As you’ve probably noticed, a massive component of my experience (what most people would call postpartum depression or postpartum anxiety) has been fear. My mind has all sorts of stories about what I am afraid of, but at the end of the day, it’s just fear.
The beauty of this fear, as horrible as it feels, is that it has given me the opportunity to see who I really am. I’m always catching glimpses of it, and I never know when they will appear. Today, of all places, I saw my true self while trying a Body Combat class at my gym for the first time.
As I was furiously punching the air with intense music blasting in my ears, I realized something that I don’t think I will forget. There is something inside me, my true self, that is never ever afraid. No matter how much the rest of me is panicking or shaking in my boots, that permanent part of me is never afraid. It's the part of me that watches the fear come and go. It's the part of me that knows that I'm feeling fear. It's the part of me that is left when the fear passes.
There is something inside of you that is never __________. You can fill in the blank. It is never in a rage, never afraid, never in despair, never obsessed with things that don’t matter. If you only stare at your experience of thoughts and feelings (even if you’re analyzing them or trying to disprove them), it might be harder to feel that true entity inside of you. But I promise, it is always there. ALWAYS. I especially feel it when I lose myself in an activity or an engaging conversation. I also feel it when I watch my thoughts and feelings pass by as the observer that I am instead of getting involved with them.
You see, we were designed to respond to life in each moment from that deeper part of ourselves that is rooted in something far beyond what our brains can understand. We only feel like we are lost when we start staring at the fragile image of ourselves that only exists in our minds. In a well-meaning attempt to protect us, our brains go to great lengths to remind us of that fragile illusion with its
"permanent damage" and "urgent needs," but it's all part of a made up story regardless of how real it sounds. Even better, the deeper part of you is always there, watching the whole thing and completely unaffected by it.
What would happen if you started approaching each moment from the deeper part of you and responding in real time instead of giving your attention to the chatty (even hysterical) voice in your head that talks in circles about what is wrong with you or other people and how to fix it or even how it is unfixable? You would probably feel far more resilient and experience more joyful moments and you might even catch a glimpse of the reality that outside of your mind, your "problems" do not exist.
Why don't you give it a try?