What an interesting emotion, Anxiety is! On its face, Anxiety hearkens danger and demands flight… fear… apprehension… and even panic. It creates stress and overwhelm. Screaming, with a message to “Get out!!” it asks for nothing less than complete abandon, all ye who enter here.
However, Anxiety can also invite a more intimate experience…
What appears to act as an alarm—clearing out any space for openness or presence—by leaning in, instead of retreating, can actually become a beacon for greater intimacy with self.
While seeming to open an abysmal void—an experience of emptiness, and chaos—when we challenge the instinct to shut down, shut out, and run… Anxiety can offer, in return, something more like a womb; nourishing and containing—a space to reflect and attune.
At its core, I believe, Anxiety seeks to invite rather than repel. In its blatant and rather visceral way, Anxiety works to vacate a space of mind, in order to create a space for self. Ultimately, Anxiety serves as a bellwether to an experience of other emotions needing to be heard, alluding to them with the simple caveat, “I’m scared to feel…”
However, when we quiet the instinct to run, and open a space of curiosity—asking simply, “What am I feeling anxious about, right now?”—Anxiety can offer a deeper experience of presence with, and awareness of, self.
When you take a deep breath, lean in, and listen closely… what experience of self does Anxiety offer you?