I have periods of time when I feel my strength and amazingness – I feel stillness, with a solid foundation of knowing who I am, I feel my ‘yumminess’, my essence. I also have periods when I just can’t connect to this, even though I know it is there, always, inside me.
There are many things that take me away from this stillness, this steadiness, for example; worrying about my family, thinking about work and clients, or needing things to be a certain way. But what tops them all is anxiousness.
In this life, I have been anxious for as long as I can remember. I accepted this as par for the course because I was born during a civil war where there were curfews and convoys. We then moved to another country with high levels of crime and violence – so of course I was anxious!
As a young child I would lie in bed praying, begging God to just let me sleep through the night so that I wouldn’t be aware of noises outside or a creepy feeling like beings in my room. I honed my skill of thinking – thinking about something else to distract me from the anxiousness I was feeling; planning a party in my head, or how I might redecorate my room, or how my wedding would be one day.
If I could just distract myself and think ‘happy thoughts’ until I fell asleep, I would be okay. But night after night I would wake up terrified and run through to my parents’ or my brother’s room – sleeping in their bed or on the floor, anywhere to not be alone and scared.
Six and a half years ago in my mid 30’s I moved to Australia and slept through the night for the first time without anxiousness. But it crept back in and I resorted to logic to deal with it. I would tell myself that I was being ridiculous, that there was no reason to be scared.
I would get up and look outside to prove that nothing was there, and would harden up if I felt that creepy feeling around me. It seemed to work… I had no reason to be scared.
Then one day I became anxious when driving, especially on freeways and through tunnels. This escalated into what I would describe as a panic attack and I would feel like I might pass out. I would try to connect to my gentle breath which wasn’t possible while gasping for air.
So again I hardened up and brought out the logic; “People drive through this tunnel every day,” “you are not afraid to die, so what are you scared of?” “there are exit doors, so if you get stuck you have an escape route,” “you are ridiculous” etc.
I decided that feeling anxious is ‘bad’ and unnecessary, so would try everything to not feel it.
A couple of weeks ago I was driving on a busy freeway and could feel the anxiousness rise. As I started to berate myself, I was inspired to ‘just feel it and don’t fight it.’ What happened felt like a miracle – the anxiousness didn’t disappear, but definitely released its hold.
There was no escalation into feeling like my head would explode or that I would pass out. At the same time as feeling the anxiousness, I could feel my inner strength and power. I could feel my essence and that the anxiousness wasn’t me. When I felt it, it couldn’t consume me. In this, I realised that I have labelled certain emotions and feelings as ‘good’ or ‘bad’.
By not allowing myself to feel everything that is there to feel, I have also prevented myself from feeling amazing. Whether we like it or not, we do feel everything all of the time and can’t ‘pick and choose’ what we are prepared or not prepared to feel.
It is like saying there are some colours that I don’t like so I refuse to see them; I will only allow myself to sense the colours that I do like, that I deem acceptable. The only way to do that is to shut my eyes and see none, and harden my body to not feel what I feel.
The lesson for me is acceptance. Acceptance of who I am, acceptance of occurrences in my life, letting go of trying to control what can’t be controlled.
I may have lived during wars, but the real fight was within me. By preventing myself from feeling all there is to feel (the good, the bad and the ugly) I prevented myself from connecting to my divine essence and being all that I am.
With heartfelt thanks and deep appreciation for the dedication and teachings of Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine, who have inspired me to feel, to accept, and to heal a lifetime of anxiousness.
By Carmin Hall, Brisbane
Healing Anxiety with Self Love
Taking Responsibility and Making a Re-Commitment Back to Life
Beating Anxiety Gentle Breath Meditation
Understanding Anxiety in Men
942 thoughts on “Anxiousness – The War Within”
Without intending to criticise any particular person I was reflecting on how much of medicine is about fighting and extinguishing symptoms, we fight cancer, suppress menstrual periods, we we look to cure and overcome conditions of all kinds, but we don’t just accept what is happening and deeply feel ourselves, the illness, and why. Of course it’s wonderful to have professional support and treat whatever is ailing us but do we have to fight it, could we just feel it instead and see what we could learn?
