I am very lucky in that there are friends in my life who are committed to growth and healing. People who don’t take the world or personal problems at face value and are always digging deeper – people who encourage me to do the same.
One of my friends, who is a therapist, told me anxiety is like an octopus – it will attach to anything, but there’s “stuff” the octopus is sitting on. For me, I have intense anxiety when I hear noise late at night. I get SUPER anxious about sleeping because I do not want to be tired. I don’t want to be tired because I don’t want to be unproductive. And I don’t want to be unproductive because I don’t want to be unlovable.
Let me phrase that in another way. There is a part of me, a very young part of me, that believes only by doing something, giving something, achieving something, that I am lovable. Like there’s a love quotient and the more I do and accomplish the more loved I am. So of course being tired and unproductive makes me anxious! Of course I’ve taken my life to the extreme of being busy all the time.
Even typing this my inner child is scared because her whole world is shifting. A paradigm she’s been operating from for a loooong time is crumbling and she’s freaking out. Change can be scary y’all.
The truth is, I don’t think anyone loves me because of my accomplishments. I don’t think anyone says, “That Rebekah, I only like her for her writing.” If I flip it around, there’s certainly no one in my life who I love solely because they’re whip smart, or a good writer, or ambitious. Sure, I love those parts, but they’re not the only reason I love someone. Similarly, no one loves me only for what I can do either. To take it even further, no one will stop loving me if I’m unproductive, if I sit around all day and watch Netflix in my pajamas. No one will say, “I’m sorry, you’re not doing enough so I no longer love you.” Why say that to myself?
I bring this up because perhaps you have been struggling with anxiety and it’s not getting better. Perhaps it’s about something other than what it seems. I also share this because I think we have so many outdated ideas we’re not aware of. Things we think we need to do or achieve or accomplish or be before we’re lovable, before we “deserve” what we want. I’m here to whisper, “It’s not true.”
Louise Hay says, “Life’s problems can usually be boiled down to not loving and approving of the self.” At first I didn’t believe it because, “Of course I love myself! I say affirmations all the time!” but I didn’t realize my love had conditions. That I had to meet certain requirements before I gave myself the love I desired. What can you let go of today and what can you do to love yourself even more?
I dream of a world where we unconditionally love ourselves. A world where we understand we are worthy and deserving of love no matter what. A world where we let go that which no longer serves us. A world where we look deep within to find the healing we deserve.
Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.