Friday, January 29, 2016

Still in the Storm

For some reason I have recently had several challenges that have caused me to struggle with feelings of anxiety. In my previous post I shared how I overcame those feelings by Trusting God.

Trusting God was the subject of our most recent video conversation for the website. In the video, Ashlee shared a beautiful visualization that she uses to cope with triggers. She told how she removes herself from the situation and goes into her closet to pray when feelings of anxiety and panic start to surface. As she prays, she consciously remembers moments from her past when she has felt turmoil and then felt comforted. She visualizes the Savior coming to her in those moments and embracing her, protecting her, and aiding her. Then she brings her mind forward to her present concerns and sees those same loving arms surrounding her.

Visualization can be a powerful tool to help you recenter your emotions and re-connect back with the spirit. When we feel anxiety, stress, and turmoil we are disconnected from the help that God can give us. Only as we remember Him and put our trust and faith in Him can He bring us back to a place of peace.

I was praying the other night for help to feel peace about a situation that was completely out of my control but that was causing me to feel a lot of turmoil. As I prayed I saw myself standing in the middle of a blizzard. The snow and the wind was howling all around me. The snow was pelting my face and I was desperate to find shelter and warmth. I searched to no avail. The storm was so blinding that nothing could be seen through the snow. Then I dropped to my knees and began to pray. I watched as the snow began to pull away from me and circle around me, leaving a calm place in the center where I was kneeling. The storm was swirling violently around me, yet as I knelt in the eye of that storm, I felt no wind, no cold, no pelting snow. It was peaceful and calm.

In that moment I had a picture in my mind that I could return to. 
I could see how in the midst of the storm I could be calm;
 I could still feel peace.

When those feelings have begun to return, I remember that picture. I remember the stillness. After listening to Ashlee, I have added a new element to that picture. Now I think of someone wrapping His arms around me. Now I see who is calming the storm.

It would be nice if life from here on out would be void of storms. It would be nice to enjoy sunny tropical days, but somehow I do not feel that is the purpose of this existence. The test and the challenge is to learn how to feel peace even when the world is falling apart around us.

So I challenge you to find that picture, the one that can help you recenter, and when you feel the storm encroaching, go to that place of peace. Trust in the Prince of Peace. Then when you find it and you feel it, move forward in faith to do good things despite the chaos that is around you.

Questions to ponder:

  1. How can visualization help you recenter?
  2. When circumstances are beyond your control what can you focus on to help you avoid becoming paralyzed by the storm?

1 comment:

  1. As visualization helped you re-center ?
    I have horrible anxiety I have always had anxiety most of my life. But in the past four years since Steve got sick with cancer, the anxiety has only increased.

    So much so that it affects me in every way. I get anxiety about going to the grocery store, and now that the Christmas season is here I can barely bring myself to walk into stores because there are so many people everywhere. I’m not sure why my anxiety has become Paralyzing. Since the death of my husband it is just to the point of being dysfunctional.

    What has helped you the most to overcome anxiety. I’m not sure if your anxiety is as bad as mine. I need to get out and interact with people, but my anxiety keeps me from doing that. But when I have gone out with some friends I have always felt better. But it is the whol what has helped you the most to overcome anxiety. I’m not sure if your anxiety is as bad as mine. I need to get out and interact with people, but my anxiety keeps me from doing that. But when I have gone out with some friends I have always felt better. But it is the thinking snd thinking and analyzing about a few hours or that day of having to go out that will usually make me decide to cancel.

    I refuse to get on any kind of anti-anxiety medication at this point in my life. Because I hear that the anxiety medication can be addictive and also can impair your judgment. And I need to be here for my daughter, I need to be aware and I do not need a medication to dumb me down so that I can feel a little better from this horrible anxiety . I have googled just about everything there is to how to get anxiety under control. With little success

    I am feeling a little hopeless these days about my anxiety getting back any better. I’m not depressed at all that I feel. But the anxiety makes me feel bad about myself, I have noticed that my self esteem is not is good, I don’t feel good about myself, because I can’t do normal things that everyone else does because of this anxiety. It’s the anxiety that paralyzes me from doing things that could possibly help me move on from such Trumatic events that have taken place in my life in the past six months