Hello Anxiety

Hello Anxiety

I know I try to ignore you. But I see you there. I feel you. In the tightening of the jaw. In the migraines. In the twinges and spasms of the back. In the writhing ball of snakes in my belly. In the snapping responses too harsh for the circumstance. You make yourself well known despite my willful avoidance. Your pleas to be recognized are seen and felt, but even so, your cause remains unclear.

I feel your attacks, the stones you throw, the shouts at your personal picket line, your angsty protest, but I don’t perceive your message. What are you fighting so hard for? What is it you need me to know?

BE WARE! Travel is unsafe. Your children need you, and only you, to thrive. Your future is uncertain. All of your efforts may have been a waste. You can’t really be a good writer, mother, wife, pastor, leader…you’re just you. Nothing more. What do you have to show for your efforts so far? 

Where are the voices that argue against? Where are the voices that see the journey so far? The wins? The successes? Why are those voices only whispers? Why do they not overcome these attacks?

Because…you aren’t good enough, smart enough, special. You have nothing new to say. You’re not even confident you should say them at all…not really. That’s why they don’t show up in the droves you expected. You’re not like those you admire. 

“But the voice of truth tells me a different story. The voice of truth says do not be afraid.” Corny, cliche, over-simplified…also, true. I always get those “voices that argue against” when I stop to listen. When I get quiet. They are softer and gentler by nature. They won’t scream or shake or coerce you into listening to them. It’s just not who they are.

And so dear anxiety. I hear you. I see you. Your warnings are not without warrant. I know you are trying to keep me safe. Thank you. And except this hug. Let me stroke your hair and look in your eyes. Let me tickle your back in that gentle way you like. Let me not diminish your fear, but look them head on and promise to walk with you in them. You are seen. You are heard. You are safe. You are not alone.