The battle begins in earnest every morning even before I open my eyes. The desire to get up sit still and be still with myself before I even have my cup of coffee is becoming regularly eclipsed with the need to turn on the news and digest the hysteria, the heartbreak, and failings while absent-mindedly sipping a cup of coffee. Something in me is craving crazy. I feel like by watching it I can be part of it, change it or fix it. Yet, I’m utterly lost while doing this. I’m so steeped in anxiety that I’m paralyzed. My mind is ping-ponging from past to future and nowhere in the space that I mentally or physically occupy is the present moment. Sitting in meditation brings me to the present moment. My heart slows down, my breathing changes and I simply exist quietly. It’s comfortable but it's not. And then it hits me. I know anxiety, we are deeply acquainted, we are old friends, anxiety is my navigator as I fly through the world. He fuels me into action, to keep trying, to keep fixing, to keep pushing, to keep moving, to keep going. Who would I be without my trusted friend? He motivates a lot of what I do. I do quite a few things I do not want to do because of anxiety. Until recently about 70 percent of my existence was based on anxiety-fueled choices. "If I don’t then what will people think " was my mantra. The other morning I resisted the urge to binge on anxiety and I made myself meditate. It felt like a herculean feat of strength to sit down, close my eyes (and keep them closed) and do nothing. Before I meditated I listened to Oprah and Deepak’s current free mediation and this is what the universe delivered to me in the words of Iyanla Vanzant.
“There is no greater battle than the battle between the parts of you that want to heal and the parts of you that are comfortable and content remaining broken.” That was it. I want to heal. I even know what to do to heal, but it feels so comfortable with anxiety as my navigator and motivator to stay broken. Without anxiety will I keep trying? The answer is yes. It’s time to ditch the anxiety as co-pilot and fly solo. Trusting yourself to heal is power. Uncovering the power, putting it in play and benching the anxiety is heroic. It’s also hard. Every day we have a choice to listen to the parts of us that want to heal and let them be our guide into the present moment, or we can sit in our brokenness and fret for the future and ruminate on the past. Healing comes from your heart. Opening your heart space and trusting that you don’t need the comfort of your broken bits is how you initiate healing.
Allow in the uncomfortableness of truth and vulnerability.
Shine a light deep into places you were too afraid to look and you’ll find kindness and compassion rise up from the dark space.
The slow burn of anxiety will be replaced with the cool balm of courage to chart a new path. I’m not sure how we heal a microscopic virus, I don’t know what you do to stop a global pandemic, but I do know stoking the fires of anxiety will not heal our world.
Perhaps, we should all open our hearts and shine a light on the comfortable yet broken parts of our society and find the courage to do the hard thing, the right thing and change the way we do things.
A tall order, but I'm uncomfortably confident we can do it.