Blame it on the full moon, blame it on the full mind – but the last two nights I haven’t slept well. This morning I woke at 4am and couldn’t relax back to sleep. I eventually got another hour of sleep but it was fitful. When I woke, I found myself in the presence of that old unwelcome companion – anxiety.
My breathing was shallow, my heart felt pierced, my self-doubt raged like a tropical storm. Anxiety, I’ve felt you long before I realized what you are. Sometimes you’ve been constantly at my side, lately you’re a rare guest. You’re almost harder to deal with the less you come because I get used to the way it is when you’re not there and so even a little time with you can feel almost unbearable.
Fortunately, what I learn in yoga and what I learn in meditation helps me to better navigate these storms. The 84th problem (which I talked about in this post) helps me to understand that these things rise and fall, they don’t need to be fixed. Yes, it sucks right now – but that’s just fear – that’s just pain. It’s something that happens to us as humans and just as it comes, so too will it go.
Breathe deep. Sit with it. Be with it. Here with it. Now with it.
Even in this space of anxiety – there is Love. I spoke here about how for me God is Love. It is in times of trial that we have to have courage of our convictions. In the face of anxiety, do I still believe that Love is the source of everything? Yes, even then I do. Can I be strong enough to both feel the pain of anxiety and also hold that belief? Yes, I can.
Then breathe deep. Sit with them – both anxiety and Love. Be with them. Here with them. Now with them. Anxiety isn’t strong enough to kill Love and it can only hide it if I let it be hidden.
Writing this 3 hours later the anxiety has passed. I sat with it. I answered texts with it. I ate breakfast with it. I talked to Mona with it. And then I noticed the anxiety had passed. Like a storm it left telltale signs, fallen branches and damp sidewalks – but the storm has passed.
Sometimes the only way out is through.
I think it’s important to write truly here and to bear witness to the reality of my humanity. I appreciate all of you and your presence on this path.