Today I want to talk about something that I am going through in my life right now – and that is, my experience with anxiety. When it comes to making videos and writing blog posts for you guys, I always want to talk about something that I am directly experiencing or practicing in my life. And right now, the main thing is – anxiety, so…that’s what you’re going to get!
I first stepped on to my self-development path when I was 16 and miserable. Not that my sadness was anything extraordinary or heartbreakingly poignant, just a case of the teenage blues, I guess. I was bored of life and bored of myself. I started by reading self-help books, which is usually the gateway-concept of New Age Spirituality these days. These books told me that I was beautiful, confident and perfect just the way I am. So I believed that for a while, and I think that at the time, it helped in some weird way. Then I came across all the classic hallmarks of New Age Spirituality, like – The law of attraction, angels, spirit guides, animal totems, lucid dreaming, “the secret”, meditation, psychics, “intuition is a muscle bla bla bla”. You know, all the fundamentals. So after my “self-help” stage, I found myself moving into this “New-Age Spirituality” thing. Spirituality of the new age; a chance for the non-religious to explore spiritual issues without submitting to the old guy in the sky (God) and his rules. I was happy there; happy to be away from religion, happy to be able to make up my own mind about my intimate spiritual beliefs and how I saw the world, and proud to say that though I may not believe in God, I had found my own special thing to believe in.
So I started wading through the shallow waters of the self-help market, followed by the murky waters of New-Age Spirituality, and I just continued to go deeper and deeper. And what was I searching for? I was searching for knowledge and wisdom on how to live a good life and how to cultivate happiness. I began to gain more and more profound understanding of the laws of the universe, and I was so excited by my discoveries. I could see the horizon in the distance. Somehow, everything I was learning was slowly coming to an end and soon I would be at the beginning of the next stage, the next level of my pursuit for spiritual understanding. I was getting closer and closer. I wondered what could be more “true” than what I already deemed to be true. I could only imagine and ponder what could be on the other side of this meaningful journey I was on. What was behind that closed door? Finally I got there, at the beginning of the next leg of my journey. And what did I find?…dun dun dun…..
It is impossible to be productive in any discussion when you are on the defense. When you become defensive you start spewing out negative energy. This negative energy can manifest in two ways; it can project outwards (Total Denial) or it can leak inwards (Total acceptance.) Either way, defensiveness is an all-or-nothing concept, and it places a great brick wall in communication.
Defensiveness is not a productive use of your energy. You spend all your energy trying to preserve your sense of self, that you end up giving away more energy in your reaction, when you could keep it within you and use it to restore your sense of calm, balance and security. Once you find your sense of calm, balance and security, you could then use the left over energy to start implementing changes in your life.
These are the two faces of defensiveness: