What I have come to understand with experience is everything in life has an opposite. Dark has light, hot has cold, introvert has extrovert and anxiety has serenity for possibility. Our society is fixated on labeling them good or bad, instead we could, like the alchemist learn to turn lead which was considered the lowest of base metals into gold. The alchemist treated lead with a great deal of respect. To the alchemist, the ancient metal was a powerful “sleeping giant” with a dark and secret nature and he sought to release and free it.
We should do the same with our weaknesses and our dark sides. We can learn to harness the energy and like the alchemist transform it into something greater.
What I know is that my years of being anxious has led me to seek, with a burning desire, how to transform anxiety into focus, serenity and clarity more than a person who has never experienced anxiety the way I did.
Today people ask me, ”Have you always been so relaxed?” My reply is “not at all.” I was often labeled aloof, weird, even stupid by some because anxiety kept me in my head most of the time. I was very sensitive and aware of their judgments and deep down I felt defective. I had a tendency to worry about what could go wrong. Being present was extremely difficult for me so I found many outlets to help me escape from my own thoughts and emotions.
Today I realize that anxiety was a gift in my life, I understand why I felt anxious. The main reason was I felt uncertain about the future; past experiences were filled with uncertainty and pain. Anxiety was a self-protective mechanism that I unconsciously put in place to keep me safe, away from situations that were threatening to me.
Over the years, I have done my share of inner work, I spent many hours reading books, searching to understand why I felt the way I did. I fasted, experimented with food and diet; I practiced yoga, bodybuilding and meditation. I think everything contributed towards the well-being I feel today. I still meditate daily and practice a physical activity that I continually change.
I cannot emphasize how good life is when you invest in your inner growth. Throughout the struggle I never lost faith that things will turn out great! The difference today is that I live everyday knowing this! I don’t have to convince myself anymore!
We are all alchemists and have the ability to heal and transform our wounds. I believe anxiety helped me become who I am today. All aspects of ourselves can be used to help us get closer to who we truly are.
Far too many of us simply get caught up in the trap of coping with our lives.
Life is so much more! It is about coming alive! It is about discovering yourself and what brings meaning to your life. When you do that, everyday will feel like a gift even when life gets hard and it always does!