Glorious peeps—I have been reflecting a lot this month. This year has brought a lot of changes, and I am grateful for my family, friends, clients, projects, and increasingly: the gift of understanding more and more how I tick as a woman. Holy &^%, I’m a WOMAN.
When did it dawn on you that you were no longer a kid? That you were past the point of “What are you going to be when you grow up” to actually being grown up. You have a job, a mortgage, possibly a partner and kids, maybe a pet or two. Probably a neurosis or five.
Looking back on it, I wish my current self could have told my teen and young adult self a few things about what life looks like. Tough love, perhaps, over a coffee at the local dive she used to frequent, because Older Self has realized that vodka isn’t necessarily the best choice for anxious Younger Self. Nor is dyeing your hair the opposite of your natural color or wearing colored contacts that are not a biologically possible eye color. . . but I digress.
Here are 5 things I would say to my 20ish year old Self:
1. The person you are dating this week that you think you cannot live without, who you breath, eat, and sleep about, might not be the partner you need for life.
Sure, you love them, you are infatuated with them, they are going to be wonderful at some point in the future when they figure out how much they love you back. They will figure out their goals, and perhaps stop cheating on you. Guess what, Younger Self? Loving does not equal Having. It’s OK to love them, to lose them, and to mourn the loss of the idea you had for this partnership. But remember: it was an idea. You match less than the socks I’m wearing. Your future self deserves a partner who makes you a lot less anxious, more hopeful, better person. Your true partner will reciprocate the love you have to give. They will not keep you guessing. They will love all facets of you, even when you don’t. They will laugh with you when you fall down a flight of stairs, but only after they ask if you’re OK.
Younger Self is busy checking her pager/cell phone for messages from The One, so I continue with this:
2. While you’re at it—trust that the right person will come along, or not.
Once you accept the love of self, the love that surrounds you, and the love you have to give. I repeat: loving is not the need to have, control, or find definite answers of another human being. Typically, clenching onto people you date like the tow-rope on the bunny hill does not a comfortable relationship make. Allow a person to love you of their own volition; you shouldn’t have to prove to them your worth. Also, being picky about stupid things like hair color or hand size is probably not the most efficient use of time. . . it’s not like your little quirks are going unnoticed. Yes, I’m talking about your man-laugh. And you know what--if you don’t find a life partner? You’ll make it. Because look at all the people in your life that share this great journey with you—soul mates come in all shapes and sizes.
Younger Self *GASPS!* Upon learning she has not married until 32 years of age. This is unthinkable and sets off a panic attack. I calmly explain that it is worth the wait, as most things are, and continue, as she breathes into a paper bag. . .
3. The problems you have are usually of your own creation.
They are only "problems" if you choose to see them that way. Things will be hard: There will be pain, loss, confusion. Think about what you believe you are here to do: you want to change the world, you want to help, you want to love, a lot of times you just want to be attractive and popular. You maybe want to be an astronaut. Does it not make sense that God would call in situations that challenge these ideas of yours? That to actually live who you are, it entails overcoming the opposite challenges? There is a beautiful Yin-Yang to life. Without your problems, you would not learn solutions and approaches that help you grow. You would not learn how to find your path and service in the world. If you ARE something, you better believe the Universe will bulldoze in and say “OH, YOU THINK SO, HEY?” God has a sense of humor, for sure. Laugh with God.
Younger Self eyes me curiously and sets aside the paper bag. She has plenty of “situations” that challenge her. She thinks about how to reframe these as learning experiences. She remembers that she did, after all, learn how to rollerblade even after very publicly running into trees and other static objects. Challenge overcome. Which reminds me to tell her:
4. You spend way too much time worrying.
Young Self: Your moments of panic don’t really go away, they just change. Remember that one particularly bad summer when you had to use an inhaler during softball because you’d worry yourself into breathlessness? During games, when you started to freak out, Dad, with his infinite humor and wisdom, would calm you down by saying, “What’s the worst that can happen? You DIE?!” And pretty much, yes, that is the worst thing that could have happened. Would you be OK just letting things play out? Yes. Would you even be OK if you DIED?! Yes. See his point? Imagine the worst scenario of your worst worry—would you survive it? Yes, you would, and you will live to worry about irrational things another day. More on anxiety in another post. What are your worries telling you? It might not what you think.
Younger Self eats a few, or 20, cheese curds because she has not started to retain any kind of weight, takes a moment to think about her ideas surrounding death, makes a mental note to do some more reading on afterlife ideas. This segues into my final point:
5. Focus on the beauty, mystery, and excitement of life.
You, Young Self, are here on this Earth to experience life and learn for the betterment of your soul. You were put here to explore, and there is beauty in change, in drama, in new and old, and nothing is for certain. It’s OK that you change your mind, feel weak, feel lost, feel lonely, because that is what you are here to experience so that you might grow, connect and love as your best Self. You only have today, and when you look back you will see the patterns, the reasons why, and the tools you’ve garnered. Start looking for these patterns! Physical beauty fades, friendships come and go, people die, and choices don’t stop coming. Sit with yourself long enough to be OK with it all. To feel, to mourn the changes you undergo within yourself, to face your fears, so that you may experience all that life has to give. You’ve made it this far: Look towards the future with excitement, awe, and humor—there is always beauty and hope in the journey.
