September 29, 2021
I’ve seen this meme a few times, but it never really resonated with me.
I had a really stressful weekend, and by Sunday night I realized that my anxiety was a lot worse than I had been willing to recognize.
As I sat there trying to settle into it I had a very different experience than I’ve had before.
Usually I can pinpoint what is causing my anxiety, but I couldn’t this time. Instead it was as if my mind/body were stuck in the past. Not any particular moment or memory, but in the past as in stuck in my past fear and trauma. It was a different sensation than I’ve had before.
As I sat there feeling overwhelmed, but not a panic attack, I just started trying to connect to the present.
Where am I? I’m in my home
Am I safe? yes
Is there anything or anyone here that can hurt me? no
can the things from my past hurt me? no
I’m here now.
I don’t live there anymore.
Those people aren’t in my life anymore.
I kept going until I could feel myself calm down.
The interesting thing was not that I finally calmed down, but it was more like I came to a point where I could put down that anxiety, that fear, and walk away from it. I was able to leave those feelings and sensations in the past where they originally came from, and walk away.
They aren’t mine anymore.
They don’t belong in my life.
They aren’t warranted anymore.
There is no threat anymore.
I get to choose. I get to be in control.
On Monday I had more anxiety show up, and I just did the same thing. Recognized where the trigger was coming from, and then separated myself from it – made a clear connection to the present and that I don’t live in the past anymore.
I don’t live there anymore!!
And I don’t have to carry this with me.
It’s different than burying it down like we usually do in life when we don’t want to feel something. Instead I’m just walking away from it.
It’s still valid.
It’s still a part of my story.
It’s still important.
It kept me safe, it’s gotten me so far.
But now its job is over and I can take a new journey without carrying all my luggage around with me.
God says take no thought of the morrow, for he clothes and fields and feeds the birds… (did I slaughter that enough?!)
And maybe that’s what he means, too, is stop carrying around the past. don’t dismiss it, don’t ignore it. live it, experience it, and then leave those lessons there. Leave a trail of a life well lived, including the evidences of bumps and scrapes, crashes, and fires, and joys, and all the evidence of a life fully lived and experienced, but I don’t have to take all that with me everywhere I go.
It’s still mine, but it doesn’t have to be with me.
So off I go ready for another adventure!
Ready to experience whatever terrain lays ahead of me. whatever the weather may be. whoever the company includes.
and I can’t wait to take it all in!
Free from the weight of yesteryears.
Because I don’t live there anymore.