Just feeling the anxiousness and see what we can learn, ‘A couple of weeks ago I was driving on a busy freeway and could feel the anxiousness rise. As I started to berate myself, I was inspired to ‘just feel it and don’t fight it.’ What happened felt like a miracle – the anxiousness didn’t disappear, but definitely released its hold.’
The real battle has always been within and this falsity can be overcome so simply as you have shared Carmen. And thus as we appreciate we are these essences or “divine essence” the level of appreciate-ice-ness expands as we become aware that we can reconnect to so much in the knowing it comes from God and this develops our True appreciation.
We rarely appreciate what affects us when we are growing up, the consequences of what we experience, what we witness and most of all what we feel and yet cannot put a name to because it is not part of mainstream eduction from our family, school or community on the whole. Yet learning to listen to the body, to bring understanding and learning skills to allow, to surrender, and bring deep care to the way we look after ourselves, offers a welcoming door to the loud and subtle communication from the body
Those internal battles we have with ourselves are exhausting and leave us feeling defeated as there is no victory in war. Choosing to feel the anxiety and then let it go we free ourselves of the conflict.
When we begin to be more accepting in life it highlights the level of control and expectations we have lived with and how this has stunted our grow and evolution.
Very inspiring Carmin. “I may have lived during wars, but the real fight was within me.” Resolving that fight is to win the war.
It is great to recognise that war has its many expressions and how ultimately it is us, the human beings of this planet who express them.
When we label things as good or bad we decide at this point to colour them rather than just observing what is there is to felt and not judging it. To come to a point of acceptance and observation gives us a space and freedom to feel and observe all that is there and in do so we are no longer a slave to those feelings.
very true, the same could be applied to feeling well and feeling sick in the body. We fight feeling sick yet if we surrender and allow more ease in our body, there can often be a release from the ‘battle’ we are waging with whatever the body is communicating.
We tend to see the mind as a mighty character. Yet, it is not capable of rationally convincing a traumatised body to let go.
Hardening up and bringing out logic/judgment to push away what I am feeling sounds very familiar, and I can really see where I do that. It stops me from appreciating the bigger picture and I can feel how that freezes me in time to keep repeating the same reaction over and over, only to reinforce my own judgment whether that is against others or myself.
Very amazing Carmen. I like the anecdote you have supplied us — to never stop feeling everything because behind that awkwardness and uncomfortability is the untouched stillness within — the only way to it is to feel your way.
When we take that step to come back to our bodies, just naturally, and simply, we will find that the age-old plague of anxiousness starts to simply disappear.
This is a deeply healing and supportive article Carmin for anyone who has experienced anxiousness and feels there is no way out of this exhausting and undermining condition.
Anxiousness is a debilitating emotion that just erodes our ability to realise how powerful and awesome we really are.
Thank you Carmin, I appreciated all you have shared even though I have read this before. It is a huge topic not wanting to feel what is going on inside ourselves and it begins quite early in life when we are told to “be a big girl/boy” and not cry, etc. As adults we are also not too transparent with what’s really going on for us, as “How are you?” is often met with the obligatory “Good, thank you” even when we are anything but. Learning to be with what we are feeling is like retraining ourselves, I know for me I am not always able to do this so I appreciate the encouragement and support your blog offers.
“I realised that I have labelled certain emotions and feelings as ‘good’ or ‘bad’.” There were certain feeling and emotions that I would not allow myself to feel because they were considered by me as being bad, they were so squashed down that after years of living this way nervous breakdown and panic attacks were the results of not wanting to feel this created so much anxiousness. Gradually over time the anxiousness has become less as I allow what I am feeling to be there without so much judgment and much more love.
When we judge ourselves as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ we are in comparison with what we ‘think’ we should be. The truth of who we are in our inner-most essence just is.
That it is possible to actually let go of something that is so pervasive, that affects so many people… Not to just let go of it, but to truly start to heal its source, is indeed wonderful.
