Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A Stream of Anxiety into the Ocean of Life

The written word is a fascinating thing. It can come forward as dry and pointless or it can really reach out and touch someone. Allowing us to form bonds and connections over great distances.

I believe one of the hardest things to accomplish in the field of writing is to write sincerely from the heart. It requires a special form of honesty with oneself which is not always so easy to form. To reveal what is underneath and beyond the image of ourselves that we would like to project to our surrounding is a challenge that many of us has to face one time or another. Perhaps especially so in forming meaningful relationships. Do we dare ourselves to open up, or do we choose to stay closed...

The answer is not always so simple as it might sound, it requires discrimination and good judge or character. Sometimes the avid listener does not have your best intentions at heart. This is something some may experience in the worst way possible, having our good trust betrayed and ridiculed.

Blogging opens up whole new dimensions to these issues, as it transforms what is private and what is public. Many find a supporting environment and wonderful new people to connect with. I know I have. Beginning to write about topics which touches more on my personal challenges has been liberating, and judging by the comments I have received I have reached out in a way that I never thought I would. It is a humbling experience and I am grateful for being subject to it.

I know also that the changes on this blog has been marked by positive changes in my personal life. On the grand scheme of things I have taken huge leaps forward in terms of the relationship I form with myself. Therefore it kind of shook me to lately having to face a significant increased sense of anxiety.

Personal growth as the source of meaning

I think it comes with the territory of life to expect that positive changes in lifestyles are to be followed with better health. I am probably not alone either in having expectations that are sometimes a bit dramatic. Facing old ghosts among all this new can therefore be a disappointment and lead to a sense of failure. Going back in time it definitely has been like that for me.

But is it really a failure to take one step back when you take two steps forward? I am starting change perspective when it comes to this as well. The oftentimes hard work in changing one's life for the better, may not even wield the results of what one may expect or desire, but still has tremendous importance for personal growth. There is never a quick fix to life defining questions. And if we could have access to this quick fix, would we really want it to be that easy?

Honestly: facing the more intense forms of anxiety makes me want to take the easy way out at times, if there was such a thing as an easy way. But I am being careful as I know good people in my surrounding who have formed unhealthy relationships with alcohol, among other things. That is the reality I live in, and although I am really careful as to not pass judgment, I have come to learn that life is a very precious and vulnerable thing.

Ending the fight

Going back a few years in my life I spend a lot of my energy and dedication fighting against my anxiety, depression and all the demons that my subconscious could manifest. I have learned the hard way that identifying parts of yourself as worth fighting can be a huge source of pain. Going forward I have little by little, step by step, come to realize the futility of this approach. Today I try to see the anxiety as a part of myself which cannot be defeated, accepting its presence in me. Not seeing it as toxic, but as a part of life and what makes me who I am.

Going deeper I think that interior conflicts with parts of your personality such as
anxiety, can lead to a situation where you are fighting both yourself and therefore affirming the perceived negative to be a force to be reckoned with. Strangely it may reinforce its existence and letting it become stronger in the process. Translating this to obsessive thoughts and things of that nature, repeatedly affirming to yourself that "I will not think about X", often leads to the opposite.

Becoming friends with your yourself, even the parts which might not be desirable, can be a liberating experience. Of course, these are personal observations that has a lot to do with my own life and I am reluctant as to proclaiming them as universal truths. But as fellow travelers on this journey that is life, I thought I would share. Because although opening up and showing yourself to another can; as I mentioned in the beginning of this article, lead to vulnerability, this type of honesty can also open up possibilities for real connections to people which may enrich your life.

Thank you for reading.


Sarah said...

Oh Robert...how did I miss this post - Im sorry - has been a crazy couple of weeks.
Wow what an amazing post!! Little by little I have a clearer view of who you are..that wonderful inside you!
I really believe that when you quit fighting the difficult parts of life those that make you feel the "Two steps backwards" thing you move forward. When you stop and look at them as possible lessons..positive in some way. You said so much better!!
When we are fighting it does not change a thing..just makes us frustrated and angry. Not to say that taking care of you and things like depression should not be addressed..but not as being "something wrong" with you. Just part of your plate in life. Does that make sense??
I agree with the online thing..huge growth is wonderful but must be tempered with caution..there are people out there who have little to no filter and need to be avoided. Life is fragile.. we all have to know where our own weaknesses are so we can avoid the pits and those who choses to reside in them.
You are a wise one hon!!! I love this post and haved been touched by what you have presented in your blog! Those honest bits of you are truly amazing!! I am glad you are seeing that wonderful man I do!!
Namaste, Sarah

F. Monique Pitre said...

Thank you for visiting me today. It's been awhile since I've been online reading. I must say, I am happy to have come over here to your blog.

I can totally identify with your thoughts, both old and new, as well as the expression of freedom that you have appeared to gain by simply accepting who you are, completely and totally. Isn't it fabulous? Sometimes, we are our worst critic and judge. It is so liberating to finally stop the negative self-talk, and begin to love yourself just as you are...while continuing on with your journey of self-growth and expansion.

Today is a new day, make it worthwhile! Namasté