Friday, May 9, 2014

"Who Would I Be?"

It’s too soon to tell, but I think something significant just happened.
I didn’t have a panic attack.
Those who struggle with fear, anger or depression may immediately understand the significance of this.  I will explain anyway.
Yesterday something happened.  It may have been nothing, but my mind attached significance to it.  My mind started becoming fearful and it wanted to take over.  I could feel a panic attack trying to happen.  But I kept working and I kept busy.  When I got home from work last night, I wrote another blog and went to bed. 
I woke up in the middle of the night and my mind was still trying to have a panic attack.  I wanted to indulge it.  I wanted to give into fear and try to address the situation, but there was nothing I could do.  It was the middle of the night and there was nothing I could do and no one I could talk to.  So I decided to do nothing.  I went back to sleep.
When I woke up this morning, I felt different.  I felt calm.
I didn’t have a panic attack.
Here’s the thing:  I still haven’t addressed the particular fear.  I don’t know if what I’m worried about is a problem or it’s just another trick of the Enemy to create a problem where none exists.  But…
I didn’t have a panic attack.
The truth is that unless there is an actual problem, there is no actual problem.  Fear is not an actual problem.  It’s just the mistaken belief that there is a problem, when there is none. 
If it turns out that there is a problem and the very worst happens, then, and this has been hard to say and even harder to believe,  I will survive.  I’m not saying I want the worst to happen.  But if it does, I will survive.  How do I know this?  Because I’m here now.  I’ve survived abandonment, starvation, loneliness, illnesses, financial upsets, job losses, the loss of friends, and failures.  And I’m still here. 
So, if the worst happens, I will survive and I will eventually be happy again.
In her book Loving What Is, Byron Katie asks, “Who would I be without that thought?”
Who would I be without fear constantly attacking me?
Who would I be without panic attacks?
I would be the person I was meant to be.
I would be calm, strong, courageous and happy.  I would be more effective and less self-focused. 
I would be the person I was meant to be.
I can still feel the panic attack trying to happen.  And perhaps it will. 
Or perhaps I just won a major victory this morning.  It’s still too soon to tell, so I don’t want to be overly optimistic.  Besides, after years of reading comic books, I know that bad guys can return even when it seems they’ve been destroyed.
Still, now I can Get Started and Keep Going in a way I never have before…because I know who I would be.