Anxiety is inherently disconnecting. It disconnects us from our bodies. It disconnects us from Love.
Shame sees this opening made by the disconnection and likes to swoop in so the moment we realize we're disconnected we're also flooded with a sense of shame for allowing ourselves to be disconnected. We should love God better. We should know the Bible better. We should not feel these things.
When we stop feeding anxiety it stops growing. If we are connected to Love in all things, at all times, anxiety loses its authority because "perfect love casts out fear." So the invitation before us today is to notice when anxiety is the authoritative voice, notice when its running the show. Turn and face it. Notice how it feels in your body. Notice what things anxiety is holding hostage. And then choose to plug back into Love. Invite Jesus into that fear. Invite Jesus into the feeling. Welcome the presence of Love and choose to abide in it. Let the power of Love silence anxiety.
"If holding your ground is what you are called to most days, it helps to know your ground." - Kathleen Norris
"Resilience is born by grounding yourself in your own loveliness, hitting notes you thought were way out of your range." - Greg Boyle
One of the symptoms of anxiety is feeling stuck on a mental hamster wheel. You can't stop thinking.
Yoga is a really beneficial tool to alleviate anxiety. This is because yoga is inherently integrative and connective, countering the disconnecting efforts of anxiety. There are a couple aspects of yoga that are especially helpful: slowing down and balancing.
"I cannot get God by holding Him off at arm's length like a photography, but by leaning forward intently as one would respond to one's lover. Love so insatiable as the love of God can never be satisfied until we respond to the limit." - Frank Laubach
How do you know if the endless thoughts stand up in the presence of Christ? Talk TO Him about them. Not just yourself. And definitely don't engage with the worry.
"Instead of talking to yourself, form the habit of talking to Christ...No practice we have ever found has held the mind as much as this: making all thought a conversation with the Lord." - Brother Lawrence
John 14:27 (The Passion Translation - TPT)
“I leave the gift of peace with you—my peace. Not the kind of fragile peace given by the world, but my perfect peace. Don’t yield to fear or be troubled in your hearts—instead, be courageous!"
These are the same words God spoke to Moses and Joshua. Jesus is identifying himself as the Son of God. These aren’t just nice sentiments from Jesus, this declaration goes back centuries. Peace is our inheritance.
Phil. 4:6-8 (TPT)
"Don’t be pulled in different directions or worried about a thing. Be saturated in prayer throughout each day, offering your faith-filled requests before God with overflowing gratitude. Tell him every detail of your life, then God’s wonderful peace that transcends human understanding, will make the answers known to you through Jesus Christ. So keep your thoughts continually fixed on all that is authentic and real, honorable and admirable, beautiful and respectful, pure and holy, merciful and kind. And fasten your thoughts on every glorious work of God, praising him always."