Anxiety is a fickle beast. It bows its head to you in an aggressive posture, reminding you of the dangers that curl around its horns, but then it waits.
I’m a perfectionist by nature. Everything I do, I want to do as best as possible. But I can often forget that in that quest, I haven’t always read all the instruction manuals. I skip levels without completing the challenges that I’ll need to complete a task later on. I’m in a constant back and forth between years, worlds, and self accomplishment. What I can do is dependent not on my stubbornness, but my experience.
Recently, I have been navigating different relationships. Trying to understand them. Trying not to isolate them. Trying to see the bigger picture surrounding me. I don’t understand how romantic love can tangle itself into the web of my heart, crisscrossing strings with anxiety.
I need to take a step back from it to see. And ironically, it was while at the gas station today, that I began to think about it and gain clarity. At one point in my life, I felt terribly alone. Isolated, depressed, I believed that I couldn’t be understood. It left me feeling anxious all the time, and it immobilized me in many of my relationships, both to people and to places or events.
Buddhist philosophy busted through that one day, in the way it so ordinarily does. All Life Is Suffering. We all suffer. Yes, this was the simplest concept, but the book I was reading at the time broke it down further. It went on to remind me that it is impossible for us to be alone, and that the more time we spend trying to be “individual”, the more time we spend in conflict and isolation. Once we melt those fictional barriers, we begin to find harmony.
In my recent relationships, I have been working on the concept of Relationship Anarchy. (I will link to a more in depth a blog post about this concept soon.) Essentially, I am trying to rewire society’s idea of conditional love, and how the best thing we can do is find “The One”, our mate, our spouse, our soulmate. I instead, see possibility and unconditional love in all my relationships, no matter what form they take. But while navigating this, I got bumped a bit off track by this particularly intense connection. Anxiety set in.
The anxiety I was having sent me both back in time, and forwards in time. Looking back, I was recalling past connections ,and the failures that eclipsed them into unhealthy situations. Forwards, I was thinking about how I wanted to be: the best at communicating, completely secure, and totally self aware. Black and white, dark and light, I found my current anxieties effected by past anxieties, and anxieties that I imagined I would need to battle in the future.
I forgot where I was.
I am loved. I have lovers, friends, and family that care for me and support me. I have stability in my home, my dog, and my work environment. I have battled demons or dragons, or whatever you want to call them, and I have always landed on my feet. People see me as someone who is well put together. While I am not always sure of that, I can understand the perception.
I am not the best communicator in the world, and a big part of me knows I need to remember to be more still, more quiet. But I do know how to take space for myself. I do know how to feed myself, and I am learning to ask for help. I do know how to recognize when something doesn’t feel right, and I do know that good things come out of difficult conversations.
The rush of this new fire set me off my feet a bit. It was exhilarating, yes. But I began to isolate it, and that’s when my anxieties kicked in. Instead I go back to the concept that we all suffer. But we also all feel love, so many different kinds. And yes, some connections are more intense than others at first, but they have their way of leveling out, just as others can grow into intensity over time. It is all balanced.
I would rather be here and be present with what is, rather than what was or may be. I am not a perfect friend, perfect lover, perfect partner, perfect person. But I have to remember, I’m kinda rad, and for my imperfections, I have a much greater web of love, trust, and compassion around me to fill in the blanks. I cannot focus on fixing the future, I just need to be okay messing up here and now, learning, and moving on. I need to have patience. That is what will set me free from these anxieties, and allow me to enjoy what I am currently so fortunate to receive.