When asked to think about a time when everything seemed to be going wrong and then suddenly, I knew it would be alright, I think of one I had just last week that is still making a difference for me.
I’m currently studying for my GREs, preparing to apply to PhD programs for the second year. Last week, as I was waiting for Cohiba to pick me up from work, I was thinking about my research interests, trying to articulate them, and trying to think about how I would match it with a faculty member. I was really getting anxious. I felt a large clock on my shoulders and fury with myself for not having started work on the GREs earlier. Cohiba was late we’d be late to get home and I wouldn’t have time to work out and study and eat at the same time and I was hungry and hormonal and my knees hurt but I don’t want to get fat I’m losing weight right now and I need to keep it going and I need to study and I need need need… I could feel I was impatient with Cohiba, and I was trying to think about how to not snap at him. (I do that some times and it’s not nice. I don’t want to. He doesn’t snap at me.)
I was trying to take deep breaths and focus my thoughts a bit, meditate a bit. As I was breathing, a thought occurred to me:, something I hadn’t thought of before, though I knew. This is just a feeling. This anxiety is just a feeling, and feelings are fickle creatures. This will pass. I’ve never done that before, but it worked. The feeling did pass, and in it’s place came quietude. I didn’t snap at Cohiba; I could be loving towards him and towards myself and I wasn’t anxious or worried. I did my best.
I’ve run that thought through my mind a few times since then, and it’s really helped.