Remedies for Eco-Anxiety and Absorbing the Pain of the World

by | Jun 30, 2019 | Anxiety, Intrusive Thoughts | 50 comments

The topic of world and eco-anxiety seems to make the rounds in my practice every few months, and last week was one of those times. Between longterm clients, new clients, and course members, the theme was flooding the room. I’d like to break it down for you using the principles of my work to see if I can offer some ease.

I’ll start by saying that there’s no doubt that we live in anxiety-provoking times. Between school shootings, racism, global warming, and the host of other upsetting topics that are blasted across media headlines daily, it might seem like a tall order to conceive of the possibility that we can be aware of these realities and maintain a sense of inner calm. Yet that is exactly what is being asked of us, for if we’re going to weather this storm and arrive on calmer shores, we must do so with our core selves intact. A battered self does little good toward the well-being of the planet.

The anxious mind can attach onto almost any topic, but it tends to choose the ones where we’re most vulnerable. In my two decades of working with anxiety, both personally and professionally, I’ve noticed five main themes where it constellates: relationships, health, parenting, money, and sexuality. In recent years, I would add a sixth theme: the planet.

We then project our unhealed pain, unlived lives, and unfinished transitions onto these screens. When the perseverations elevate to the realm of obsession and we’re caught on the hamster wheel of intrusive thoughts, we know we’ve entered the realm of mental addiction, which means we’re stuck in a thought-web as a way to avoid pain. The intrusive thought is both the symptom and the arrow pointing to the wells of unhealed pain that need attention.

The key, as always, is to listen to the message that anxiety offers, which means learning to recognize when we’re flying into a current story as a way to avoid our own inner pain. We could siphon off hours every day signing petitions, writing letters, and making phone calls, but if we’re doing this as a way to fend off our own anxiety, it won’t work. In fact, it will likely make it worse. For any time we use outer actions in a misguided attempt to find a foothold amidst the groundlessness of life, we end up feeding the fire of anxiety.

Instead, the pathway to heal and find more peace in the storm is to turn inward and unpack the obsession using the four-realms approach that I teach, which means asking what is needed in each realm as related to this intrusive thought theme. Below are some examples, including what it looks like to decipher an intrusive thought through the lens of metaphor. And let me be abundantly clear that by examining this intrusive thought through the lens of metaphor by no means am I suggesting turning a blind eye to the suffering of the world. We act and give and help as much as we can while recognizing that we all have limits and we can’t save the entire world. We start with ourselves so that we can give from a place of fullness and love instead of emptiness and fear.

 

The Physical Realm

As always when working with the four realms, we start with the ground of our being: our body. Some helpful questions to ask are: Do I notice that I over-focus and obsess on the pain of the world when I’m sleep deprived, hormonal, on a sugar or caffeine high, or the morning after drinking alcohol? Anxiety ramps up when we’re off-kilter physically. When you can track these connections, you can make different choices.

There’s often a metaphor longing to be revealed in this realm as well. The body of the earth is suffering. When we’re obsessing on this fact the breakthrough question is, “How is my own body suffering? How am I plundering my fields and violating my boundaries? In what ways might I be denying my inner feminine and serving the patriarchal mindset? Am I over-working and under-sleeping? Am I overriding my need for downtime in favor of productivity?” The patriarchal mindset in which we’re all participating is a primary reason why we’re in the mess we’re in. We can point the finger and blame everyone “out there” or we can courageously and humbly turn inward as we explore how we are perpetuating a system based on domination and denial of the feminine principle through the ways we treat our own body.

The Cognitive Realm

As people on the sensitive-anxious spectrum, we simply aren’t wired to take in every pain from every sector of the world (I’m not sure anyone is no matter how they’re wired). We can handle the news of the elderly neighbor down the road who broke her hip because we can do something about that. We can handle the news of the current debate in our local cities because it’s within our sphere of experience. But we cannot handle every animal that is on the brink of extinction, and certainly not every image of every animal on the brink of extinction in every corner of the world. It’s simply too much.

Just like you wouldn’t plop your child down in front of the news during breakfast and dinner, so it’s not kind to do that to your inner child. You and you alone are the guardian of your mental space, and, as such, I encourage you to step in as a loving inner parent and take a break from the news, mindless scrolling, and click-and-bait emails with alarming headlines.

It’s also essential in the cognitive realm to recognize that we’re fed a slice of the news in mainstream media, one based on a shock and fear. We’re not told the whole story. We’re flooded with stories and images of doom-and-gloom, so-called evidence-based reporting that insists that there’s no hope. But there is another story that isn’t being told in the mainstream. When we’re working with anxiety, one of the steps is learning to replace the fear-based stories with the truth. In this case, it’s replacing a story of despair with one of hope. Again, this isn’t to minimize the mess we’re in, but we are much more likely to be of service from an enlivening place of hope than a paralyzing place of despair. Along these lines, this podcast has been life-changing for many of my clients who struggle with eco-anxiety.

