All anxious people, in some way or another, believe themselves to be prophetic. If some small part of us did not believe this, we would not be so terrified of our negative thoughts. This notion occurred to me yesterday about an hour after one of the worst panic attacks that I have experienced thus far. I won’t get into what brought on the panic attack, but I have a healthy enough sense of humor to tell you that it involved my deepest fears about my youngest son’s well-being… and a tarot deck.
Yeah, anxiety makes you do crazy things.
Also, to all you anxious people… stay the heck away from tarot decks. Trust me.
Anyways, back to my revelation.
One of the things that I have struggled with, in terms of my anxiety, is determining the difference between intuition, and fear. We have all experienced moments of intuition in our lives. Those little nudges from your gut which influence the decisions that you make, or shed light on a path that you are meant to follow. Likewise, we have all experienced worry and fear about mysterious future happenings which are out of our control. I used to believe that it was difficult to tell the difference between intuition and fear, but the truth is that it is not difficult at all. All you need to do is define them. I stumbled across an article this morning which discussed the differences between intuitive notion and fear, and it has helped me tremendously in my efforts to differentiate the two.
In my experience, intuitive knowledge usually feels very detached. It is not emotionally driven. It does not incite fear. It comes as information or a sense of what you should do. It acts as a guide towards positive outcome. Fear, on the other hand, elicits an emotional and physical reaction. It bubbles in your gut, makes your heart race, it triggers your “fight or flight” reaction. It does not guide you in any particularly helpful direction, it simply urges you to run. Reading that article helped me to clearly define the way I experience both intuition and fear. Having done this, I can now view my thoughts and determine which category they best fit into. Most importantly, I can see, very clearly, that my feelings about the well-being of my youngest son fit, without a shadow of a doubt, into the category of fear. They do not fit any of the defining aspects of intuition. They do not guide me and they certainly do not come as detached or unemotionally driven. They do just the opposite, they inspire outright panic.
Does this realization mean that I am cured of my anxiety? Does it mean that I will never again fear for the well-being of my youngest son? Does it mean that I will never again suspect that my fears are some kind of premonitory knowledge? Definitely not. It does, however, give my logical mind some ammo against those fears, particularly when they show up masquerading as intuition.
For me, getting past anxiety is all about eureka moments like this one. It’s winning the little battles while you continue to fight the war.
To those of you out there who might be struggling with anxiety, you are not alone. Fight on!