Crippling anxiety, on and off, has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember.
You know, the kind that completely overpowers you so much that you think you will literally fall to pieces and die.
Surges of overwhelming panic, nausea, and stomach cramps.
Like most people with similar experiences, I would turn to doctors, therapists and medication to help with the sever symptoms.
Until one day I woke up with a very strong feeling that there might be more to the experience than meets the eye.
That’s when I started asking what is the true meaning of anxiety?
Are you ready to explore this further with me?
What Does Anxiety Feel Like?
“All forms of sickness, even unto death, are physical expressions of the fear of awakening.” – ACIM
If you haven’t experienced a severe anxiety, trying to explain how it feels is probably pointless.
But try to imagine surges of overwhelming panic and feeling of losing control throughout the day for days, and weeks and months.
Try to imagine feeling heart palpitations, chest pain and feeling like you are going to pass out.
Hard time breathing, hyperventilation, trembling and shaking for no apparent reason.
Feeling detached and unreal that often comes out of nowhere and lasts really long time.
The worst part is that you feel that you will never be ok again.
How To Cope With Anxiety
“Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.” —Thich Nhat Hanh
Like most people that struggle with anxiety, when the symptoms became unbearable, I turned to medical experts for help.
Surely enough, with medication, therapy, and coping methods, I have experienced relief and periods of time when I was anxiety free.
While I enjoyed the moments of relative calm and peace, something kept nagging at me.
There was something in me that insisted that I take a deeper look into my anxiety.
NO, I was not looking towards going back there.
But, life always takes us where we need to go, so surely enough a whole bunch of situations and circumstances came my way that made it impossible to run away from this dark journey.
So when periods of crippling anxiety started happening, I went to the previously tried methods but this time there was no relief.
Right there and then, I realized that there is no running away from this, not this time.
Right there and then I knew I was not going to resist the terrifying journey.
I wish I could tell you that by making the decision to surrender and not to resist I was instantly cured.
I wasn’t, I experienced terrible fears and pains but what did come out of this was a much deeper understanding of my anxiety and life in general.
What Is The True Meaning Of Anxiety?
“Our anxiety does not come from thinking about the future, but from wanting to control it.” – Kahlil Gibran
Even though a part of me surrendered to the anxiety and stopped resisting the deeper messages contained in the experience, my ego did not.
As a matter of a fact, my ego got threatened and started fighting even harder for what it knew was a fight for its survival.
Somehow, at dome deeper level, I understood that and it made it a little bit easier to endure the terrible experience of it.
What I have learned is that my mind is split.
And it’s that split that is causing all my fear, pain and suffering.
The periods of excruciating anxiety showed me that.
Deep down I have an absolute knowing that we were created to be joyful.
I also know that I’m experiencing this anxiety as my guilt for not being joyful, the way we were meant to be.
Related: Why Do We Want To Feel Special?
Where Do We Go From Here?
“Just when the caterpillar thought the world was ending, he turned into a butterfly.” —Anonymous proverb
We are all at different stages of our spiritual awakening.
Some of us are ready to accept the truth about our true nature, and some are not.
I cannot tell you what is the best way to deal with your anxiety.
I only know what my path is.
And it’s not an easy path.
For me, the way is to embrace my anxiety.
As terrible as it is, and as painful as it is, for me running away from it is not an option anymore.
I now know that this terrifying feeling has a deeper meaning.
It is a signal that I have forgotten who I really am and have become entangled in the world of illusions again.
I can’t say I welcome my anxiety, but I am grateful for it because I am not able to ignore the intensity of it.
For me, anxiety is a reminder that I have decided to listen to the guidance of my ego instead of my true self.
It takes a great strength to accept the responsibility for the way that I’m thinking.
It was so much easier to think that my anxiety is just something that happened to me.
“You cannot always control what goes on outside, but you can always control what goes on inside.” —Wayne Dyer
Knowing that you are the cause of your own anxiety is not an easy truth to accept.
However, if you ever hope to truly be rid of anxiety, this is the only way.
Acknowledging the true cause of the anxiety ( your misguided mind) and accepting the effects of it (the physical symptoms) is the first step to under stain the true meaning of anxiety and working with it the way it was intended.
It’s a guidance system.
It’s a brilliant guidance system because you got to admit, ignoring it is impossible.
If you are not ready and need to take medication to help you cope, by all means, go ahead.
But try to keep an open mind.
When you are ready to face the truth behind your anxiety, you will know.
As for me, I still feel lost most of the time, going through life wondering and looking for that thing that would fill the void in my heart. But I do not dwell on the past anymore. I do not regret any mistakes or wasted time.
Today I know what I want.
I want peace and love.
And I trust the process no matter how painful it gets at times.
I trust that my anxiety has a deeper meaning and it’s here to guide me to where I want to go.
“You have dug your soul out of the dark, you have fought to be here; do not go back to what buried you.” —Bianca Sparacino
I hope you have enjoyed the article. I would love to hear your opinions, questions, suggestions.
***If you have spotted a spelling error or an inconsistency, please contact me so I can fix it.***