Every reactive behavior is a yes to what causes it.
Simply by connecting with ourselves, in such a gentle and obvious way, this has such a profound effect on our body and our central nervous system… Who would have thought that within gentleness there could be such a beautiful reconnection.
Wow Carmin, what you’ve shared is incredible. My understanding is that one of the key ways to heal anxiousness is to allow ourselves to feel, to feel everything and not try to run away from feeling what is coming up for us. The other key point is acceptance and letting go of control. This is very inspiring how you have managed to heal a lifetime of anxiousness and thank you for openly sharing your profound experience.
“By not allowing myself to feel everything that is there to feel, I have also prevented myself from feeling amazing.” I’ve been invited to some events and I feel a little dread about going, yet reading this just now I realise that I haven’t allowed myself to truly feel what is coming up and why and being okay with it. I can feel it has nothing to do with the events but past worries that I still have in my body. So this is awesome, for myself and everyone who I see as I’m taking responsibility for me.
Oh I am so pleased to come back to this blog again, each time I read it I remember how amazing the Gentle Breath Meditation is for building a relationship with your breath and getting to know what our body feels like. From there we can acknowledge that we are feeling something and look to work out what it is and why it is. Thank you again!
Allowing ourselves to feel everything is a great step forward in our healing.
What a super inspiring article Carmin, I haven’t lived in civil wars but sure can relate to what you are writing, and this sentence struck me: “Whether we like it or not, we do feel everything all of the time and can’t ‘pick and choose’ what we are prepared or not prepared to feel”; For a long time in only wanted to feel the good, while suppressing the bad. Life does not work that way: when we only want to feel “good”, we miss out on feeling truly glorious. Good is just superficial and not real.
Thanks for sharing your learning Carmin, acceptance is a big learning for most of us, ‘The lesson for me is acceptance. Acceptance of who I am, acceptance of occurrences in my life, letting go of trying to control what can’t be controlled.’ I agree, acceptance is so important.
Allowing ourselves to feel everything, whether we’ve labelled it good or bad, is part of developing an honest relationship with ourselves.
Acceptance is such a loving posture we can offer to ourselves. There are things we have identified ourselves with that are in fact not true and actually unsupportive or even abusive, but accepting where we are at, what comes up for us, while knowing and deepening the connection with what is actually true is very healing.
As long as we try to fight our anxiousness the war continues and it is amazing how it dissipates when we make the choice to feel it and not be owned by it. It is so draining when all our energy goes into trying to block certain feelings and this then takes a bigger and bigger hold on our lives. As you say acceptance is the key and the humility to release control and trust that we will be supported.
Thank you Carmin it’s great to read your blog again, and the insights you have shared about your anxiety, to “feel it and don’t fight it” and how it led to you be able to “At the same time as feeling the anxiousness, I could feel my inner strength and power.” That’s amazing because anxiety has a way of taking over and extinguishing the whole person. I really appreciated everything you have shared because it makes sense when we try to not feel something we don’t also feel our whole selves – we are a complete package and whatever is coming up to be felt needs to be.
‘Whether we like it or not, we do feel everything all of the time and can’t ‘pick and choose’ what we are prepared or not prepared to feel.’
This is a great reminder Carmin, to keep things simple. What we feel is not the enemy, choosing to battle instead of accept our feelings is.
This is a potent antidote to anxiousness and it should be circulated widely as it would bring understanding to this crippling condition. As you say, to overcome it means to go through it and not to circumvent or try to avoid it by going into a fantasy world or wishful thinking of our own making.
“I could feel my essence and that the anxiousness wasn’t me. When I felt it, it couldn’t consume me. In this, I realised that I have labelled certain emotions and feelings as ‘good’ or ‘bad’.” It feels so easy to do this, as I have too. labelling certain emotions as bad or good, probably put in place by parents who in their turn had a similar upbringing themselves. Recognising that anxiousness isn’t who we truly are is a big step. Feeling our essence and the stillness then felt puts paid to the lie – and shows us the truth of who we really are.
