I've been finding myself getting swept up in bouts of anxiety lately. They seem to come out of nowhere and for a while I forget where I am and who I am. It's disorientating, but I also think in the end it will be healing.
These are old fears, I've realized each time the wave of terror hits me and starts to subside. They never feel old when they hit, but after I sit with them a while and ask myself what exactly I am so terrified of I start to realize that they are. I find myself being scared of things I've already faced and survived, or of losing things I've already lost.
"It's done." I tell myself when I realize this, "You don't have to be afraid anymore."
I know that I don't have to be afraid, there is no present danger, but the feeling of fear is so strong and confusing that it seems much more real than the actual safety that surrounds me. I am learning to acknowledge both the reality of the fear and of the safety. I don't have to be afraid anymore, but it's okay that I still am.
I know I'm not alone in this type of feeling. Other people struggle with surges of fear based in past events. Everyone has their own way of coping with it. My way is to do a survey of dangers so that I can recognize that the while the fear is very real, the danger is not. Then I ask what I can do to create a sense of comfort and security to counter the intensity of terror. Some days comfort comes through taking a walk or going for a run, other times it comes from cuddling with one of my fluffy puppies (they are actually pretty old dogs) or by curling up in a blanket with a warm drink and watching an SNL clip. No matter what I do or how I feel I tell myself that it's okay, I know it will pass and I'll feel better again soon.
On a spiritual level, I believe that there is a reason all of these old fears are coming up so frequently now at the end of this year. It's been a year focused on healing and internal growth. I feel that now is the conclusion of that time, so many of the remaining caches of pain that I have left buried are coming up so that I can release them. It doesn't mean that they won't come up again in the future, but each time they come up now I am able to see them for what they are (old, painful, emotional memories) acknowledge and accept them, and then let them go. Even though the memories can feel intense they are becoming easier to accept and release. It is becoming easier to get up even with the constant waves of fear. Some people might say that this belief is a justification of something. Maybe it is. Maybe it's my mind's way of trying to make sense of painful memories and hold onto the concept of hope when the fear threatens to drown me. But even if it is just a coping device; it helps me to believe in it. Plus, I really do think that there is something to be said about energy healing and the release of old painful, memories even if they have to be released many times over.