“Lean into your dark matter.”
– Rob Bell
Yesterday, i almost had a panic attack. It’s been a long time since I felt that darkness start to creep in at the corners of my eyes, my pounding heart, the tremors and dizziness. But there I was. A situation completely out of my control had caused me to instantly spiral in overwhelming anxiety.
I’ve been on a journey with anxiety for nearly 15 years now. It used to be a battle, but in the past few years I’ve learned some valuable truths about fear.
I’ve learned that fear is a friend.
I’ve learned that fear is a valid part of my life and, while I don’t let it define me, I refuse to dismiss, hate, numb, or destroy it.
I’ve learned that it’s what I do with fear that makes all the difference.
And maybe most importantly, I’ve learned that my fears, my anxiety, doesn’t make me a bad person.
In fact, anxiety has given me some of my greatest gifts.
It has strengthened me.
It has stirred up courage and tenacity I didn’t know I had.
It has broken my arrogance and let in the light of compassion and truth.
And it has given me the chance to be a wounded healer, sharing my story and walking with others who experience anxiety.
So I stay the course, even on a day where panic sets in. I walk on with my friends. Fear is surely there beside me, but so are grace, joy, and love.