Just so you know . . . this is not a post about how much anxiety has stolen from my life.
It’s more of an emancipation post.
I’m setting myself free . . . from a life that has served me, but hasn’t valued me . . . because I never learned to value myself.
Hell on earth right?
Yes I can laugh about it – when my eyes aren’t watering with tears and frustration.
Though I have been doggedly and determinedly trying everything I can think of to outsmart my anxiety and make a life for myself . . . I honestly figured I’d wind up in a different place than I am now.
Yet . . .
I also recognize that I got myself here.
Where is here?
Here is broke and fighting to keep what I’ve got while struggling to make a living doing something that I finally figured out is what I love doing.
Here is where push came to shove. It’s a place where I cornered myself and forced myself to unwrap years of “acceptable behavior” both culturally and corporately that had me covered in decayed burial wrapping rags like a mummy that had been buried alive.
Here is where I wrestled and pushed myself out of the passive behavior that had enveloped me since I no longer had anything or anyone to react to or push against.
Here there is only me and my “lived too long this way” behavior to know much of anything about how to be different.
Here is scary because speaking the entirety of one’s truth exposes you for who you are.
Fear and anxiety have made me a cautious rebel, a cautious speaker, and a cautious and mostly careful writer.
I think too much and say too little of what I really know.
Neither is enough any longer because if I go on as I have been I will never be free from a self that was created out of the trauma of my life.
It is a self that has grown and confronted my past, but it is also a self that does not know how to envision and create a future that is entirely different.
I’m now in a fight for my life – fighting to leave that self behind – fighting the habits – fighting what I had become – yet accepting and loving and mourning that version of me – and realizing while my mental and emotional wrappings have been stretched they can stretch no further.
Either I stay stuck where I am or I fight my way free.
You can’t live with your feet on both sides of the river.
You either go back to path that made you what you once were, or you cross over to being on a different path and just a different version of what you once were.
Or . . .
You take your chances with the river because you’re at a place where you’re willing to jump in and see what it will make of you.
Letting Go Means Having New . . . Thoughts, Ideas, Feelings, Impulses, Urges, and Ways of Being in the World
Your relationship with fear and anxiety change. For the present, they’re multi-sized pieces of an old self that get in your way.
You have no choice but to push past them and slap them out of your way. Then you find yourself standing there wondering how you move forward out of love for yourself instead out of fear.
New urges begin arising like taking charge of situations when before you only recognized that you needed to do so.
One day you can do that. The next . . . not so much but you push through anyway to just get it done and out of your way.
Your mind is clearer, and you’re more energetic. You recognize more easily when anxiety screws around with your head.
What you do and how you do it is shaped by what you desire to create and not by what you think you should be doing.
How many times in a day will you be surprising yourself?
The lawn needs to be mowed – bushes trimmed – saplings that you ignored for too long need cutting down – and most everything else that needs doing that once overwhelmed you seems to have settled into a place where they’re all manageable.
This is not life after anxiety.
This is life that will be fought for and lived in spite of fear and anxiety because you know what they have done to you, and you will not let it happen again.
You’ll have your battles, and there will be some that you will lose.
You’ll be knocked down but not out because for the first or maybe even the second time in your life you have nothing to lose because you will lose it all if I do nothing differently.
This is my here and now.
Tomorrow Is Built Upon Today . . . But the Future is Unknown
It used to be that I figured I couldn’t envision my ideal future because I wasn’t good at visualizing.
Now I’m pretty sure that my attempts at doing that and creating visions boards were less about what I truly wanted and more about easing the pain of where I was mentally and emotionally.
Since I’m learning new ways of being in the world I have no idea what the future will look like. I’m not even sure I know what I want it to look like.
That includes this website because it was built on ideas that came from a different mindset.
Right now the one thing I do know is that Joseph Campbell was right when he said: