Space to Become Aware

I’m fortunate enough to be able to vote by mail. But this week I decided to go drop off my mail-in ballot at the local voting booth, so it could get counted sooner than if I dropped it in the mailbox. That was the plan, anyway.

For some reason I hemmed and hawed all day, procrastinating from this simple task. When I finally drove to the library where the polling booth was, I found the parking lot to be a zoo. I was even cut off twice just looking for a spot! At the library! It’s sad, but usually you can do donuts in that parking lot, it’s so empty. Not so for this particular voting day. It was packed, and they were aggressive. Despite that frustration, I still parked, got out of the car and walked up only to find a major line flooding out the door. That’s when I felt this panic rise up inside of me that was so palpable I could taste it.

Reason left my brain, and all I could hear inside of my head were the (probably) nasty comments I might get if I were to bypass this line, because “I’m just dropping off my ballot!” So, instead, I pulled a 180, got right back in the car, and dropped my ballot off in the mail.

In the sanctuary of my car I thought to myself that I am dealing with some heavy anxiety. And this just doesn’t go away because I’ve been working on myself. But also in this same moment I realized that, wow, I’m aware I’m dealing with anxiety. I’m not drowning in it like I used to be. All the work I’ve been doing on myself has given me this space to become aware.

It doesn’t make the anxiety disappear. And frankly, in this modern world, how can it? We’re facing coronavirus realities, as well as the panic from media horror stories around it. Then there’s gun violence, the homeless crises, and global market volatility, oh my. I don’t mean for this to get into a spook-fest. My point here is that there are a lot of things to be anxious about. I know that I have anxiety. I’m just so grateful that now I am aware of it being something that comes up for me, rather than thinking it is something that I am. It’s that little bit of distance between me and the anxiety that has helped me realize each day that I can do this thing called life.

Perhaps you’re dealing with anxiety as well. The best advice I can give is to just keep in mind that it is something you’re dealing with, it isn’t who you are. If you can find that space between it and yourself, it will make all the difference in the world.

There is much love here for you. ~FoxZM

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