If it’s true that we manifest our own destiny, is it also possible that we manifest our own suffering? Does that mean we can stop it as well?
Last week I talked about how I’ve been feeling so good that it’s hard not to believe a down swing is right around the corner. I discussed the mind fuck that this creates for me as it causes me to question if I’m creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. That was last Thursday.
On Monday night, I had a panic attack, just as I predicted. Even though I felt it brewing all day, I remained positive that perhaps it was nothing. That, of course, could also be called denial.
By the time my hubbie got home from work, I was completely irritable. He told me something and asked me to keep it in confidence and my reply was to get totally defensive and ask if he thought I went around gossiping all the time. (I mean, why else would he say that, right?)
Of course, that wasn’t the case, and that is partially why I asked. It is important for me to know when I’m being overly sensitive (anxiety), and taking everything completely personally (anxiety), and feeling annoyed/depressed/jumpy at him and everything else around me (anxiety/anxiety/anxiety).
The familiar thoughts that everyone would be better off if I wasn’t around, that I’m a nuisance, and that he was completely disgusted with me because I was crumbling right in front of him, all began to dig deep and set roots into my brain.
I sat down with him to eat dinner and felt the pressure building up behind my eyes, like my head would explode any second. The familiar thoughts that everyone would be better off if I wasn’t around, that I’m a nuisance, and that he was completely disgusted with me because I was crumbling right in front of him, all began to dig deep and set roots into my brain.
I talked through it. Half rambling, half crying, but talking never-the-less. I interrupted myself to take long, deep breaths. I shook my hands down at my sides to release some of the vibrations that I felt running through my body. I described to him the feeling of having 100 ideas circulating in my head all at once and how the words feel like they get tied up in knots around my tongue.
Part of my rambling was that I kind of believe I did it to myself. I mean, last week I straight up said I was due for a low, and here it was just five days later. WTF? Part of me thinks that I am responsible. Part of me thinks that I’m giving myself WAY too much credit. I mean, am I really that powerful?
When I was a child, I had a recurring dream that I was in a vast open space, there didn’t even seem to be a ground, and in the middle, was what I can only describe as an enormous, tangled, cluster fuck. It was an ever moving and shifting mass of wires, cables, and rope of varying sizes and textures, that was knotting in on itself in constant movement. It was terrifying and as big as a mountain.
In the dream, I would feel an incredible amount of internal space, like the distance between my shoulder and hand was miles long. You know that hell hallway in dreams that keeps getting longer? Well imagine that feeling, but inside your body.
Then my gaze would go from the cluster, to a tiny daisy, just below it in its shadow. That simplicity was comforting. Then I would wake.
For years, I had this dream. I still have it occasionally, usually when I have a fever. It is the only visual I have for a panic attack. Just thinking about it can bring up a shaky feeling in my belly. But maybe it has been trying to tell me something, even all those years ago.
I DO believe that I brought on my anxiety attack. I’m the person that would play hooky and call in sick to work, only to ACTUALLY get sick like 4 days later. My brain body connection is strong and apparently still listening to old stories. I made my brain go wonky by telling it that it was due to go wonky.
But I think there may be something in those dreams that was telling me a secret. That tiny flower sitting in the shadow of the madness is the key. It always has been.
Last week, I told myself that I was going to have a bout of anxiety. I can’t help thinking those thoughts. I wish I could but they are decades of habit in the making. But maybe, with the help of that daisy, I can begin to reframe them, and start developing a new habit of focusing on something small and beautiful within the noise.
In reality, I’ve been processing this all year. I created an entire series of paintings called, A Lovely Mess, which is all about finding the beauty within the chaos. That’s what the dream was trying to tell me all along.
The tornado may be huge, looming, chaotic, and loud. It may be casting a huge shadow on everything around it, but look closely. I bet there is a tiny bit of beauty in that shadow whose only existence is to say, “I’m still here! I have always been here! My roots are deep! I will never leave!”
So, the next time my brain goes wonky, or I predict that it’s due to go wonky, or when I can’t seem to see anything beautiful amongst the chaos, I’m going to think about that flower. My hope is that by just changing the thought pattern, the attack won’t happen. I’ll keep you posted.
Do you feel you manifest your own anxiety? How do you keep it at bay? In the comments below, I’d love to know if you have a go to mantra, breathing exercise, or any other strategy for stopping anxiety before it grips you. If not, maybe try my flower? Let me know how it goes.
I have obviously been looking for my flower all along. The painting at top is from my Lovely Mess series. Tending the Garden, 8"x8", Acrylic and Paper on Canvas. It is for purchase for $160. CLICK HERE to purchase.
Search for the beauty in the chaos. It's still there amongst the noise.