High Anxiety

It’s been a full week; mounting work commitments, two recording sessions for an upcoming CD (with a hand that is still not right), several AirBnB guests, spider bites (Dan), crazy daily news, and emotional turmoil weaving in and out for some people I love. I have found my anxiety level- always at least on simmer- to be nearing the boiling point.

Shiva watching the morning news…I’m with her.

I’ve always been fascinated by personality tests, and when I discovered that I’m an INFJ, so many things made sense about myself. Even though it’s a rare type, it was still nice to know that I wasn’t odd (okay, maybe I’m a little odd), and that there were others who meet the world in the same way I do; the need for peace around me, solitude. Loyal and dedicated, nurturing others while finding it difficult to balance that with my own self-care. Strong convictions but also the tendency to be a social chameleon. A huge introvert who has to have time alone to recharge but that can appear extroverted for brief periods of time. While everyone is different, INFJs can be quite a paradox.

Nighttime yoga frog…

Knowing all of this about myself now, when I feel the anxiety ramping up I become more attuned to my protective ‘shield’. I retreat to my home, my very own Fortress of Solitude. I go inward and think through things, often over-thinking. Sometimes I just have to disappear emotionally for a while to get my core recharged and ready to face the world again. Being with Dan and the animals, or just being by myself working in the yard, usually puts me right again.

One of my biggest lessons in life is learning to set boundaries and keep them. I have to learn that I can’t control others’ reactions- they have to figure out their own journey, just as I am working to do. I can’t fix the problems of the world; I can only do my best to try to be a good person and contribute to the greater good the best I can.

I’m working to not take things personally…that one is especially difficult for me. Sometimes I am astonished at what people think is okay to say to me, that they can’t see how hurtful their words are. I’m working to see the lessons, to remind myself that the words and actions of others are a reflection of who they are, not who I am. I keep hoping to grow past the place where I let it wound me.

A new friend…

I feel things so deeply, and can viscerally feel the emotions of others, especially of those dearest to me. Sometimes I feel it like a static in the atmosphere, so much hurt and anger everywhere and it is overwhelming. I don’t want to stop feeling, I just have to learn to maintain a protective layer around my heart so that I am not sucked into the vortex.

Marley in morning light…

Knowledge is power, and understanding how my brain works is a good first step to both protecting myself and finding opportunities to stretch and grow. What else is life but an opportunity to do better and be better every day? Today my goal is to really and truly breathe, to let the anxiety flow out of me like a fountain. Let it go.

Every single exhale is a little love letter to myself. This moment is all we are guaranteed, and I want to embrace it and every other moment I am fortunate enough to have. It’s my choice to make.

6 thoughts on “High Anxiety

  1. I’m an INFP ! Very similar , except with a proclivity to keep things open, rather than resolved . For a busy academic and musician, that J at the end for you is a blessing ! I’ve found being aware of my style and type has helped me care for myself , get along with others , and contribute to projects and the workplace so much more fully and fittingly! I enjoyed reading your insights and observations !

    1. Very cool, Cathy! Being armed with how our brains work is really helpful, isn’t it? I love also that we can keep learning about ourselves no matter our age. I want to keep that up. 😊❤️

  2. Denise, very well said!! I see an awful lot of me in you….I think I must have a very similar personality type! ☺️ Hugs! Sheryl

    Sent from my iPad


  3. It took me a long time to get to the point of not being concerned with the opinion of others but I’ve gotten there. It has given be a “thick skin” in the eyes of some but I have to laugh and when the criticisms fly I remember that childhood chant “I am rubber, you are glue, what you say bounces off me and sticks to you!” Anyway I hope you can find a fountain of inner peace and joy.

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