Much of your anxiety isn’t at all caused by what you think you are afraid of. Rather it is caused by the fact that you believe that what you’re experiencing isn’t normal. You believe it’s outside the range of what is “allowed” or “accepted” as an OK experience to have. This exclusion of part of your experience and its tagging as ‘strange’ or ‘not ok’ is the source of a great part of your anxiety.
Anxiety – I’m going Out of Control
When you feel anxiety, it is always because you feel that something is getting out of control. Check it for yourself. It doesn’t really matter what your anxiety is about. There’s this feeling creeping over you that something is happening that you can’t quite point a finger at. And your automatic reaction is to tag this feeling as danger and as something that isn’t supposed to be there. From there on, your mind will start shooting many worst case scenarios and the anxiety wheel will be catching momentum. So as you take a closer look, you’ll notice that being anxious means you feel that something that isn’t supposed to happen is happening. But what would happen if you did not exclude your experience as strange, not ok or even dangerous?
In Reality Nothing is Strange and All is Accepted
You see, many of us suffer a lot because we create a totally random agreement in our mind of what’s allowed and what’s not allowed to be experienced. Everything that’s allowed, we have no problem with it – even if it’s uncomfortable. But everything that isn’t allowed – even if really minor – becomes a great source of distress. Let’s say all my life I’ve been used to think of myself as someone who has a good memory. Now I’ve entered my 40’s and suddenly I experience problems with my memory. If having problems with my memory is tagged as ‘not allowed’, I will start having serious worries. I’ll start imagining that something terrible is happening to my brain. That maybe I have a tumor or Alzheimer. In other words, I’ll feel that I’m loosing control.
But if I am honest, it’s not like I ever had control. I was just used to experience myself in a certain way. So the whole point is that in reality nothing is truly excluded. Reality doesn’t come and say “This experience I allow, but that one I don’t!”. Reality allows and accepts everything. If you let this sink in, it’ll change everything for you.
No Exclusion – No Anxiety
What if I tell you that there is nothing wrong in any experience – no matter what it is? What if I tell you that there’s nothing you’re experiencing that is not ok? How would that make you feel? If you truly allow these words to touch you, you will start to feel the love that reality extends to you. You’ll notice that life has no problem with your experiences, rather, it is only you that excludes some experiences and accepts others. So if you don’t exclude, you will also not experience anxiety.
Try it for yourself: if you are used to getting anxious around a certain subject you tend to ‘exclude’ – try now to embrace and include it. Allow it to be embraced within the range of life’s infinite experiences – even if it is very uncomfortable. Don’t exclude it, don’t make it an outsider. Then watch for yourself, how your anxiety starts to naturally wane and relax.
Include All Experiences
The key to inner peace and freedom from anxiety is to include all your experiences. You want to learn to not discriminate between experiences essentially. This doesn’t mean that on a relative level you can’t prefer one experience over another. It simply means that at the very core – you truly don’t judge or exclude it. You recognize that it too, however uncomfortable or even unwanted by you, is an inseparable part of reality. And in reality, all is allowed to exist and be without any discrimination or denial. The spiritual process is eventually realizing that freedom is not about you and what you want, but rather the surrender to reality exactly as it is. You become free of your personal self and its hang ups.
Reality Takes Care of Itself – Trust it!
The amazing thing that awaits you once you include all experiences, is the realization that reality always balances itself out. It actually knows how to take care of itself and doesn’t need you to worry about it. There’s an inherent intelligence in the very fabric of reality that processes, integrates and allows things to flow naturally and effortlessly. Check it in your own experience: how many times in the last 5 years have you been worrying about something, maybe even dreading that you won’t make it…just to discover that eventually you did make it? And how many times in the last 10 years? The last 15 years?
You see, if you’re honest with yourself, you’ll inevitably notice the pattern here. You experience something you think shouldn’t be there and you get very worried. Then you try to control it and while doing so, you imagine many terrible worse case scenarios. Eventually, over time, somehow you magically go through this terrible time and make it through.
The key is Trust – but not a blind trust. Rather, a trust that is rooted in the knowing that reality truly takes care of itself. So you can lay back in its arms and enjoy the ride – even when it’s temporarily uncomfortable. At least you will be free of anxiety!