Beneath the surface lies our true nature.
Deep down lay the struggles we spend a large chunk of our mental energy suppressing. Former French government minister and author Georges André Malraux said it best.
Man is not what he thinks he is, he is what he hides. ― André Malraux
I’ve been suppressing some feelings of anxiety and paranoia lately. You see, it all stems from a family tragedy in early 2017. My only father figure was inexplicably killed. Had a late night robbery gone wrong? Who knows. One shot to the head and he was gone in an instant.
It rocked our world to the core, none more than my mom. They officially married December 2016 after more than 15 years together. She’s made some strides in piecing together life again, but the scars are glaring.
Our relationship was one of short sentences and grunts like men who share households are wont to do. But mutual respect was there. He never tried to assert himself as a father in my teenage years. He was there when it counted. I’ll always be thankful for that.
Lately, I can’t help but feel deep, bone-chilling anxiety whenever my family calls me on the phone. It’s like I’m in this state of bated breath, waiting for the next call of bad news. Sometimes I even ignore their calls.
I feel the anxiety spilling into other parts of my life and work and soon I won’t be able to hide it as well as I’ve been.
What do you hide that’s been impacting you lately?
Can you call it by name?
The source of my recent angst? Change.
A lot has been happening over the last year. From leaving my job to starting a writing and coaching business, building the parachute as I fall.
As good as change can be, it’s akin to that pill you take to fix one major problem with a host of side effects.
A secondary feeling of anxiety can easily drudge up underlying primary anxieties we never addressed. It’s more like a “Shit is on a knife’s edge right now and I don’t need any bad news” feeling.
I’m slowly starting to believe the quality of life is not dependent on success, achievement, and money.
It starts with the number of internal demons you can slay. Once you’re unafraid of who you are now, you’re free to pursue the things you love with gusto.
So there’s a lot of work to do.
Dealing with the things you hide
We don’t even realize the things we hide subconsciously impact our conscious efforts.
Feelings like anxiety, fear, unworthiness, and insecurity guide our steps more than we would care to like.
So how do we deal with what is hidden?
Talk about it
A first step forward is just to talk about it.
Find someone willing to openly listen once you trust them enough. Then you can even move on to professional help. If you’re working, your company may have a wellness program capable of helping you work through your feelings.
That’s a great place to start.
Write about it
Writing also helps unload and compartmentalize what you’ve been feeling too! Keeping a journal or writing a post about it helps you face your fears and gives you something to aim at when it comes to getting help.
My goal is to keep putting pen to paper about my anxiety.
It’s here to stay. So channel it
“Anxiety was born in the very same moment as mankind. And since we will never be able to master it, we will have to learn to live with it — just as we have learned to live with storms.”
― Paulo Coelho,
Some things we go through are here to stay. We know this, so that’s why we hide it. Yet our deep-seated feelings fester and impact our relationships, careers, and even physical health.
What we can do is learn to let it work for us instead of against us.
Fear is fuel.
Anxiety can be turned into excitement.
There are ways we can fuel our true nature once we identify when it’s causing a problem and look for ways to turn that negative energy into a positive.
Easier said than done.
But we have to try.
Take some time today to think about the feelings you’ve been hiding. What have you been keeping mum about that could potentially impact you negatively in the future?
Doing a deep dive is scary, but you learn things about yourself and those nuggets of information can really take your life to the next level.
You also find out some things are natural, like how anxiety is a stage of grief.
I’ll keep exploring my anxiety through writing and getting help to work out how to deal better with the things I hide.
I’ll keep you all posted 🙂
But for starters, I’ll make a better effort to pick up the phone immediately.