Anxiety. Every human being experiences it. What is it exactly? It’s the preoccupation with an unwanted future that could happen. It’s the fear of having no control over what happens in our lives. When we fear the future, we create anxiety in the present. Anxiety is like fighting a battle with what is and creating unnecessary suffering within ourselves. You hear the two opposite voices, one that cannot bear to lose control and experience the death of ego, and the other is here for the sole purpose of witnessing a human experience. Life is hard; there’s no doubt about that. Hardships will come and go. Some of those hardships will be easier to overcome, while others might prolong the pain by resisting what is.
Let me give you an example of this; it’s a personal experience that I am still learning to integrate and grow from. When my son Noah got diagnosed with cancer, I couldn’t accept that this was my new reality. I suffered and created much anxiety as everything was ultimately out of my control. At that point, I had forgotten the one tool I had available: my ability to choose how to respond. I became very reactive, trying to control my immediate environment and the outcome of his treatment. In my mind, there was only one option available: Noah had to live. He had to beat this disease. With every hurdle and setback, I got angrier at the doctors, sometimes even the nurses, at life, at God, you name it. I couldn’t control my life, his health, or the tsunami within me. I felt the worst kind of anxiety, to the point of having full-on breakdowns emotionally that I felt as if I had a panic attack. When his terminal diagnosis came, there was a new set of fears that aroused. Throughout the journey of his last 76 days, I was forced to learn a new lesson, one that Noah has taught me and continues to help guide me to learn and integrate for my soul awakening. The lesson was simple, to accept what is at any given moment. To give in to what the moment is asking of me, erasing any pre-existing ideas of what the moment should look like and what I should feel. There’s no should or shouldn’t in the present moment; it simply is. Not fighting what is, means allowing yourself to accept and find ease even in a life or death situation. My choice to contain my anxiety and before I let it ride me into a roller coaster of emotions, where I can’t sleep at night or begin acting irrationally, I choose consciously to stop that destructive pattern of being so closely associated with mind. Life will get hard; whether you like it or not, there’s no escaping it. You can learn coping techniques to help you ground yourself in the present moment, knowing that the sooner you accept what is, at every moment of your life, the sooner you’ll break free from the suffering your mind creates.
One year since Noah crossed, I still find myself working on getting on the other side of this lesson. But the critical part is self-awareness. Whenever you get anxious over the unknown or that which you have no control over (which is everything in life), you progress into breaking that pattern that used to control you and your actions.
And here’s the mantra that guides me and will continue to help me navigate this problematic dimension called life: “be the light. Accept what is. Be brave. Be Noah.” Noah had this lesson figured out to the core; that’s why his light shines everywhere he goes and with every interaction he has. Acceptance leads to greater faith. Also, next time you feel triggered and your heart gets overwhelmed with anxiety, know not to blame the trigger, instead have gratitude. This trigger allows you to dive deeper into your unconscious mind and heal your soul so that you may experience greater peace internally and enjoy a life with more meaning.