A New Lesson in Anxiety

Reading a book by Anyashanti last night, I had a epiphany about anxiety.

For the past few years, I have approached anxiety from a place that it works by protecting me from something that could bring me harm. A spidey-sense of sorts. And this approach has worked well for bigger issues in my life, where anxiety was warranted, and I was able to use the anxiety to work backwards into what was bothering me, and come up with a game plan to address whatever the issue at hand was bravely.

However, when all is quiet and I look internally, I can still feel anxiety pulsating in my chest near my heart. I don’t like that feeling, and for the last few years have been approaching this anxiety with the same tools, trying to eradicate it, but to constant failure.

What I realized in this reading, is that this steady quiet internal energy, which I label anxiety, might not be due to being scared of something, rather this energy is there to pull me towards something great.

I noticed a while ago that my experience of the energy for both anxiety and excitement seemed to be similar, which struck me as odd, but with this idea, it makes more sense. It’s all part of the same emotional system. In both cases, we are being propelled to action, either action to protect ourselves from harm (anxiety), or to get the good stuff that is coming our way (excitement).

With this lesson, I wonder if perhaps this pent up energy sits there to push me forward in my path.  To egg me on to completion. According to Adyashanti it is a natural reaction to the fact that there is a dissonance between what I intuitively know to be true at an subconscious level and that which I am consciously aware.  This pent up energy has nowhere to go, so it manifests itself as anxiety, which help me keep moving towards true integration, and the pull of reality.

P.S. Of course, some would say that this is just generalized anxiety, but I’m not so sure that this dissonance is not the source of that too. Think about it: typically intelligence and anxiety go hand in hand.

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