“I invite you to get over yourself, Kelsey” the counselor said to me.
Excuse me? I thought.
Who knew those eight words would change my life. Those eight, little words opened a door to a world I didn’t want to explore but knew I needed in order to heal.
In July 2014 I was a mess. My anxiety was so debilitating I could barely function. I couldn’t go to school or work or even leave my house. My heart would be in my throat, attempting to pound its way out of that sensitive spot between my collar bones. My hands would sweat. I would get dizzy and lose my equilibrium, criss-crossing my way across my apartment complex parking lot. Then I’d feel the fear settle in, forcing me to turn around and find sanctuary in my little apartment. I’d nestle into bed only to realize I wasn’t in my sanctuary. I was in my Hell. My sick, negative, self-loathing mind was ruling my body and it was trying to destroy me.
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting the same results.
For months, I lived in this bubble of disgust and fear. I would silently berate and scold myself for being weak and unstable. I’d judge my thoughts and actions and feelings, constantly telling myself I wasn’t good enough. I’d relive past events where my behaviour had been deplorable and replay the memory over and over, finding the proof that my thoughts were right: I was an unworthy, ugly, terrible person.
I wish I could remember the moment when I finally said, enough is enough. Perhaps it was my husband or my boss or a friend giving me a needed dose of tough love. Perhaps it was the muted voice of love inside my body coming through loudly enough to say, ENOUGH! DO SOMETHING! I don’t know. What I do know is I got on the internet, scoured profiles of community social workers and found a counsellor who seemed like he’d be a good fit for me. His name was Dallas.
You know that saying, “people come into your life for a season, a reason or a lifetime”? Dallas came into my life to pick me up from barren hole I had dug myself in to. More importantly, he invited me to get over myself. Profound, right?
“What do you mean?” I asked him with that teary tremble in my voice.
And he explained: Let’s say you and your friend Melissa meet at Starbucks for coffee. You have a good time together, talking and catching up. You part ways at the door, you go left and she goes right. You walk away thinking things like, “why did I say that to her?” or “I shouldn’t have said that. She probably thinks I’m an idiot” or “you are an idiot, she’s probably going to tell people how ridiculous you are.” Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. But what are the actual chances that she’s walking away giving any shits about what you just said? By the time she hits the end of the block she’s already planned out what’s for dinner, what she needs to accomplish today, mentally composed the email she should’ve sent yesterday, had 48 other thoughts and etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.
NO ONE ACTUALLY GIVES A SHIT. We are all living in our own bubble, trying to make the best of each day. We aren’t thinking about you the way you think we’re thinking about you. We all have our heads shoved up our own asses! It’s all part of this Western individuality and dream chasing we are all seeking. Besides, if anyone does care that much to dissect your every word and judge you and speak ill of you the way your mind is thinking they are doing, let them. That has more to do with them than you. You can’tcontrol what he’ll do anyways. You can’t ask him to think differently or behave differently. He’s him and you’re you. That’s it. All you can control is you and your reactions!
Anxiety that manifests this way is a sign your Ego is out of control. Your friend you just had coffee with probably loves you but she has her own plate of issues and responsibilities and tasks. She doesn’t have time to behave in the manner your anxiety is conjuring. Get over yourself. Your Ego is scared and when the Ego is scared it plays tricks on us. It attempts to lure us into submission by baiting us with our subconscious belief systems that have been programmed into us since childhood. And for many of us, one of the deepest subconscious belief systems we have ingrained is a lack of self-love, self-worth and/or self-compassion.
When you have a deep love for yourself you are confident meeting Melissa at the coffee shop. You are knowledgeable and honest in your speaking. You actively listen and offer compassion and love. You walk away from the coffee date feeling good, connected and content. You love yourself the same way you love your best friends so you are assured, happy and authentic. How many people do you actually know who are like this? Not many, right? And then look at how many people are suffering with anxiety? I see a serious correlation here.
A lack of self-love + an out of control, scared ego = ANXIETY
The solution is twofold: First: Get over yourself. This means getting real with yourself and self-examining your Ego. It’s probably out of control. How to tell? Are your thoughts centred on what others think of you, what you said and to whom? Are you talking to yourself/about yourself negatively? Are you internally beating yourself up for every little thing? That’s your Ego. Drop the E and let it GO!
Second: You MUST dig deep within and heal the subconscious belief systems that dictate your being. Whatever stories you believe about yourself that do you a disservice need to be vanquished. Anything that doesn’t elevate you to your Highest Good and make you feel amazing needs to go. Science is showing that repetition of positive affirmations works. Tell yourself what you must. I am healthy. I am strong. I love and accept myself exactly as I am. I am successful. I use fear to fuel my dreams. I am loved. I am where I need to be. Whatever that looks like, it’s been proven that repeatedly saying positive things about yourself even if you don’t believe it, will change your subconscious belief systems. Basically, it’s a “fake it ‘til you become it”. (Click here and here for more on this).
After I left that counselling session knowing he was 1000% right about my flavour of anxiety I immediately went to the library. I searched for subject word “self-love” and found Gabby Bernstein’s Spirit Junkie. It was the answer to a prayer I hadn’t known I’d been asking. It actually changed the way I think and how I was thinking was feeding my anxiety. My thinking was sick (because of my Ego and subconscious belief systems) and I had to do some serious reflecting and soul searching to recognize, heal and change! It was hard. I cried a lot but it was worth it. 1000% worth it.
I truly believe my anxiety doesn’t often surface anymore because I began the healing process of getting the f*ck over myself and turning my focus to healing my limiting belief systems. Don’t get me wrong, it’ll surface once in awhile but now I’ve learned to check in. How am I treating myself? How am I treating my body? Am I fuelling it with high vibrational foods like fruits and veggies or have I been bingeing on pizza and McDonalds? How am I speaking about myself? Basically, I check in with my Ego.
And while I am still working at healing belief systems that don’t work for me, I find the first step towards healing anxiety is recognizing what those beliefs are and taking small action steps towards replacing it with loving, gentle, compassionate beliefs. I have a list of positive affirmations on my bedroom wall. I stand in a Superwoman pose and read them aloud twice a day, everyday, with conviction. I can attest to the power this has.
Anxiety can sometimes require medication, yes, but in my experience, anxiety is an emotional illness disguising itself as a mental illness. You can fake anything and it will become your reality. You can do this. Get over yourself and get real with yourself. You’re meant for greatness.
United we rise,