Things never run straight, in a line or on an even keel. They tilt. They rock. They tip. Sometimes, the weight affects the balance and the whole thing just tumbles down.
But without the fall, you can’t experience the rise. It’s the law of balance and equilibrium. Perfect harmony only ever exists in the context of the extremes.
Where those extremes sit is something else. That’s the part that really matters. How extreme are they? In anxiety, they are polar opposites, as with many seemingly negative emotional states, they sit in stark contrast to each other.
A little anxiety for example, is perfectly healthy. It protects us from danger, it’s our fight or flight mode kicking in at a place where it’s still useful, well beyond our cavemen lives. But a lot of anxiety, that is something else. It’s a waste of energy. It kicks in with a ferocity difficult to understand, or to solve. It knows no reason or balance. But through experiencing its lows, you can recognise the highs. That’s where you want to live and stay – safe, warm and ultimately happy.
Anxiety has taught me a lot about myself and about the people who surround me. That place – that high – is not a place of safety or indeed happiness. It’s not warm and it’s certainly not safe. It’s the fabricated reality of its source – anxiety.
True balance comes in the rise and fall. Gently, like a sleeping child. True happiness comes from recognition and acceptance. Of all that you are, including the things you wish you would rather not be. Of your extremes and in knowing that is exactly what they are. On experiencing the soft curve of good and not so good in the moment, the curve that gives you the capacity to deal with what is in front of you now, not of what might be.
I wish that everyone who recognises this pattern finds their curve, through themselves and supported by the people who love them.
The biggest thing anxiety has taught me is that there is only one person who can truly make you happy – yourself. Then you will be happy in the company of the people you attract and who attract you. It’s a risk and a challenge and as with all risks, it isn’t safe. There isn’t the finite outcome that anxiety demands or indeed that people mistakenly expect. Safety comes from being secure in yourself, not your fabricated realities.
I challenge myself everyday to experience the rise and fall and to be wary of the extremes that served me so well in self-preservation through some tough times. But mostly I challenge myself to live and to love. Without fear. Without outcome. Without an agenda and without influence from the rise and fall of the rest of the world. Only the recognition of its existence and the thankfulness toward the people who make mine worth every up and every down.