Anxiety sometimes has the better of me

I am typically an individual who isn’t anxious. I go with the flow of life, but I am not defined by the current. But I’m prone to bouts of anxiety, heavy soul-crushing don’t-want-to-get-out-of-bed anxiety.
Because of how infrequently I suffer from anxiety, to a certain degree I have control over it rather than the anxiety having control over me. I do have my moments within the throes of it that I think thoughts of rather being in bed than whatever I’m doing at the time.

The thing is, my anxiety is very much in my head. Consequently I wrestle with it, argue with it, talk about it, and ultimately, I fight it. Yes there are some days where it gets the better of me, that the fictitious “what-if’s” are (at least then) seem insurmountable. This past month I’ve been under the thumb of my anxiety, and most of it stems to going back to school in the summer to get my Master’s degree.

I look forward to going back to school, I really do, but the shift of what the education system has become has made me intensely anxious. It’s not a shift that has happened in my time, but over the last few 100 years. Education, for most of the part, was about learning and passing on what was learned to those who couldn’t get a proper education. Nowadays so much of it seems to be about getting that 8×11 piece of paper as a means to convey:
1. I know more than the average person
2. I deserve to be paid more
3. I have value
4. I have additional debt
And granted I want to know more, paid more, have marketable value, have debt…well, maybe not the last part. I know I have to play this game, it’s the nature of the beast nowadays, but when my anxiety gets the better of me I only see this through the lenses of cynicism and skepticism.

But with a breath of fresh air, a lengthy talk with my roommate, a lengthier talk with God, I am not bedridden with my anxiety. Every time I am out of the fog and funk of anxiety, I have more of a sense to my purpose and calling in life. I have a broader sense of I am taking a path that will be frustrating as hell, but even more rewarding. The good outweighs the bad, I smile more often, I am able to see good in myself and others, I see God in others, I realize this is not the end of everything I hold dear.

As I’m prone to offer up a quote in opportune moments, the one that sticks to me is actually found in the Bible. Deuteronomy 31:6 says this; “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (emphasis mine.)
I know I am not going at this alone. I know I am made for better things and getting there takes work and patience. Anxiety is a hell of a stumbling block, but it can be worked through provided I put in the work, provided I let go of the notion that I can resolve it on my own. I need people, I need community in my life to go about and get through this life.

So here on the edge of January ending, I move onward and upward.

Nathanael 1, Anxiety 0.

Morning meditation 6.24.15

Morning meditation 6.24.15

The church does a lot of good in the world, but bone thing the church has been doing wrong for some time is sowing seeds of fear; Islamophobia, homophobia, yogaphobia, et al. If you’re able to scare the masses you’ll be able to keep them in check and have them coming back for more out of fear.

But Jesus & the message of the Gospel is not one of fear, rather of love and grace and faith and trust and belief all rolled into one.

I can’t sway others to think differently, only the Holy Spirit can do that (and trust me, she does a damn good job at doing that). But even if you turn a deaf ear to her promptings, consider the following Bible verse;
2 Timothy 1:7 – For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

Where there is fear, there is an absence of God’s love. You can continue operating out of fear or turn to the source of love, the choice is and always has been yours.

– Nathanael –

Responding to emergencies, responding to fear – 8/28

If I were a bit younger I could easily see  myself as an EMT. I enjoy working with people and helping them to the best of my ability, and I am able to keep a level head and keep cool in difficult and stressful situations. One thing I to prepare myself for a difficult and sometimes dangerous situation is to let a bit of the fear in, let it come in and then I let it out, by coming to terms with the fear I am to move forward on the task set before me.

A few years back I was driving to work and I was going up a steep hill, and on the the side of the road where traffic was going down a woman stopped at the stop light at the top of the hill…

…but the semi behind her did not.

It barreled into her car and caused it flip over 3 times and land upside down. I offered up a silent damn and a prayer, parked my vehicle on the shoulder of the road and made my way to her vehicle, expecting the worst but arriving to help. A lot of cars passed rubbernecking the unfolded chaos, but didn’t stop. I was number 2 on the scene, the woman was alright as she climbed out of her destroyed car. Guy number 1 was calling for the police and an ambulance, and they were soon on their way. The semi driver was also okay, his vehicle was also destroyed as well.

***

This is me to a t; I am one who will help out where needed be ASAP. I mentioned I let in fear, but the reasons why I do that is because otherwise I could easily let fear take over and then I would be a wobbling mess. I let fear in to let it back out again, to prepare myself for the worst and to remain calm in spite of danger because if I can help someone else out safely, I’d be no good to the other person if I myself get injured in the process, I will do my best.

Stay safe, but if you don’t, I’ll help! 😉

~Nathanael~

Adopted for Christmas (part 2)

Well…

Plans changed and my friend’s post-Christmas get together never came to be. 😦 I’m not completely bummed out, I am sad for my coworker’s sake that the get together didn’t happen because that’s her family and from what she has shared with me I know they mean a lot to her.

So I made some plans as I still worked the 7-5 shift at work, and those fell through, but I shook it off and made alternative plans to my alternative plans. 😉

Anchorman 2
https://i0.wp.com/images.cinemas-online.co.uk/0/4/82/anchorman%20pic-3.png
If you liked the first one, there’s a good chance you’ll like the second one as well. A lot of cameos, it was a good way to unwind after work and after other plans fell through. That’s me though, I am resilient and capable in finding alternative things to do when life happens, and it does happen all the time.

~Nathanael~

Adopted for Christmas (part 1)

Having talked to my coworker about where I’m coming from, where I’ve been, and even where I am now she has decided to “adopt” me for Christmas.

She has put out there to a large extent the skeletons in her and her family’s life, and as she puts it “We have skeletons in our closet, but we take ours out to dance”. As macabre as that sounds, it sounds lovely to me. There are plenty of skeletons in my closet, and at times that impedes me in getting close and intimate with others because I ponder if I will be judged, if I will be discarded, if any ounce of a relationship we have will still exist once I put myself out there. These are all valid questions, and certainly it can blow up in someone’s face, it has happened to me before and will happen again, BUT I will keep putting myself out to those I am willing to put my trust in.

I will say this about the overarching familial closet of skeletons, they’re not healthy they’re musty and there’s a collective perspective at times of keep that shit out of sight and out of mind. But it, for better or worse, is a part of me and some times it is apart from me. I recognize that I need to address my issues more otherwise I sense I’d give in to the fear and learned helplessness would settle into my bones and I would be in a bad place that I wouldn’t want to leave. Fear still has its benefits in my life, it is a motivator and it is a tool; I let fear into my life long enough to let it course through my veins and then I release it and act on what I need to do at that present time.

I am encouraged to be going into an environment where there are issues and there are problems, but they have been dealt with and it has made them collectively stronger in a lot of ways. I am also looking forward to the element of celebrating the Christmas holiday in community that is inclusive.
Someday I hope to have an open door policy for Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc. I met a guy in Memphis whose family does this every year and it sounded amazing and I got a glimpse of bigger and better; a glimpse of what I want to transpire in my life when I get there, and more importantly a glimpse of the Kingdom of Heaven.

***

So with that I’m looking forward to Christmas now, to spend it with an awesome coworker and her family and friends. This is part one, so when Christmas has come and gone, so starts part two. 🙂

~Nathanael~