Befriending My Anxiety
Good morning monster, and welcome to this day. I see you there, trying to hide in the shadows, but come here, into the light. Snuggle up next to me, here on my bed. You and I both know that you're going to follow me around all day, so we might as well make a plan.
Though terrified, I welcome your solicitation. I can feel the vibration of your energy. It's hot and I fear if you sit too close, you will burn me. After all these years of having you in my life, I still tremble when you move toward me. Give me a moment to catch my breath. With each deep inhale, I repeat "I am safe". With each deliberate exhale, I remind myself that as long as I welcome your heated presence, I can't get burned.
For a monster, you're surprisingly patient, which I often mistake for cruel relentlessness. In these moments I am angry that you won't leave me alone. More times than not, you disrupt my most childlike activities when all I want to do is dance, play, or rest. Often, amid a pleasant experience, you abruptly lunge at me out of nowhere. I am then forced to wrestle you to the ground to figure out what you want from me. In those moments of terror, I believe you are evil and that you ambush me out of spite, for your pure enjoyment.
You and I have been in this relationship for decades, and what I'm finally realizing is that you are never jumping out of the shadows, and you are never lurking. Quite the contrary, you are always present. Just as my skin is part of me, so are you. As I slow my mind, see your silhouette and welcome your company, I realize you are an invitation. You hold the keys to my locked heart. You are my story, my trauma. You are the protector of my younger, wounded parts that have experienced tremendous suffering.
The more I deny your persistent pursuit to heal my heart, the more I run, the more we wrestle, and I do get burned. Yet, when I welcome you, knowing with conviction that you are fighting on my behalf, I can join you. I'm no longer at war with you, and I'm no longer at war with myself. It is here where I can feel the emotional healing deep in my bones, and experience peace and the fullness that this life has to offer.
You are not lurking in the dark shadows waiting for me to let down my guard so you can attack. You are waiting patiently for me to slow down, to ease the hustle, so you can graciously gain my full attention. And once you do, I can open my heart and accept your loving encouragement. God then uses us both to heal the parts of me that are still hurting after all these years.
Your presence is not an assault, and we are not at war. You are a beautiful gift from God. Thank you for moving closer and sitting here next to me. I know I don't always make it easy. Let's do this day together. Hand in hand. Step by step.
Good morning Monster.