What gift is anxiety or depression bringing to us?

When we experience anxiety or depression, we are only seeing the tip (first layer) of the iceberg. The anxiety or depression serve as signals to us, that something is amiss within. If we have not been taught to address this when it first arises, we often miss the inner signals that we are receiving. We may attribute the anxiety or depression instead to something that is externally going on in our life.

The next layer consists of what we think is the cause for our depression and anxiety. For instance, we may think that it is because of the stressful workplace, the difficult personality we encounter, the pain we are going through, the disease in our body or things simply not going the way we want it to. However, that is only the second layer of the iceberg of emotions. Underneath the second layer is the key to where true healing lies. It is the deeper layer based in the untruth of fear or lack.

In the third or deepest layer, we might be afraid that we are lacking in wholeness just as we are, that the disease might take away our freedom or that the stressful person in our life is removing our freedom to just be.

However, what we may not realise is that the perceived lack or fear comes from within. It might seem very uncomfortable to face the fear or lack within and sit with the feeling of this. If we don’t sit with it, we will miss the golden opportunity of exploring that beyond the untruth of the fear or lack, lies the wholeness which is us: complete just as we are.

This very wholeness is what releases us from the fear or lack, which generated the anxiety and depression in the first place. When we access our wholeness, we realise how through false expectations and projections of others and ourselves, we have created a false sense of identity which is steeped in lack and fear.

An example of this is when a child born in complete wholeness and perfection as he or she is, experiences the expectations of parents, that in order to meet their approval, the child has to be a particular person “neat, an achiever, polite and so on so forth”. On the surface, these may all seem to be acceptable expectations, but if when the child does not meet these expectations, he or she is met with disapproval, the child can experience a sense of lack. That is, they feel that they have to be SOMEONE ELSE or doing MORE to experience approval. Over the years, the pain of feeling that sense of LACK, disconnects them from their sense of wholeness which they can cover up through perfectionism, apathy, disinterest, gambling, risky behavior, alcoholism and so on.

Others may project this lack, making their partners, friends or children responsible for their emotions of lack. For instance, they may say that the people around them never meet their needs or are being unsupportive. Instead this could mean that they are feeling empty inside and that no amount of external input can ever fill that emptiness. When we feel whole, we feel nurtured from within and carry out actions from a place of empowered wholeness, not lack.

Connecting back to that wholeness involves acknowledging the false ideas of fear and lack that we have allowed into our space AND CHOOSING the truth of who we are. This may not have a sufficient impact on us if we have been telling ourselves an untruth for years. We actually have to choose to recall our wholeness by remembering a moment in time when we felt whole, whilst acknowledging the fear (not resisting it).

For some, this might only be a short memory. For others there might be several moments in time. Recreating the memory of how good it felt to feel the wholeness of who we are and turning up the amplitude of how this feels in our bodies, helps us to remember and experience our wholeness. There are of course many other ways to truly experience this wholeness, some of which include tuning into nature, meditation and being in touch with our own joy.

The more we practice being in tune with our wholeness, the more the untruth of the fear and lack subsides. Although there is always a possibility that what we fear could occur, we don’t have to be stuck in the fear of it occurring before it even takes place. With the subsiding of this fear and lack, the anxiety and depression, which were a call out for help, also subside. In the experience of our wholeness, we become invigorated again, receive fresh insights and can move beyond the main obstacle, which was ourselves.

Whilst there are some that experience anxiety and depression to a very severe level and need the help of medications and hospitalization, receiving counselling can help identify these fears and feelings of lack within us, to develop the mind “muscles” to choose an alternate experience of joy and peace. The interesting thing that happens when we change our internal world, is that the choices we make change and ultimately, regardless of what our external world looks like, we can finally receive the gift of peace within.

Note: This information is general and may not apply to your or another person. If you have any concerns about you or the health and wellbeing of a child, consult a doctor or other health care professional. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this blog/website/podcast.