Untangling Anxiety

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Yesterday, we talked about anticipation anxiety and the delicate process of untangling the experience of it with the necessary next steps to move through it. The question was asked, what if my anxiety comes from the past, from an accident? To dive into this a little deeper, I want to break it down into a couple of different parts.

First up, what you feel is always true for you, but it is not always true for the moment. The differential I am always seeking to understand is:

Is this emotion true for the moment, or is it connected to a past experience or story that is making itself known in my present?

In emotions that are true for the moment, the feeling rises up in response to our experience. In order to stay in flow with it, we are then required to understand the motivating question behind it in order that we take action in alignment with it (or choose not to act as the case may be), and in doing so, the emotion understands it has been heard; we are in flow with our experience and move onto the next thing.

In the case of the latter, here we find ourselves in the midst of an experience, and anxiety (for example) rises to the surface. In this case, we can appreciate that our reaction to what’s presenting is not true for the moment. A basic example of this would be standing in the arena with a relaxed horse in front of you and being overwhelmed by concern.

Is the anxiety real? Yes. It is real for you.

Is it real for the moment? No.

What you are experiencing in this moment is the residual effect of a past trauma making itself known in the present. A “glitch” in the nervous system which, given the right triggers, repeats on a loop until the tools are presented to provide it with a corrective emotional experience that sees harmony restored.

This restoration of harmony feels impossible, but it’s not. But it does require being gentle with yourself and developing the ability to recognize that in the midst of difficult experience, there is so much more that is available to you.

Understanding the difference between the two is the key to developing emotional flow.



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