Don’t get me wrong; I accept myself in many, many ways. I know I can be difficult and stubborn (or so I’ve been told). I know I can get snarky and sarcastic. I know there are many things I’m just not good at and many things I will probably never be good at.
I am okay with all of that. I don’t preach self-love and self-compassion without meaning it.
What’s hard for me to accept – over and over again – is when I feel anxious or not at ease. The crazy lies in my head tell me that I should know better than that. That, in fact, I do know better than that. That I know to let go. I know to give up. I know that acceptance of a person, place, or thing is the answer to all my problems. I therefore “shouldn’t” feel anxious.
So, when I do feel anxious, I know that I don’t want to feel anxious. And I therefore go straight to solving it with my “hand on my heart, calm myself down, self-soothe” mode.
Which is a good place to be. And probably what I need.
But what I probably need first and most is full-hearted and full-minded acceptance that I am anxious.
As my sleep doctor once said to me when my insomnia kicked back in, “with what you have going on, no one would be sleeping.”
With all I have going on, and with my mental makeup that is at least partially an outcome of the instability and abuse in my childhood, of course I feel anxious at times.
When I remember that, when I tell myself that, when I let that sink fully into me, what do you know, the anxiety and unease eases just a wee bit.
I think it’s hard for me to accept these “bad” feelings because I learned that they’re bad feelings. And I was really, really, really taught never to have “bad” feelings. That would be called “Caining out” in my cult. It would be yet one more way that I wasn’t fulfilling my responsibility as god’s “heavenly soldier.”
Of course I feel anxious at times.
Somehow on our healing journeys we also learn that there are good feelings and bad feelings. That the calmer we are, the more evolved and healed and healthy we are.
I think this BS also traps us.
Because there are times that I am anxious. And angry. And scared. And many of these times may be at least somewhat irrational, but they’re not wrong. Or bad. Or Cain-like. Or sinful.
They are human. And they make sense.
So, I (again) put my hand on my heart. I keep my hand on my heart until the warmth seeps into me. I tell myself that it makes sense that I feel anxious and that it’s okay that I feel anxious. I tell myself this over and over and over again, if necessary.
I remember that I’m more than my anxious feelings – way more than my anxious feelings. I simply let it be okay that I feel anxious and that – in this moment – I’m not as at ease as I know I can be and want to be.
I breathe. I breathe again. I breathe one more time. And then I turn my eyes to the sky (or I close my eyes and look into my heart) and I know – once again – that I am okay. Even if I’m anxious, I am okay.
How about you? What do you do?
I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!