THE NATURAL STATE OF ANXIETY
The other day during an interview I was asked why so many people were frightened and anxious and how the Six Affirmations removed those fears.
It’s a very good question and there is no easy answer to it.
The truth is fear, anxiety, nervousness, sadness, remorse are all natural and normal for human beings.
The basic tenant of Buddhism is that we must accept suffering and allow it to wash over us, through us and around us. But it is part of life.
The longer I live the more I understand and believe this. I am by nature an anxious person. I can alleviate some of the anxiety. I can understand the roots of the anxiety and not let it over take me and make act out from an anxious, fearful mind, but I can never totally erase anxious from my emotional palette.
There are things I need not be anxious about, and there are things I should be anxious about. Understanding the difference is the key.
There are many forces in life that naturally cause feeling states of dis-ease. And we should not in any way think that we are faulty or defective humans because we are not chirp, chirp, chirpy all the time.
What we need to do is learn to acknowledge these states of mind, analyze them and decide how we want to deal with them. Do we want to go take a walk, listen to some music, call a friend and try and forget it? Or do we want to just sort of let it be. Sometimes things happen that require our immediate attention. That is the essence for flight or fight and why man does respond to anxiety and fear.
I think there are too many books with the the message just be happy and if you act happy you will be happy. I’m not so sure of that. And that is not what we suggest in the Six Affirmations. We advice changing behavior, being responsible, examining our behavior. Maybe we did something that day that we should feel upset about or nervous about. If so, we need to deal with it pronto. These feelings are a type of pain and pain often tells us something might be wrong.
But maybe our fears and woes are unfounded in the present moment and are merely an old song playing as the soundtrack to a new scene. If that is the case, then it is our job to look at that and then decide how we proceed. Are we responding to an old situation we have dragged with us into the present? Are we anxious about something else and projecting it?
Look at your anxiety or fear and find its headwaters. But to beat yourself up for having these very natural feelings is counter productive. We don’t want them to rule our lives, but we have to accept them as residents in the community of our feelings.
I just own that I’m anxious. Not always. I hope not aggressively anymore. But I have a permeant address in the State of Anxiety. And some of that is very positive, many of the things I am anxious about prod me into action. Some just prod me into being anxious.
There is plenty in life to make us anxious, sad, worried and all the rest of it. And it’s important to know that and not push it away.
Many addictive behavior patterns stem from the need to squelch and silence these uncomfortable feeling states. And as any good ex- addict will attest to, that cannot be done. It only causes the pain to grow and over take your life. You end up anxious, fearful, guilty and often in trouble.
So open the door and welcome those feelings you are in the habit of running from. Accept that some are in transit and others are permeant house guests who will hopefully stay in the back room and be quiet and keep to themselves most of the time.