I am feeling anxious. I recognize this because not only have I not been sleeping well and worrying more than usual but also, my cuticles are ragged and raw. This is one of my indicators that lets me know my state of mind is not in a good place. This compulsive behavior serves as a reminder to let me know my nervous system is feeling unsettled.
In the past, I would have felt shame about my behavior. This time I don’t like how my fingers look, but I do feel compassion toward myself and peace about it all. I don’t feel an internal urgency for things to be different. I am okay with my disturbance. I am not resigned to it. I am okay because I know it is temporary and nothing I personally need to fix. In fact, if I were to get personally involved I would most likely suffer more.
I am also aware that my anxiety is related to experiencing feelings of anger and frustration. Luckily for Angus, these are not related to him. These feelings are also indicators of my state of mind, but they are also opportunities for integration.
I am on a learning curve of how to step forward and communicate more honestly. I need to be direct and own my experience. I need to give myself a voice. I am very grateful for the intimacy that Angus and I experience but I often don’t find myself opening up much with others. I spend a lot of time listening but am not usually the one to share.
I also recognize that there are times when my desire to be liked and to be seen as nice gets in the way of me being honest. I don’t trust that I can’t deliver the rawness of how I show up with Angus to the rest of the world. And I understand there are times when it wouldn’t be appropriate, but I also recognize that I don’t really know.
When I’m lost in my conditioning things get confusing. I know my sentiments seep through and are felt, but I’m not clear yet on how else to show up.
This is the human learning curve of awakening from conditioning.
Understanding this is universal is what helps me. Knowing that every single one of us works the same way is reassuring. Even though the content of my experience and my programming is unique, my spiritual nature and how my psychology works are the same as everyone else.
How I find this helpful in this life moment of increased anxiety and frustration, is that I actually feel grateful to be on the learning curve. It is progress for me to own my anger and frustration. It is less buried than before. And even though I haven’t quite figured out how to navigate the molten lava bubbling inside of me, and my conditioning is still at play trying to manage and control my behavior so I discharge the pressure and self soothe with my picking, this is what growth looks like.
It is also important for me to not dismiss my experience as just thought. If I wasn’t identifying with certain thoughts I wouldn’t be upset. That is true. But it is also true for me that identifying with these thoughts is growth. Being more conscious of my anger and owning my experience of it is growth.
I don’t get to go from repression to zen.
Just like when my foot falls asleep and comes back to life there is a period of discomfort as it comes alive. My experience of anger is part of my awakening and coming alive. And I am not reacting from it. As my cuticles indicate, I am in process with it. I am learning what and how to express and my fingers are taking a hit while I figure that out.
We all have our human learning curves. Some of our blind spots are more obvious than others. I feel it is important to share my imperfections because there is so much emphasis on personal development and self-improvement in Western culture. There is this notion that there is somewhere to get to and something to do about getting there.
As I see it there is just the natural unfolding of awakening that occurs simply because we are part of this divine intelligence that is the source of all things. We can’t help but grow and learn. There is no doing required. It is the seeing and the understanding of this that matters. And waking up from blind spots is infinite so there is nowhere to get to. No matter how much I see there will always be more to see.
As I navigate this current period of perturbation. I am grateful for the opportunity to see more. I am sure an insight is brewing. And my current discomfort is made more acceptable and bearable knowing that this is what learning feels like. I am not broken. There is nothing wrong with me. I have my conditioning and coping mechanisms associated with my conditioning that may or may not clear up in this lifetime. And the less pressure I put on myself to change and make myself better the easier this human experience seems to be.
In sharing, I hope I normalize your struggle whatever it may be. It is a sign of your growth and learning unfolding. You are not broken. You do not need to be fixed. The expression of who you are is awakening. There is no right or wrong way to wake up. There is just the way it is unfolding for you, and there is no hurrying nature. Just like we can’t make a sapling grow quicker, we can’t work at speeding our waking up. The intelligence within us unfolding. We can’t stop it. We can’t mess it up. We can’t get in the way of it. We can, however, understand this so it we have a more enjoyable experience as it is unfolding.
The more we surrender to what is and relax the easier each moment is. Even if the moment contains pain, resistance to that pain only makes it worse.
Can you see the health in all of your experience? Not just in the parts that your conditioning tells you are good. Can you trust your natural unfolding? Even when your conditioning tells you it isn’t good enough. Can you allow yourself to relax? All the while your conditioning urgently tells you not to stop.
And with this freedom, you get to decide what support you want along the way. Not because you need to be fixed, but because it is helpful as you navigate this human experience. That is very different than trying to change or be better. Asking, “How can I be kind to myself as I navigate this circumstance?” is a quality question worth reflecting on.
And the best rebellion against conditioning is to say, “Yes, I am good enough exactly as I am. I don’t need to change. I don’t need to improve. I don’t need to be better. I am enough exactly as I am with all of my foibles, no matter how grave.” That is love. That is freedom. That is true.
And the foibles clear up by themselves the more we look in this direction.
So with my painful fingers and rageful attitude, I am going to remember that and not try to change myself or my experience. I am going to remember that I am enough exactly as I am and tell my conditioning to f*@! off!
If you would like to listen to the Rewilding Love Podcast, it comes out in serial format. Start with Episode 1 for context. Click here to listen. And, if you would like to dive deeper into the understanding I share along with additional support please check out the Rewilding Community.
Rohini Ross is co-founder of “The Rewilders.” Listen to her podcast, with her partner Angus Ross, Rewilding Love. They believe too many good relationships fall apart because couples give up thinking their relationship problems can’t be solved. In this season of the Rewilding Love Podcast, Rohini and Angus help a couple on the brink of divorce due to conflict. Angus and Rohini also co-facilitate a private couples’ intensives retreat program that rewilds relationships back to their natural state of love. Rohini is also the author of the ebook Marriage, and she and Angus are co-founders of The 29-Day Rewilding Experience and The Rewilding Community. You can follow Rohini on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. To learn more about her work and subscribe to her blog visit: TheRewilders.org.
This post was originally published here: https://www.therewilders.org/blog/shouldn-t-i-not-feel-anxious-any-more