On Anxiety, Forgiveness, and Godde
Sunday, March 3, 2019
For more information about the drum circle mentioned in this post, visit https://www.framedrumwisdom.com/
And audio version of this post can be found here.
Anxiety has been a major player in my life since I was a child. By third grade, I had learned to minimize my vulnerability by minimizing my voice and retreating into myself. I vividly remember one day in music class refusing to participate in a song. I said it was stupid, but really, it was just silly and silly was not something I allowed myself to be.
I’ve heard several people talk about magic lately, and how we are taught in childhood that magic does not exist. There is a movement of people now returning to something we knew as children – that magic is most certainly real, and it is alive in every one of us.
Magic does not look like abracadabra or Rubeus Hagrid knocking down our door to take us to Hogwarts. Magic is in the lessons we do not realize we are learning and in the way everything always works out exactly the way it is supposed to.
The first time I recall intentionally confronting and defying my anxiety was in a job interview.
I was sixteen and interviewing for a position as a summer camp counselor. In retrospect, I’m not exactly sure why I thought I wanted to be a camp counselor, but something in me knew it had to be done.
It was a three-round interview, with the third round being an activity-based group interview. When the camp directors told us we would be playing charades, I panicked. I wanted to run, very quickly and intentionally, in the opposite direction of anywhere that charades was being played. But something kept me standing in that line, sweating profusely and waiting for my turn. I drew my fate from a hat.
You are an overexcited contestant on The Price Is Right.
If the Earth offered to break open and engulf me in that moment, I would have gladly allowed it.
Panicked, I ultimately decided I wanted the job more than I wanted to avoid acting like an overexcited contestant on The Price is Right. Despite having never seen an episode of the show, I tried. I jumped up and down and said, “I’m so excited!” over and over for an excruciating 30 seconds, and then it was over.
I got the job and learned countless crucial lessons in my time there.
I also met some of my dearest friends, who have helped me survive the hardest parts of my journey so far and whom I count among the truest of blessings this life has to offer.
I can’t tell you how many events, conversations, and opportunities I have avoided due to anxiety – due to fear of being silly, or being judged for doing so. I have spent a great deal of time cultivating my comfort zone over the last 26 years.
Over the last few years, however, I’ve found myself feeling pretty uncomfortable, even in my comfort zone.
You see, my comfort zone is also where I lost my way. My comfort zone is where I learned to choose drugs and alcohol over emotions. It is where I hid my sexual orientation, masquerading as only an ally for the community that has always truly been mine. My comfort zone is where I learned lies about myself, my worth, and my abilities that I am still trying to deprogram.
I read somewhere that you can’t heal in the same environment that made you sick.
I understand that. Since I moved away from my narcissistic family in November, my healing process has been intense. It is ongoing, and I don’t anticipate there is anything resembling an end in sight.
However, for all of my progress, my anxiety has remained.
I finished reading a book yesterday that I have been trying to read for three years. It will probably take me three more to properly process all of the information in it, but what struck me most is this:
“Distance from this awareness – that we are each all Divine – certainly creates painful, challenging experiences. But it doesn’t change the essential truth of who we are.”
Whatever we call this – divinity, the holy spirit, source, god, love, etc. – it is all that is, and we are one with it. As such, we are worthy of and entitled to owning every piece of ourselves, for every piece of our existence is in union with that which is holy – we are holy too.
There is no us and God, there is only us, which includes God.
In every atom, every cell, and all the space between, there is nothing but Godde – and Godde is not what we’ve been told. Magic is not what we’ve been told. Godde is simply truth – and one piece of that truth that I’ve found for myself is that there is no perfection and there is no right or wrong. There simply is, and whatever is is exactly what is meant to be.
With that in mind, why would we waste time lamenting or regretting any piece of our journey? Pain does not make something less sacred. Pain just is, and sometimes is a necessary teacher of lessons we must learn.
Perceived brokenness does not make something less holy. All of these chains we give ourselves are illusory.
I am not anxious. I am not anxiety. I experience anxiety sometimes.
And I experience healing, and even joy, when I intentionally let it go.
Sometimes, Godde energy flows through me with terrific magnitude and intoxicating clarity.
Sometimes, Source drags me through this spiritual journey kicking, screaming, and bitching the whole way.
I attended a sound circle today that required a lot of audience participation. I was first uncomfortable singing into a drum that was covering my face.
I was more uncomfortable singing into a drum with another human’s face less than two feet from mine on the other side.
I was most uncomfortable when the facilitator spoke about how sound baths such as these can recreate the experience of the womb.
Part of me wanted to embrace the comfort in that concept, but all I could think about was how my mother told me that I am “too much,” and was even in utero, the last time I saw her.
I listened to the wave drum and I just wanted to sob. I wanted to find comfort in the heartbeat rhythms of the frame drum, but allowing myself to find comfort in anything maternal was so far beyond my comfort zone that I couldn’t even fathom it.
But we cannot heal in the same vibration that made us sick.
I thought about the Divine. I thought about how it is in every one of us – even my mother. I thought that maybe, I could find comfort in the heartbeat I heard in the womb, because if there is Divinity in everything, there was Divinity in that, too. Maybe I could accept what is Divine in her and continue to reject what is not as a means of honoring what is Divine in myself.
Maybe I could forgive her for losing sight of her own Divinity and not finding her way back.
Maybe I could accept the Divine nature of anything that has harmed me – even when it has been myself.
Maybe I could forgive myself, too.
I left the sound bath with my body feeling very heavy and relaxed, my heart very full, and my mind very clear. Allowing myself to move past the comfort of being hurt by and angry at my mother allowed forgiveness to move in.
I fully expect that the peace I’ve made with this situation today will ebb and flow and require practice to maintain. Healing is not linear. But I’m happy with my start.
My mother once said, when I was working with children with special needs: “Helen is saving the world, one retard at a time.”
The woman who facilitated the sound circle today said that the human connections she witnesses and facilitates in her work are the most important part of what she does.
I choose to embrace the part of my mother’s statement that speaks to Divinity – I am doing my part to save the world.
I am doing my part to save the world one human connection at a time. I have learned more from quiet moments of human connection – through secret sticks and trauma and tears – than I ever could in a classroom or from a sacred text. There was Divinity in every one of those moments, no matter how mundane.
I will be two years sober this summer, and I’ve learned that sobriety does not make my problems better – it makes them easier to manage.
Magic does not make our issues disappear – it helps us see that they are really opportunities to learn and grow.
The Spiritual Truths we learn on this journey do not make the journey itself any less emotional – they make sense of the purpose of those emotions.
Even when I am at parts of the journey where I must embrace my anxiety and say, “I get it. This feels yucky and weird. Let’s do it anyway,” I am thankful for all of it, because it all has served a purpose, whether I know what that purpose is or not, and it all contributes to the Divine balance of the universe.
I intend to trust that balance and honor the Divine nature of every moment as I continue on.
“May the long time sun shine upon you,
all love surround you,
and the pure light within you,
guide your way on.”