Love Your Anxiety
One of the primary tenets of my work is that all pain needs to be loved. No matter how embarrassed, ashamed, angry or hurt we are, it does us no good to do anything but love the parts of us that are suffering. When we feel pain, whether it is physical, mental, or spiritual, we are taught to avoid it at all cost. Feeling anxiety, pop a valium. Feeling worried, there’s Lexapro for that. Is your mind spinning and you feel overwhelmed, take a valium. Feeling down, take an upper. Feeling pain, take oxycodone. From alcohol, to various drugs, to sex, to denial and avoidance, we bounce around medicating and suppressing all these feelings that we have been taught are scary, uncomfortable, and to be avoided at all cost. Our culture, Western culture in general, has taught us that anxiety, and any kind of pain, is a bad thing to be avoided if you can. Whatever you do, don’t feel anything but the narrow band of emotions that are available to us on the far side of the emotional spectrum. Do your best to always shove down that trauma, deny that shame, and disconnect yourself from everything that isn’t bright and shiny.
This attitude of avoidance has cost us dearly. Depression, anxiety, suicide, and worry are rapidly taking over much of the population and there are 400 million people globally suffering from anxiety at any given moment. This number has increased 25% in the last decade and it’s on track to double again. Obviously, medicating, avoiding, and shoving down our pain isn’t working. I have a theory that every experience that we shove down and refuse to deal with mentally and emotionally gets shoved down into the body and the body deals with these unfinished emotions by processing them as physical ailments. We shove all this stuff down and it comes out sideways as anxiety disorders, physical ailments, cancer, and more.
I tried to shove all my pain down (worry about being unloved because of my sexual orientation, fear of being isolated and rejected, concern about being “successful”, stressed from monetary inconsistency, panicked and believing that God didn’t love me, afraid that I was never going to discover my life purpose). All of that disassociation, disconnect from my true Self, and denial only made things worse. So, after I couldn’t show anything down anymore, when I was at a point of contemplating suicide, I had the radial thought, “What if I tried to love all of these things I hated about myself?” In that moment, in that thought, I breathed deeply for the first time in a very long time. I thought about love instead of pain, I thought about forgiveness, I thought about kindness, I thought about patience and I found myself feeling differently in my body.
From that moment on, whenever I felt pain, no matter if it was physical pain, mental anguish, or the pain of a broken heart, I would say to that pain, “I’m sorry you’re suffering, I am too. Please forgive for anything that I may have done to you consciously or unconsciously. I love you.” I would then imagine the part of me that was suffering as stepping outside of my body, taking on a shape or a form independent of myself and showering it in a beautiful golden light energy of Love. Love that is unconditional, non-judgmental, and kind.
I’ve come to call this process Convergence Healing and it is a part of so many things that I have learned, that the Universe has taught me. It is a coming together of healing, spiritual, mental, and physical that unifies the many parts of ourselves into one cohesive and compassionate whole. That golden energy is the connective tissue that bonds all these parts of me, of you, together. It is Love itself.
I hope you can join me at Ahiah this Sunday to partake in the golden light energy as I share with you my newest book, “Billy and the Anxiety Monster, How to Love Your Anxiety and Heal, A Grown-Up Book for Your Inner Child”! This book is that process of Love and I am blessed to share it with you!