Let’s start this out buy saying I am completely aware that in the midst of a global pandemic + chaotic time – to tell you not to worry, would be silly. I am here to give you some insight on my struggle with anxiety and how I change I conquer it and also my outlook to give a different perspective so that I am the one in charge of my feelings and worry.
Most of us worry about things from time to time- we are human and it’s part of our nature, whether it’s about someone we love, something we might have forgotten to do, a big project at work or school, etc. A little worrying can be perfectly normal. However, the problem can snow ball when we worry too much + it starts to become part of our every day normal.
Let me take you way back. In college, War Eagle!! — I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder and if you don’t have any anxiety issues – you may roll your eyes at this but, it’s real. You can feel like you are having an actual heart attack at times and not be able to breathe. That little ball of worry can turn physical. I would want to vomit, heart racing, dizziness just at the thought that I disappointed someone or forgot to do something that day. My anxiety ruled me. I sought counseling, was prescribed medication + dealt with it. I am not sure I shared that with anyone, not even my roommates at the time. It was a long road of building confidence and taking control and including my faith to help me reach my goals.
I say all of this because where I was years ago and where I am now, is an extreme change. What a better time to talk about this then NOW when chaos has us all entangled in anxiety/worry and fear of the unknown.
Unfortunately, the society we live in is busier and louder than ever, and people tend to have more responsibilities than ever before, offering a practically perfect environment for worrying. Worrying itself has become so prominent in our culture.
This year has dealt us all quite the hand and some much worse than others but we are all entitled to feel our feels. That is one of the biggest things I tell myself. Feel your feels – allow yourself– but Christin, do NOT stay there, do not LIVE in your feels because you cannot move on if you do. Feelings are not Facts!
Aside from a pandemic and insane country divide, our family has been faced with a lot of stressors, blessings, and change. We were also diagnosed with covid in the midst of it all. The stressors, I can define for you at a later date, I promise. My point of mentioning them is that I just knew that years ago, I would have responded in a completely different way if I did not get my anxiety under control. I would have shut down. I wouldn’t have been able to process it and move forward. I would look for everyone else’s opinions. I would look towards every one else’s needs or wants. It took me a LONG journey to get here but faith in God and faith in my husband has been my constant. I still struggle, but – If I could not fully trust those two rocks in my life – anxiety & self-doubt would rule like in the past.
Worrying isn’t something we should let take over our lives for any reason. We may be living in a busy world, but worry itself doesn’t belong in our everyday thoughts. I will say, it is said best “worry is like a rocking chair; it will give you something to do but accomplish nothing.”
Instead of casting my worry on Him and having faith, I would try to control it myself. I put a great deal of pressure on myself pleasing others and worrying what others were thinking. I couldn’t get over that alone. Successfully letting it go, took me years and years and it was simply learning myself, building my confidence, growing my faith and reliance on Jesus that helped me navigate and process thoughts in a healthy way. It took me a lot of growth.
Tom and I listened to a podcast on our last trip out of town. It was from Jon Gordon the author of “The Energy Bus”. If you haven’t read it – you should! His words of wisdom had me in awe as I had already started jotting down my thoughts for this post. I had to share them with you.
He explains when you have negative or anxious thoughts – you don’t have to listen to them or allow them to be truth. My brother has also said this to me before many times. He tells me that I don’t have to believe my feelings. Again, feelings are NOT facts. You can feel them but it doesn’t mean they are true. Fear is a liar. Unpacking that- you take control of these thoughts you change the matrix of your life.
One other thing that stuck out to me was a story of “the egg, the carrot, and the coffee bean.” Each of these objects had faced the same adversity… boiling water – but each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior. But, after being through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water they had changed the water. It changed the environment and the environment did not change it.
Which one are we during adversity, during fear, during anxiety?
Am I the coffee bean? Can I be the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. How bold is that analogy? It hit me hard!!!
“When it rains it pours. Maybe the art of life is to convert tough times to great experiences: we can choose to hate the rain or dance in it.” ― Joan Marques
We choose to dance in the rain;
or in this case,
d r i n k t h e c o f f e e .
YOU have the opportunity to be the carrot, be the egg or be the coffee bean + enjoy coffee on ME!
I love this post. I am so proud of you and so lucky to be your sister <3