Behind the stormy skies, you are the clear blue sky untouched by the turbulence of the weather.
No matter how you feel on the surface, you are perfectly okay. Like an undisturbed ocean, on the surface it may be choppy and chaotic, deep down you remain untouched by the mental and emotional storms.
No matter how much hell you’ve experienced in your body and conjured up in your mind, you are not suffering from a life threatening illness and you are certainly not on the verge of insanity. I know it can be so hard to fully comprehend this. “Okay, how could I be perfectly okay deep down when I feel so horrendous?” Well, the answer lies in the fact that despite the emotional and mental turmoil you have perhaps endured for a number of years, maybe your entire life, you are fundamentally well underneath the anxiety.
I know it doesn’t seem like this at the moment, but it doesn’t mean that you are not well deep down below the surface. You are not ill, you are just caught up in an anxious state through fear, resistance and a lack of understanding.
Incontrovertible proof of innate wellness
You have survived every panic attack. You have never gone insane when the disturbing and unwished-for thought has entered your mind on numerous occasions. You haven’t died when the pain you get in your chest creeps up on you or finds a way to make you question if you’re on the verge of a heart attack.
The heart attack never comes. The stroke never comes. Or at least certainly not from anxiety, if that’s what you are worrying about. It seems like we are waiting for that heart attack to happen while all that happens is a slight pain sensation in the chest region thanks to muscle tension.
Despite the daily nightmare that has been a part of your world for so long, you are perfectly okay. Does just knowing deep down that you are perfectly okay despite everything alleviate your fears? I don’t know. To some people it will, to other’s it probably won’t. But being reminded of this truth often is most likely going to bring about some hope.
Is it going to stop the thoughts and sensations from arising? I highly doubt it. After all, nothing can stop these thoughts, emotions and sensations from arising. Not even our conscious will. This is because our internal world of mental and emotional activity is beyond our reach.
It isn’t something we get to control, or choose for that matter. If we could always choose the thoughts, emotions and sensations, then I highly doubt anyone would ever choose to experience disturbing thoughts, undesirable emotions and uncomfortable bodily sensations, unless they enjoy experiencing them. Saying that, some people actually do.
Some people enjoy experiencing the adrenaline rush and go to extreme lengths to achieve this. Seeking that big rush of adrenaline then becomes a drug. These people are known to partake in dangerous activities like skydiving or dangerous sports and the ultimate purpose . Call them adrenaline junkies!
The reason why people experience what’s referred to as an anxiety disorder or a panic disorder is because they can’t bear the way this nervous arousal in their body makes them feel. They develop a phobia of the fight/flight response and then their over-active imagination is what exacerbates their condition.
Even though deep down they are perfectly well, they just cannot believe for one moment that this is the truth.
They mistake the feeling of intense nervous arousal with danger. Their fear of how they feel is what keeps them trapped in an anxious and panicky prison.
If they didn’t tense up over the unpleasant sensations in their body or the troubling thoughts in their mind, then the fear would have to nothing to feed on and would then begin to dissipate.
Okay, I now understand that deep down, I am untouched by the stormy surface. How does one go about living this truth?
You will never be free from the dark stormy clouds which arise and then become experienced as an emotion in your body, but you don’t have to experience it from a position of fright and despair. Whilst this might sound depressing, it will become very liberating for you as you read on.
You will never live this truth of knowing you are well if you keep seeking out quick fixes and make overcoming anxiety into an arduous task. In fact, for me I pulled out of the mission called getting rid of anxiety and resorted to mission transcendence.
This is because it isn’t something you get rid of. Especially by using willpower or force. This is because reverse psychology stops this from this happening. The more you try to get rid of something, the more you keep it in place.
In order to live this truth, we need to be fully open to experiencing everything that comes up. It’s not about choosing what emotions are okay to experience and what emotions aren’t. It’s okay to experience it all. Like all the range of colours in an artists paint set. Experiencing the full pallet of thoughts and feelings without trying to change, fear or get rid of them is the key to living this truth.
Thoughts, emotions and bodily sensations are all designed to come and go. That’s their nature. They are designed by life if you like to be fleeting experiences. They only seem to hang around longer and disturb us when we fight and fear them.
The less you get involved, the more they will pass on through by themselves. It’s not like we will ever be free from experiencing unpleasant emotions and thoughts. When one thought passes through, another will take it’s place. It’s always worked this way and always will. Emotion is the body’s reaction to a thought. So when the thought passes, the emotion accompanied by it will also change naturally too.
It’s only when we try to do something about our thinking and emotions (fight them, change them, escape from them), fear them and take them seriously, do we seem to get caught up in them.
However, the good news is – we don’t need to do any of the above. All that’s required is a change in relationship which that allows us to experience them differently.
You can honestly get to the point where any thought and feeling you experience can come and go without it being problematic. Even thoughts which you seem to tense up against and do your best to push away or escape from.
What causes suffering isn’t the thoughts themselves, it’s our fearful interpretation of them that does so.
Even now, I still experience what you would class as disturbing thoughts. The only difference now is I don’t fear them, see them as truth or try to get rid of them and because of this, they pass on by like any other thought I have.
You see, it’s never about getting rid of anxious thinking or feelings, this approach is doomed to fail from the get go. It’s just about seeing them in a different way and approaching them differently. By living in this open state where anything is okay to be experienced without adding that extra fear and resistance, we will find ourselves returning to our “already okay” state much more of the time.
Deep down, you are perfectly okay.
Until next time