was gifted to do. I’ve always known I was multi-talented and I think to a fault for it has overwhelmed me…
Any time I sang in front of a crowd, was the main speaker in a church service, presented a poem I’d written…or even today, standing before others and teaching a yoga class…all anxiety seems somewhat unbearable but then it suddenly and gradually melts like butter. It’s never completely erased but definitely less once I’m confident in the subject at hand, more importantly, passionate about it!
I know it shows and others can feel that energy, we feed each other’s and it makes for a beautiful experience.
Whenever I’ve voiced my nerves, it always surprises me to hear, “Really! You! You were so relaxed, calm and confident”. I’ve hung on to that and still do.
Today, for me, my anxiety and I are a work in progress. One article I read recently that seemed to have a profound impact on me was this one:
I saw so much of myself in this description, wow! May you find solace in knowing you’re not alone.
For those who know what it’s like to struggle with anxiety, join me as we continue to take steps everyday to overcome. One thing I’ve also hung onto is the decision to do one thing I fear everyday. Have you done this lately? Let us vow to this year. I can’t wait to hear your experiences.
Until then, hang on to some of my fav words:
Some of us think holding on makes us strong; but sometimes it is letting go. Hermann Hesse
Here’s the site I got it from, http://thoughtcatalog.com/christine-stockton/2013/10/37-freeing-quotes-for-people-with-anxiety/
Fill your soul with such thoughts and don’t forget to meditate.