Anxiety. I honestly didn’t realize that I got anxious about things until it came up during one of my energy healing sessions. The practitioner checked with my body and the message was I needed to look at “being with anxiety”. Huh?
Since that appointment two weeks ago, I’ve begun to notice some of the things I do in order to defer, deflect and delay anxiety. It’s as if the appointment opened me up to a blind spot. I struggle being with anxiety so I do what I can to make sure it doesn’t happen or I dull it while it’s occurring.
I’m in a relationship where we relate differently to time. I need to be on time- if not early for things. I calendar, plan and consider possible delays and challenges so that I’m prepared for all situations that I can consider. Walter lives in the moment and is often up against a clock and maybe makes things on time. (I honestly almost left from our first date because he wasn’t going to be on time.) Recently I was waiting on him so we could leave to go somewhere we’d agreed to be. I was really present to the anxiety in my body. It was high. I could feel the buzzing. I could feel the tightening in my chest. My breathing was shallow. I stood there and thought “wow!” I’m in the middle of this right now. Because I noticed, I was able to slow it down, calm it down and be present.
Just yesterday I was in a situation with a lot of new people. After I finished lunch, I looked and realized how fast I’d eaten. There was no savoring and very little taste. I checked in and noticed it was covering the anxiety. There were a lot of unknowns and things going on at this gathering and I was placating and reigning in my anxiety with my go to soothing agent, food. It didn’t work and I didn’t feel satiated because I hadn’t enjoyed the meal.
The care taking I do of others is also often rooted in the anxiety or to placate it. It comes across as care taking of others but sometimes it’s me getting out in front of potentially anxious situations. If I do something and get it done, then I don’t have to be present for the angst of the other person in not having something done. It is a form of- wait for it- control! Yeah, that word! Then the next ah ha was that control is a false sense of grounding myself. So, as you can see, it’s a merry go round.
In order to delay a potentially anxious situation, I take care of something (control it). I think that grounds me. Underneath there’s still an anxiety because it’s a false sense of grounding. Then I do something- like eat- to placate that anxiety. I’ve been practicing being with anxiety in the past weeks. Ok, I’ve been practicing when I notice it and can get in front of it. I find myself just noticing what’s going on in my body, breathing, and checking in again. I’m guessing it gets better with time because now, I just don’t like the feeling and staying with the feeling rather than placating it.