Nervousness and anxiety have been my all too often companions. For most of my life I have been a nervous, anxious person, though not on the surface, as I learnt to disguise it quite well… or so I thought.
I lived as a scared little boy for many years. Not all the time, just at certain times: always doing things to please other people, looking for recognition, not doing things because I was scared of being wrong or shown to be less.
This way of living was very detrimental to my health and wellbeing. Anxiety would cause nausea, tiredness and feelings of not being good enough, always doubting myself, going to the point of self-loathing. Feeling anxious or nervous was my ‘normal’.
This way of living never felt right, yet I let it become a part of me, ingrained in everything I did or did not do. The choices I was making in how I lived came from a man already in anxiety, constantly worrying about the future. Making those choices I would very rarely be the gentle, tender and loving man that I am.
When I needed to communicate with people, whether it was work, sport or any other relationship, I always put myself beneath or as less than the other person. I put myself in a position of already thinking that I had been hurt, believing therefore I was not able to get hurt by anything they said. I convinced myself that I was not their equal.
In reality I was just scared of being wrong or not being liked. I was under the belief that it was easier to make myself ‘wrong’ in the first place and then I thought everything would be ok.
Confrontation scared the pants off me. I would do anything to avoid confrontation when communicating with people, even when playing sport. The funny thing is, sport by nature is confrontational.
Despite this I really enjoyed playing sport: in fact many times I would have said that sport was my life, but even in this, my anxiety about needing to please, to not be wrong and not being good enough, affected how I played sport.
I have become aware that I played sport not just to win but with a fear of losing. I always looked at sport as being my time – an opportunity to be what I thought was myself, not having to worry about what was going on in my life. What an illusion!
As I sit and feel these things about the way I have lived, I do not dream about what might have been, but look to what is. Nervousness and anxiety occur less frequently these days, but I feel more what it does to me and how it affects me. Many times I have felt my chest filling with words that needed to be expressed but I have held them in.
I can now feel how my being caught up in nervousness and anxiety affects people around me. It makes people feel uncomfortable, I have difficulty saying exactly what I want to say, and what I say can sometimes be confusing because I hold back on what needs to be said.
I water it down to minimise what I think the reaction may be from the other person.
The more I build a relationship with my body, the greater the awareness I have of what is happening in my body. This awareness allows me to understand what anxiety and nervousness are.
For someone like me, who has lived with the fear of becoming anxious, this understanding helps me stay more present in my body and takes away the thought of becoming anxious.
Through Universal Medicine presentations, Esoteric Practitioners and the College of Universal Medicine (who ran a course ‘Understanding Anxiety in Men’), I am able to recognise and understand the anxiety and nervousness when they start to appear.
I now know I do not need to fight them, but look at what I have been doing that has allowed them in.
Whilst I am not completely clear of anxiety and nervousness, I do feel that I deal with them in a way that has less of an effect on me. This is something I need to continue working on, building my relationship with myself.
I still feel like that little nervous boy occasionally, but I have a greater awareness of what is going on, which allows me to look at the choices that are there for me to make.
I can say no to nervousness and anxiety, or I can allow them to run me. I am glad to report that most of the time, I choose to say no.
More and more I am appreciating and allowing myself to be me. Because of this they do not control me and I do not fear them, but I can accept that there is an energy there, and I have a choice: anxiety and nervousness, or Me.
I would like to thank Serge Benhayon for inspiring me to make changes in my life.
By Brian Piper, 58, Greenkeeper/Horticulturist, Byron Bay