My fear rolled in when I was 11 years old, at a singing competition in school. Me and my best friend had prepared to perform a beautiful song together, Do Re Me, from Sound of Music.
If I had known that I was going to suffer from anxiety throughout the entire performance, I would probably not have volunteered to do this. But I had no clue what I was in for. Even standing in front of the class, before we began singing, I felt great, excited and happy. Then it happened. Fear took over my body. My whole chest was clenching, my head felt like it was on fire, and my lips were trembling. I tried to sing, but only a few of the words came out, and my voice was so weak. I could feel the piercing eyes from my class mates, some smiling with amusement, some looking at me curiously. After the event, I brushed it off, and walked around laughing, saying how I forgot the words. I did not want to admit that I had been nervous.
This was the beginning of running away from my feelings, and not living in truth and acceptance of myself. Needless to say, as I resisted, the problem persisted. Anxiety is a call for help. It is not our enemy. It is a sign that there is a part of us that feels helpless – because we are not feeling connected within. We don’t feel worthy. We are giving up our power to our outer environment, to other people, or to situations we can’t control, and as a consequence we feel even more controlled and judged by our environment, which results in even more anxiety.
Whenever we get angry and annoyed with ourselves ourselves for feeling anxious, and try everything we can to avoid the feeling…guess what – it only gets bigger!
It took many years of deep soul work to become more conscious of all aspects of myself. I was suffering from anxiety for so long, I would even feel nervous introducing myself whenever attending a meeting or a workshop.
Then one day, I just knew I was ready to understand myself on a deeper level. My anxiety was holding me back. I began looking really closely at my dreams. A big dream rolled out. In the dream a girl was captured by a immensely powerful dragon. He was larger than life. The girl knew she had no choice but to give up her freedom, and to stay in his captivity and love him the best she could.
By resisting my anxiety for so many years, I had attracted an archetype into my life, the theme of many fairy tales – the captured girl who saves her life by loving a powerful force, but her freedom has been lost. I was captured by my own feelings. I kept giving up my power to external situations, and my anxiety was growing. I was trapped.
When I realized that my anxiety was stemming from giving up my own power, and how giving up my power had to do with my low self-worth, and how my low self-worth in turn was a consequence of not feeling connected to myself, this was when I was finally able to understand myself with love and compassion. I had created every emotional situation within me, even my anxiety. The dragon was a symbol of my own power, and there was no running away from any of my feelings, because they were all created by me.
After years of traveling around the world, always yearning for more freedom, I finally understood how my search for freedom was as manifestation of the emotional struggles inside me. I was feeling controlled by my own feelings, and emotional patterns.
I began to heal from all the compassion and understanding I felt for myself. My anxiety did not go away overnight, and it still appears sometimes, but it’s so much better. Today I love holding talks in front of large audiences, and my heart is singing of joy to share my messages of love, dream guidance and soul growth. If I do get nervous, I no longer blame myself for having anxiety. I know it’s because it’s a part of me that is suffering and feels helpless, and instead of punishing myself, I now do something loving for myself.
I believe walking the path of self-love is the most wonderful thing we can do for the world. This is how we feel connected, how we live from our hearts, and are truly there for others.
Do you feel anxious when talking in front of a group? I would love for you to go to bed with a dream journal on the night stand, and ask yourself to understand yourself on a deeper level. See what unfolds…! Chances are you may also have been giving up your power, felt low self-worth, and not loved yourself with compassion, joy and gratitude.
I would love for all of us to think of ways we can be more loving, compassionate and understanding of ourselves.
Let’s express ourselves!!!
With Love & Gratitude,
Anna-Karin Bjorklund, M.A.
Anna-Karin Bjorklund is a Therapist (MFTI) in Newport Beach, California, and the Author of Dream Guidance: Interpret Your Dreams and Create the Life You Desire! She loves sharing her joy and passion for dreams and soul growth, and has been interviewed by Money Magazine and Marie Claire UK, and has also appeared on Fox & Friends, and the Steve Harvey TV Show on NBC.