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A Contemplation on Anxiety and Appreciation

by Christine DeSadeleer Apr 2, 2010
If we could just remember that life really is about the journey – not that other clichéd thing – getting to sleep at night would be a much easier proposition.

The sun almost blinds me as it reflects off the side of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Warming rays make their way through the glass I sit next to, and, if this is even possible, I feel a mixture of satiation, emotional upheaval, and being lulled into quiet.

It’s been one of those mornings where appreciation has filled the crevices of my body, creeping into the edge of my earlobe all the way down to the nail of my pinkie toe. Good thing, too, as falling asleep last night was instead a practice in breathing through the fire.

My mind was caught up in one of those cycles – you know the ones – where I couldn’t clamp the spigot of mental-emotional vomit. Money, career, health, friends, love – you name it, it was running around my brain like a rabid dog.

I may get more frustrated with these episodes than others (well, probably not) because I feel as if I should have a handle on them by now. I know that meditation, connecting to my spirit, getting out of my mother freakin’ head, is what works for me. Taking a road trip back to my soul, and depositing a few trashbags full of negative crap at the dump along the way.

Why is it so damn hard to do it, then?

The Anxiety of Living

Decisions. If life isn’t at least partly about them, then what are we doing with so much of our time?

For many of us, decisions cause anxiety. I am, for better or worse, wired as an anxious person. I’ve been able to shift that tremendously over the years through changing my diet, getting on thyroid medication, purposefully re-framing my point-of-view, and my spiritual practice, among other lifestyle changes. But every once in a while, it creeps up on me and bites me in the ass. And I feel, well, bitten.

Oh, those “need”s and “have to”s: although I haven’t been here exactly before, it feels so very familiar.

And right now, life is compelling me to make some hard choices. Or at least what I perceive to be hard choices. I need to make more money. I have to propel my career farther along its track, fast. I need to put two feet into being in Asheville since I decided to stay for a few more months. I have to decide between falling deeper into the socially-unacceptable love that I’m already in, or remaining open to what makes sense in the long term.

Oh, those “need”s and “have to”s: although I haven’t been here exactly before, it feels so very familiar.

Symbolic Reminder

I wish I actually had the tattoo that I decided to get when I turned 30. The woman’s co-op where I planned to get inked was booked months out, and life got busy. You know, excuses. It’s too bad, because if I did have it, it could serve what I envisioned its purpose to be.

A goddess, with a spiral in her stomach, signifies to me a larger sense of the world. The spiral is a reminder that our wound, whatever it is, shifts and changes as it moves up the spiral, but remains a part of us. Each time it comes back around to its starting place, we feel crushed to be dealing with the same old problem once again.

But in reality, the “wound” has raised to another level, and demands that we take the knowledge gained from previous entanglements to help in dealing with another, deeper layer, which brings us closer back to our perfect wholeness.

Life is practice. Even with all the travel we take on and complete, there is no true destination. Everything we want to get better, to heal, we need to constantly work at. And sometimes, we’ll feel as if we’ve slipped backwards for no particular reason, just because that’s life. But there’s always some purpose, hidden as it may be, and we’re always moving forward.

So, I’m able to sit here with appreciation at this moment. I’m able to access that place within me that understands those problems, those decisions, are here to nudge me along my solo road trip. Whether that be a gentle nudge or more of a shove is really up to me and the ole’ brain.

Let’s see where I am tomorrow.

How do you deal with anxiety? Share your thoughts below.

Community Connection

Feel like you’re not a traveler when you’re settled in one place? Every part of life is about travel, if you just look at it that way, as Matador Life Editor Leigh Shulman does in her piece, You Don’t Have To Leave the House To See the World.

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