Katie had the opportunity of a lifetime. One she believed would advance her career, make her better at her job, and grow her soul exponentially. When she put in a request for time off and was denied however, a multitude of feelings were present. Injustice, anger, defense, depression, exhaustion, hopelessness, helplessness, lack of power over her own life. Katie had been thinking about seeking out other opportunities for a long time, but this hit the nail on the head.
We talked about how her boss failed her in all the right ways; ways that made her move towards the next growth step for her. It made her shift out of her comfort box. Comfort boxes are the most dangerous places to live because of their ability to halt personal growth. Moving out of her comfort box meant she would face new challenges, but also new levels of evolution.
We also talked about the anxiety monster she was now feeling every day she went to work, which was comprised of her feelings of lack of support, anger at the decision, and the unjust way her boss went about the decision. All that she was feeling wasn’t identified as individual feelings and handled accordingly. Instead, the formed this giant what I call “Anxiety Monster” that we run from and are scared of, seeing it as something outside of ourselves. In reality, an anxiety monster is just an immature feeling. It is a toddler having a temper tantrum, because it is based in emotion. Think of any toddler who doesn’t have the skills developed yet to handle the anger he feels when you say “no” to the cookie. An Anxiety Monster HAS to throw a temper tantrum and wreak havoc in your life, because it’s the only way it knows to get attention for its uncomfortable feelings. It’s the little you, the child inside of you that also wants to react out its feelings, because it hurts and they’re hard. Think about any child that’s acting out. It’s actually when they need love the most. They need comfort and the “ok’s” that come from a soothing parent. Which is what you are now to your inner child. Let the anxiety monster sit on your lap and hug it. Give it the soothing it needs to understand that yes, your feelings suck. Yes, that situation was awful. But then know that there is a lesson to be learned. Ask how you can grow from what you just experienced. The anxiety monster will go lie back down.
The feelings of anxiety are an incredible growth tool that will get you and keep you on your soul’s path, if you listen to it and be aware of it. It is easier to ignore something and try to “make it go away” but permanent benefit comes with awareness and taking it head on. The longer the ignored triggers of anxiety exist, the harder and more buried they become making it more difficult to see where you went astray.
Judging the Emotion of Anxiety
Why are we fearful of the emotion we feel? We don’t say, “I’m in love” and then act in fear of it. Or “I’m happy” and then be fearful. Why do we judge the tool of anxiety by saying “I’m anxious”, and then determining it’s a bad thing. All emotions and feelings were for us to have a human experience. That does not only bring the good feelings but also the “bad”.
Perhaps it is because we don’t like HOW it feels, but haven’t learned how we want to feel instead, assume we should automatically feel that way, or we don’t do the things that allow us to feel good. Perhaps we see our happiness as a distant goal that we can’t achieve, rather than to see happiness as a process, not as an end result.
When you wake in the morning, ask yourself the question, “By the end of the day, how do I want to feel?” This is an easy goal to keep in mind so that throughout the day you can act in ways that bring about this feeling.
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