I have always thought of anxiety as something outside of my control. I thought anxiety was an expected result of dealing with stressful situations or people. I come off easy going but I often feel anxious. My thoughts on anxiety are evolving because of a book I started reading this week.
I have begun reading, Solitude by Robert Kull. He spent a year alone in the Patagonian wilderness. He went to “integrate Ph.D. research into the physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual effects of deep wilderness solitude with personal spiritual practice.” I am not sure how that sounds to you but, it is a page-turner. I will hold off recommending it until I have finished it or at least until he has survived the harsh winter months. What I have read so far (including the scripture below) has me reflecting differently about anxiety.
I want to explore the anxiety I so often feel. It’s deep and poisons my life. I’ve seen over and over that things work out — not always as I’d planned, sometimes much better — yet still I look ahead with fear. Instead of relaxing into life, I’m often needlessly tense and worried. This last storm was an example. I worried that the cabin wouldn’t hold together, that the plastic over the tent would tear loose, that the boat would break free, or that some other undefined bad thing would happen, but I hadn’t thought at all about what actually did happen. Once faced with a real problem, I dealt with it. Even when things get really nasty — like my foot getting ripped off in the motorcycle crash — life continues. So why not let go of the worrying? Kull, Robert Solitude, page 104.
Anxiety is not based on reality, the way things are. “What if,” is the name of the anxiety game. Anxiety is an uneasiness of mind caused by fear of a future possibility. It is a state of uneasiness caused by a future uncertainty. Living in the present moment brings certainty, serenity and tranquility.
Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life… Matthew 6:25a
Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day’s own trouble be sufficient for the day. Matthew 6:34
Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:6 RSV
Do you have trouble with anxiety? How do you let go of worrying? The way the verses from scripture read below it sounds like anxiety is in our control. Outside of an anxiety disorder would you say that anxiety is your control?