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Facing what I feared most - Joseph Clough

Joseph Clough

Joseph here, I once had anxiety, naturally i did not like it. I would do anything to get away from it, but it kept rearing its ugly head in my life. No matter what I did to exscape it or replace it with other thoughts, it caused me to feel conflicted. Why? Well the more I tried to build up barriers of protection from it, I became separate from it, but when it came, it came quicker and faster and then would loose myself in it. So on the one hand I lived this escapist mindset building barriers and on the other hand the anxiety remained bubbling and building up ready to consume me when I least wanted it. It was like it was always there, that the outside confidence was built on an anxious ground.

One day I pondered that this was not right. Maybe there was something deeper for me to learn. So here is what I got…are you ready?

I battled this anxiety. I built walls against this anxiety. But what was this anxiety? Well it was me. What a weird idea. I was battling and conflicting with my self, I was hating it, therefore hating my own behaviour.

So if it was me, and I was building divides between me and my behaviour which was me. Would I ever get the solution by masking or developing escapist alternative behaviours? No, maybe short term safety by escaping but it was still there.

Also whatever we resist grows stronger.

So I decided for a moment to face it, to become the anxiety, to put my full attention on it, to allow it to move or grow but to stay with it no matter what. It was daunting, it was scary as it was about doing everything I tried not to do for many years. I had been running from it but now I intended to face it… so I did.

I put my full attention on it. I went where it went, I became aware of how it moved, how it vibrated, how it looked in my mind, the colours, the sounds, the movements, everything, but I became it, I sat inside that feeling, minutes went by, it was not pleasant, but it was also a curious moment understanding its form within me, knowing I was actually it, that somehow someway I was producing it. I began to consider learning from it, by simply asking what do I need to learn that will allow me to be safer and happier. I remained within it, I became it, I learned more and more and then….. something curious did really happen, I felt an integration happening, the realisation I was it, that it was not safe for me, that there were other ways. I felt a subtle shift happen, that the barriers were breaking, the separateness became wholeness. I felt the feeling of becoming one and the anxiety began to disappear and a deep sense of peace occurred within me and grow around me, even beyond me.

My greatest fear was one I had to battle it and never ever surrender to it. But when I let go, became it, studied it, learnt it, became one with it the anxiety disappeared. Did it ever come back? Sure, but as soon as i put my attention onto it it would go, and become one once again in that sense of peace. And in time it would go quicker and faster, had the spaces between it became further and in no time it went.

So I say, become one with yourself and you will not feel conflict. Be one.