|Regina Lafay: Anxiety|
A few days ago, on my way home from a great day at work, it seemed I hit all of the green lights – then a song came on the radio that I’ve been waiting to hear all week. The sky was clear, the sun was shining and it was warm enough to roll my window down and enjoy the warm fresh air.
Ever have those moments when your life seems so full, you’ll just explode if something else good comes your way? (Ok, maybe not explode, but you catch yourself smiling at everyone around you and you start conversations up with strangers in line at the grocery store.)
I have to say this hasn’t always been the case. I remember when I was little I had this feeling I wasn’t able to explain. The only way I was able to think of it for myself at that age was the feeling of not being home, of unease. There was a period in my life when anxiety started to manipulated my life and the happy moments were very few. I wanted to share my experience of over coming it. Though, this may be misleading, since anxiety is there at times – the way I perceive and use anxiety has changed …. Read on –
Worrying, obsessive thinking – distressing about anything and everything seems a perfect way to describe my life about 5 years ago. I would lay awake at night worrying about my job, my life- unable to sleep.
Ultimately this led to panic attacks. I’ll never forget my first attack, it happened in the car on a way to a friend’s wedding. What a mess. I couldn’t breathe, I felt claustrophobic – trapped in a tiny metal box, crying.
I was completed burdened and drained by these thoughts and attacks. I was utterly consumed and I had no room for positive thinking, inspiration for growth or ambition for new life experiences.
I eventually went to the doctor only to become a zombie on the medication I was given. My husband eventually threw out the drugs and told me that I had transformed into a shell of a person.
Which was better? A battlefield or a shell.
You Call It God
Interesting how one moment of your life can change the course of everything and everyone around you.
Though I went to catholic schools my entire life, I was a self-proclaimed atheist by the time I was 19. During my time spent in college, my favorite classes where those about organized religions and how they support the masses. I lived my life with little thought about God and I was pretty vocal about despising those annual holidays that seemed to conformed with commercialism and capitalism.
Until one little nothing-of-a-night when I planted a small seed in my mind. The catalyst was actually a question that I never realized had the potential that would change my life forever.
“What makes us different from each other?"
The question ended up developing into months of research; I literally had a notebook filled with writings of the information I came across. Eventually, I had to get down to the very tiniest of all things knowable – quantum physics and Advaita Vedanta philosophy – to attempt to see what makes me and my soul different then anyone else’s.
Oddly enough – I ended up having to change my question entirely.
“What makes us the same?”
With this slight change, everything was clear.
I recognized everything I experience is Divine, that are true self is God- in essence, we create everything we experience.
Transformation In Thinking
So how exactly did this affect my anxiety? Three words – Change in Thinking. Once I accepted this completely in my life – that everything I experience is Divine (or God if you will), it literally transformed the way I experienced everything in my life.
I guess some people use the word enlightened – though, that is a powerful word. I am by no means stating I am enlightened or have been enlightened, but it seems like the closest word that the English language provides. A complete paradigm shift – everything changed.
Instead of thinking about how badly I hate my life, how sad I was with my body, mourning that I had this terrible my anxiety – I thought about how full of opportunity every day is. I thought about how much control I possessed in my life since I was the one creating it.
I breath differently now. My self-worth is on another level. I listen to the thoughts in my mind as if they are just a generic monologue; thoughts that are only thoughts. My thoughts are not who I am. I was transformed into the person I had always been, but only lost sight of.
This was just a part of the path I have taken in my life. Each one of us is so utterly unique and beautiful.
When I see other people, I see a lesson, a purpose.
It isn’t some odd fluke that these particular people are in your life – you put them there.
It isn’t some odd fluke that these events are happening in your life - you put them there.