Dealing with Anxiety and Unwinding the Mind

Consciousness, as it moves, appears to be cyclic. We surface and feel better for a while, which might be followed by a period of relapse where we suffer from post stress symptoms again.

These relapses occur even when we feel that we have worked on and through a part of our lives already. Deep-seated patterns often need to be addressed a number of times before all attachment and identification with them have been finally dissolved.

Lack of Love and its Relationship to Fear

Wanting to be loved, accepted and recognized unconditionally is one of our basic needs as children. It gives us an anchored sense of belonging and safety. The lack thereof also sets in motion very deep patterns of attempting to compensate, which can affect our relationships in profound ways.

Being overly concerned about what other people think of you, or having unfounded fears your partner will leave you, or having excessive ambition in work or spirituality, or always trying your best to make everybody happy, might all relate to a variety of attempts to compensate for a lack of love and acceptance.

We go through great contortions trying to fill that emptiness inside of ourselves, and this whole pattern of trying to overcome causes us to go through a lot of emotional ups and downs.

How Anxiety Projects Itself and How to Stay with It

I tend to speak in public a few times a year and often get a little anxious some days beforehand. Once, the anxiety was somewhat paralyzing and rather than getting upset with myself, I found myself curiously interested in what was going on.

Anxiety is not easy to stay with and easily lends itself to being projected onto something—in this case, me speaking in public.

I really listened to that anxiety, tracking the sensation of it in my body and simultaneously asking myself, "why"? "What is the deeper pattern"? When I asked that question sincerely without escaping or trying to solve it, while staying connected to the sensations of anxiety, the answer became very clear; I wanted to be accepted by the public, by those who listened to me. I was looking for recognition.

I have addressed these feelings a hundred times; in group work, in courses, in individual work, and in this context it popped up again. There was still more depth to it. When the answer became clear to me—that I wanted to be accepted, to be recognized—the anxiety also started to subside.

Addressing the Deeper Emotions and How They have Given Rise to Anxiety

Wanting to be accepted, loved and recognized signifies that part of oneself, usually our child self, still lives with a sense of the lack of acceptance and love. It is by meeting the pain of that, and by bringing awareness to that pain without further dissociating or judgment, that this inner pain gets processed.

The anxiety, in this case, was on a more profound level; a manifestation of a more deeply held pain. Once this pain was met, the anxiety, borne of a deep sense of separation, also went.

What is the deeper pattern of your anxiety? Leave your comment below.

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