I’ve been reading Pema Chodron’s When Things Fall Apart, highly recommend by the way, but she says: “All anxiety, all dissatisfaction, all the reasons for hoping our experience could be different are rooted in our fear of death. Fear of death is always in the background (41).” Lately I’ve been really anxious because of unemployment and not knowing what to do. I know what I want to do, but there’s this need for security that is causing my anxiety to skyrocket. This is my thought process (between me, my true self, and my fearful self):
– What are you so worried about Sonja?
-I’m not going to have money to pay my bills.
-So what will happen if that happens?
-I’m going to get in trouble.
-Okay, what will happen if that happens?
-Family, friends, bill collectors will stop respecting me.
-Okay, now what?
-They’ll stop talking to me. They won’t respect me. They’ll leave me. I’ll die.
See, how my thinking process works. That’s what triggers my anxiety. I went from not having enough money to pay my bills to dying in 10 seconds. I have a severe fear of abandonment. If someone leaves me, abandons me, I’ll die. It’s understandable as a child. If my parents abandon me, I won’t have food, be taken care of, etc. But as an adult, why am I still afraid? I can take care of myself. If anyone leaves me, I’ll be okay. The fear is still there.
So how do I cope? I follow my intuition. I have to face my fears. The last relationship I was in (the only relationship I’ve been in) was 3 years ago. He left because he didn’t like serious relationships. He has a severe fear of commitment/intimacy. Well, that’s what triggered my spiritual awakening. I also have a severe fear of rejection so when he left it was a double whammy. I hit rock bottom so hard I had know idea how to pick myself up. My worst fear came true. But look! I’m still alive. Life forced me to face my fears. I know I’m not going to die so what is there to be afraid of?
I put in an application for a massage therapist position last week and they emailed me yesterday about an interview. All night my anxiety was high because I know the only reason I put in the application and the only reason I would take the job is because of my fear. Not because I really want it. I want to write. So I’ve been debating on what to do. I don’t want to pass up an opportunity, but I also know that’s not what I truly want. If I follow my heart, my soul, my intuition, I would pass this job opportunity up. In turn, facing my fears. If I follow my mind/my fear, I would take this job opportunity.
-Sonja Jackson, OpenHeartTin