There are about 6.7 million other things I could bring up to my younger self, but she has lost interest, has ordered a shot, and is looking around the room for attractive men because, hey, that is what matters to her right now. I get it—and what a different set of worries and preoccupations they were. So, I am sitting here with my 35 year old self, wondering what my 50 year old self will tell me. I know she’ll still be drinking coffee, laughing, and learning. I can’t wait to meet her.
Today, hold onto the idea that our soul can experience growth when we release our need to find answers. Sometimes being in the unknowing is when we awaken and align to our soul’s true purpose.
I am a highly anxious person. I was diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder at the age of 19. My strange little behaviors—like severe rumination about having AIDS at a non-sexually active 12 years old, and confessing to teachers that I had “damaged” school property with my fingernail—while entertaining, didn’t seem so strange anymore. It is a chemical imbalance (if we’re going with that theory). It was my growing spirituality and intuition that helped me garner tools to survive, and I was graced with some pretty powerful experiences that nudged me toward my path today. I bring my story with me every time I meet with a client and feel compassion for the anxious. It would be nice if that was the end of the story. Far from.
My anxiety takes different forms and rears its ugly head at random. Last year I had a sustained full-body panic attack that left me shaking, unable to catch my breath, crying, laughing, and tired for an entire week. This coincided with a trip I was on to a spiritual place during a turning point in my life. This triangulation was not lost on me. The anxiety was spurring me to make decisions, dammit! Make them NOW! Did I do this immediately? No—but that’s another story called “Don’t Be Afraid to Jump!” I’m working on it. Through talking with others, I realize that anxiety seems to be felt by everyone at increased levels lately. Vibrational shift, we’re hearing. This shift seems to be showing up through anxiety that has no obvious cause—more “Who am I and why am I here?” than the usual “I have to speak in front of these 100 people!” So, I reflected on Gorgo’s theory while driving the other day—a major channeling time for me.
I think she’s right. What came through is that anxiety may be a misinterpretation of energy reception; our brains trying to shut out perceived negative energy that is actually telling us specific things for our positive futures. I believe it is potentiality that we are feeling. I felt nervous energy wash over me as I got the following info about this potentiality:
We are given the seeds of change through the ideas we get; the nervous ticklings, the what-ifs. We are channeling! If we want to change jobs, we need to facilitate it. If we want to get healthy, we need to facilitate it. The time is now. Nervous energy holds unhatched and potential action. Our society teaches us to medicate this, not harness it; to see it as disorder and not creative material. When we are unable to process our ideas, or stifle them, we disrupt the flow from our Creator, our Universe. What we process as “fear” is showing us the way to love. Even those “normal” anxious feelings are opening doors. What happens if instead of shutting down we honor the energetic message?
Anais Nin’s quote came to mind: “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”
We experience anxiety and pain when we attempt to stifle our blossoming.
External situations cannot control our emotions when we don’t allow them to. We fear the movement into our true purpose only because we are re-aligning and breaking old patterns. I have been experiencing this through shaking, shortness of breath, headaches, breakouts, sickness, anger. How are you experiencing it?
As we move towards and through the process, we must listen. We must remember to break patterns that don’t serve us anymore. For me, it is certain types of food. For others it may be certain behaviors. We dampen our energetic potential through the tools we use to numb ourselves. It anesthetizes energy and ekes away at the health that we need to create our path. When we crave these anesthetics we are craving the comfort of old patterns. Anxiety swells up to remind us. I imagine you can think of your patterns right now—those old fallbacks that seem to comfort us but actually cycle us into non-action. Remember, though, we must also be forgiving. Breaking the patterns can be like a mourning process. We leave behind rituals that do not serve our brighter future. Perhaps they protected us then, but today we let them go. . . Coffee, this is going to be a hard one.
What if there is more to it? Different types of anxiety? Anxiety also:
Propels us to ACT: Notifying us that something is wrong physically or emotionally that needs immediate attention. People, foods, chemicals, and environments affect us. Our bodies put up alarm bells–fight or flight.
Assures us of TRUST: We must allow decisions to flow. We get anxious if we can’t have the answers, NOW! We can’t dictate what will be, we can merely play our part in the Universal plan. This is a physical response to the dualistic ideas of “wrong” and “right” at any given time and anxiety reminds us to live in the grey area of not-knowing. I heard somewhere once that anxiety is our current fear of a previous result. We fear this negative result will play out again but we cannot know what will happen next!
Encourages us to PROTECT: We can pick up negative spiritual energy/entities. We can experience active or imprinted energies that hold current or historic emotions. For example, if I have an earthbound spirit in my area that holds addiction, sadness, or anxiety, I will react to this. Additionally, I will experience the energy of other humans if I don’t protect myself and hold awareness of how others’ emotions are affecting me. Energy is catching.
I have been sitting with this information to integrate it. It feels like a truth I forgot. My anxiety is particularly bad in the mornings, but lately I’ve noticed this: I slowly wake with hands subconsciously placed on my 3rdand 4th chakras. . . As if through comforting my body’s “anxious” energy, I am also holding power to facilitate change in my life, creative potential, and the love that flows from all of us as we bring our light and service into the world.