This recognising anxiousness as not who we truly are, learning to not define ourselves by those terms, means we can see the straight-jacket those definitions put on us. We free ourselves from the label that we thought we wanted to bring understanding to why we feel what we feel but actually one that holds us trapped and feeling like we cannot get out of it.
What a powerful and inspiring sharing Carmin on healing your long term anxiousness, often we feel we don’t have a choice with conditions such as these. I recall having panic attacks for about 6 months many years ago and the debilitating effects this had on me almost making me afraid to leave the house in case I got triggered out in the public. I agree with you that acceptance has been key to allowing me to also regain my steadiness and inner strength and to embracing all of who I truly am which has supported me immensely in dealing with any anxiety if it arises.
I have found that to accept life and myself also involves a physical surrender in my body – a letting go of any physical tension and allowing my body to just be.
Yes Andrew and being in the moment, that surrender definitely pulls me back to now, not ahead of myself in anxiety or behind in regret, just living now and addressing what is there to be addressed.
Beautiful Carmen. I’ve woken from an anxious nights sleep and your blog reminds me to stop and feel. When I allow myself to be where I am it makes it easy to bring more understanding to myself.
This is a very powerful statement Carmen: “By preventing myself from feeling all there is to feel (the good, the bad and the ugly) I prevented myself from connecting to my divine essence and being all that I am.”
How powerful the healing is, when we at last feel safe and supported enough to feel it all, that we are held and will not lose ourselves… And how revealing it is, that when we deny what we feel, we in effect cap ourselves from connecting to the essence of who we are within – and that there IS a steadiness, a stillness to embrace and foster our connection with in daily life. No perfection ever required, but to know this is there, changes everything.
A deeply inspiring blog, thank-you.
I continue to remember your blog when I don’t want to feel something, I feel the tension rise and, when I fight it, it is so much worse than when I simply feel it and acknowledge it, without needing to fix it. I almost pat myself on the back and say “well done – don’t know what I am going to do about it but well done for feeling it!” Works well for me as I learn the next step.
This is a great confirmation and extension on Carmen’s sharing Lucy. Saying ‘yes’ to feeling – to not negating what’s going on within, and actually acknowledging that THIS is a deeply self-supportive step to take – is so very powerful. In this, we cannot but also arrest many self-sabotaging behaviours that can so readily flow-on from when we resist what’s there to feel, and do our darnedest to keep it all at bay, or buried even…
Thanks Lucy for your comment, it’s a great point about the simplicity of feeling things also, that we can allow it to be felt without needing to fix it.
It is great how this article highlights the anxiety and how there are certain levels. Meaning it doesn’t just turn up one day and is gone the next, there are different levels of awareness to bring yourself to. I have seen other things written in a ‘here today and gone tomorrow’ way and it seems more unbelievable then believable. As is highlighted here don’t expect something to happen or focus on what goes on next, merely stay within the feeling of what ever is going on in the moment and then move into your next step. It not a trying to work out something but more a settlement with a feeling that then becomes another level of awareness in the next moment. Something happens at one point and then we spend the next amount of time trying to stop, figure out, run away from what ever about it keeps replaying over and over. What if next time something comes into your mind or is felt you just stop and allow yourself to feel it. If there is no clear answer we just keep repeating the same steps until the clarity is there. In this what if every time you chose not to feel something it put a layer of something else, an experience over the truth of what you are feeling? It would make sense then for when you start to feel or be truly aware of what you are feeling that you would also need to feel these choices or discard these layers.
It is amazing to understand that we cannot select the things we would like to feel without blinding ourselves to everything that supports us. In fact it is an absolute illusion to believe that we can avoid pain by numbing ourselves. The energy is always at play regardless of the reality we have chosen to see. If we choose to see what is really going on we have an opportunity to change it.
Carmin it was lovely to ready your blog, as I am currently working on a low level of anxiousness, it was great to ready that it is about feeling all that there is to feel and allow the acceptance in, the good, bad and ugly.