Anxiety has been my greatest teacher in life. Although I might not go as far as calling it a friend, if it were not for the anxiety-ridden periods that I have faced, I would not have the type of relationship with my Inner Guide that I do now. Anxiety forced me to wake up. Anxiety forced me to find “a better way.” For that, I am very grateful for anxiety.
“A Course in Miracles” teaches that within each of us, we have an “Inner Guide,” a connection to our “Higher Self,” which is forever present to us, if we are wiling to hear its Voice. But we can only hear that Voice at a particular moment in time, and that time is, of course, right now.
By developing a relationship with my Inner Guide, my relationship to anxiety has changed. Developing a relationship with your Inner Guide means that you start to open up to the possibility of there being truth beyond what our physical eyes can see. As I have learned to tap into my willingness to see things differently, my Inner Guide provides a different perception. And it is this shifting of perception that ultimately leads to a profound sense of inner peace.
When we start to turn towards our Inner Guide, it comes to life. We start noticing that beneath the fear we feel, there is peace. We learn to rest in that peace, even as we watch anxious thoughts and feelings pass by like clouds in an open sky. As we get better at listening to our Inner Guide, we learn that it is constantly there patiently waiting for our attention, whispering to us that we are loved, whole, and safe. This loving Voice has always been within us, only we were too wrapped up in the world to listen. As our relationship with this Voice grows, anxiety fades.
So how do you begin to find freedom from anxiety? Follow these 3 simple steps, which are core principles of “A Course in Miracles:”
1. Find your willingness.
How willing are you to see the situation you’re in differently? You only need to muster up the tiniest bit of willingness to have a shift in perception. That is all it takes.
2. Be willing to look at what is coming up WITH your Inner Guide.
When difficult feelings arise, be willing to look at them WITH your Inner Guide. We like to try to clean up our own egos, whereas “A Course in Miracles” is teaching us that true perception can only come through our Inner Guide. We can’t “fix” ourselves alone.
Also, “A Course in Miracles” is definitely supportive of getting therapy if you need it. Your Inner Guide can speak to you through others – so don’t hesitate to get help if need be.
3. Give your willingness to your Inner Guide.
Your Inner Guide knows the way to peace, and by handing over your willingness, you’re saying, “lead me there.” We don’t know the way to peace, and when we think we do, we usually will end up feeling stuck.
I live and breathe these steps on a daily basis. Now, however, it is usually with experiences that I would label as “more pleasant” than anxiety. The anxiety has faded because my relationship with my Inner Guide has grown. If you find that anxiety frequently visits you, you are blessed with a powerful teacher, which can help you find “a better way.”
The contents of this article are not medical advice. See a medical or mental health professional if you need to. The Course says that there is nothing wrong with doing so.
Corinne Zupko, Ed.S., M.A., B.C.C., is a keynote speaker, adjunct professor, counselor, coach, and mindfulness meditation teacher. She is also the co-founder of MiracleShare.org: The Social Network for Students and Teachers of “A Course in Miracles.” Corinne began her work with “A Course in Miracles” (ACIM) in 1997 after struggling with debilitating anxiety and panic attacks. More than any other method of relief she could find in the world, it has been practicing the principles of ACIM that have brought her to finding and maintaining inner peace. Find out more about Corinne’s work at From Anxiety to Love.