I did some visualization at the beginning of my journey to overcome my anxiety. I imagined all the decisions I hadn’t made, all of the thoughts I hadn’t completed, and all of the feelings I hadn’t processed swirling around in this big ugly cloud that hung over me. Whenever it rained from that cloud, it seemed to drown me. Whenever I tried to pull something from that cloud, everything else came with it.
What got all that stuff up there in the first place?
Procrastination, feelings of low self-worth, and compulsive behaviors, just to name a few! Having low self worth was the first part. Not believing I was worthy of life, for a number of reasons, set me up for the other two parts. I began ignoring my dreams, and my self-confidence in exchange for small bursts of happiness. I started forming behaviors that became toxic for me. I had always loved to play video games, as many young American boys do. It was not only fun but it was an escape from the ugly things that I was going through as a child that I could not process correctly. When I became an adult, video games were still my escape. I also started drinking a lot, and using drugs. On top of all of this I was a master procrastinator. I heard a talk about what goes on in the mind of a master procrastinator and it resonated with me.
I had always been somewhat of a procrastinator, it was a part of my personality. This behavior only became worse because of the ugly cloud over my head and the compulsive behaviors I had formed. I did bad in college, I never showed up on time for work, I would always be late for family occasions. It felt like I had no grip on my life. Do you know anybody like this? I found other people who acted like I did to make myself feel better about not taking action in my life. It was an exchange, another small piece of contentedness. I had convinced myself that I was going to get by on contentedness. The people who are successful in life are not contented. You do not want to rest knowing that you have all of these behaviors and issues dragging you down. The cloud will physically weigh you down, causing you to slouch and hang your head. You can either drown in depression, or pull your head up for a moment and take a look at what is holding you down.
I could not confront my fears, my flaws, and mistakes I’ve made in life for the longest time. I created a narrative in my head that I was going to stuff these issues down and persist past them. Everybody finds out though, you can never run from who you are. An alcoholic will never stop their behavior unless they accept it as an aspect of their current character. The problems never went away, they collected and weighed me down. Once you start forming a habit of not dealing with your emotions, thoughts, or decisions in your life, the cloud becomes very large and very ugly. It always hurt me, in my heart specifically. When I thought of those things in the cloud my heart started fluttering. When I had to pull something out from the cloud, like a decision that needed to be made, or an emotion that needed processed, the whole cloud threatened to deluge.
Those feelings, thoughts, and decisions you have do not go away. They end up getting redirected to somewhere in your consciousness and there they sit. You can also think of it like a closet that you know is full of stuff and you dare not open the door because it will all spill out. You try to open the door at times because you need something that’s in the closet. You open the door slowly, see all the stuff that threatens to bury you, and then quickly close the door. You dare not pick into those unprocessed emotions and thoughts because you know, once one comes, they all come. The first thing you must do is be brave, and decide now is the time to open the cloud and let it rain on you. If you don’t do it now, than when?
Let that ugly cloud release!
When it’s all out there for you to see than you can start processing. We must accept that we will fail, we will make mistakes, and we will feel uncomfortable. When you are in an uncomfortable position, you will shift! Its time for a shift. I needed change. I could no longer operate off of being fearful, being worried, having doubt, and waiting until the final hour to deal with my challenges. There are people who have been running from their problems, carrying their ugly cloud around for decades. Some people take their issues to their graves with them, dying unhappy and unfulfilled. I refuse to die without living a fulfilled life. Get that ugly stuff out of the way so you can pursue your greatness. Stop letting anxieties weigh into you because you can’t afford having it take away another moment of your life. Our time here is precious. We know it does end, but we don’t have the leisure of knowing when. You must be brave, and being brave doesn’t mean you are never scared. Being brave means you may have a fear, the odds may be against you, the cloud may be big and ugly, but you’re going to go through it anyhow. If you have an ugly cloud, let it precipitate, wash over you, and emerge a stronger person.