The Emotional Realm

This is where it gets juicy and highly uncomfortable, as most people are trained to turn away from their pain (an umbrella word I use to describe all uncomfortable feelings). To start with, we must allow ourselves to grieve the real pain of the world, sometimes on a daily basis. One of the messages of anxiety is that its presence indicates that we’re in an emotional bottleneck: we’ve spent our entire lives pushing down feelings that we were told were “too much” until they have no choice but to pop out the top in the form of anxiety.

When we’re sensitive, we feel the pain all around us on a daily basis, and the only sane response is to grieve. We must be mindful that the grieving doesn’t become intrusive, which is done through keeping your inner parent at the head of your table, but to cry once a day is a healthy response that releases the pressure valve on the heart.

Our tears are prayers. Our tears are medicine that water the parched ground of our soil. Our tears nourish the animals and the plants that need to feel the broken-open heartbreak of our grief. Our wailing are the songs that need to be sung. We are being invited to open fully, for as we grieve for the world we also open the channels that heal several layers of our pent-up personal grief. In some way, they are one and the same.

There are often metaphors in this realm as well. Over-focusing on the pain of mother Earth can be a stand-in for pain around a mother-wound, and the question to ask here is, “Is my pain about Mother Earth a placeholder for ungrieved pain about my own mother?” Just like wounds about self-worth manifest as projections onto your partner’s “enough-ness” when you’re suffering from relationship anxiety, so your personal pain about your mother can be projected onto the screen of the world.

Many people suffer from a mother wound – the result of being raised by a mother who didn’t know how to attend to your needs – and instead of grieving this pain, which can feel like it’s going to swallow you up, you focus on the pain of Mother Earth. Again, both are real and both need attention, but when we can unravel to the root pain inside of an intrusive thought, we can explode the thought and free up energy to be of true service.

Another metaphor is the heartache at seeing the helplessness of the animals who are suffering as a result of human doing. This is the one that rips most of my clients up inside (and I’m right there with you), and yet, again, when it escalates to the point of intrusive we have to zoom out and ask how the projection is reflected on the inner realm.

The question I encourage my clients to ask themselves is: “How does my most vulnerable and helpless part feel abandoned and left out in the cold? Am I showing up for myself as a loving inner parent? What very young part of me needs to be rescued and held close to my heart as I reparent myself? How am I starving for love and attention?” Once again, this isn’t to deny or psychologize away the genuine raw pain of animal suffering; we must let it enter us fully and break our hearts open. But we must do so responsibly so that we’re not drowning in the pain and then so defeated that we become useless to anyone.

The Spiritual Realm

Lastly, we come to the fourth realm of self: the realm of soul and spirit. I don’t know of any other way to allow the chatter to settle and root into the center point amidst the anxious storms – whether it’s about relationships, health, money, or the state of the world – then to cultivate and commit to a daily spiritual practice. By “spiritual” I mean any practice that connects you both to something bigger than yourself and the anchor-point in your deepest being, which is the place of soul. This could be a gratitude practice, a nature practice, a yoga practice (not only the asana but the philosophy as well), a meditation practice, a dreamwork practice, a poetry practice, or a prayer practice (to name a few). The key, as always, is to find the way or ways that work for you, and committing daily. When we can tap into this wellspring of consciousness that infuses our universe, we settle several layers of anxiety and arrive at a sense of okay-ness that the stories on both the personal and global realms are unfolding exactly as they should.

In fact, this is how I ended my discussion with Tami Simon on her Insights at the Edge podcast a few weeks ago. If you’d like to listen, you do so here. She asked me (at 1:05), “What I’d love to know is – Your trust as a person, your groundedness in some type of unshakable faith, to whatever degree that you have it, what would you say it’s rooted in? What’s it’s source?” I paused and closed my eyes before responding, then said,

“The source of my trust is in an unshakable belief in hope and in our trajectory of moving towards wholeness. It’s what guides everything in my life, seeing the wholeness and seeing the goodness in not only every human being but in every being and in our planet and in the universe. I have this unshakable faith in goodness and in our longing for wholeness, in our longing for healing, individually and as a planet. As much as we can look around and feel like everything is falling apart, I see some through-line that we are also growing in the right direction even if it doesn’t always feel that way. It guides how I work with myself, how I see my children – seeing where they struggle but always holding them in their essence, in the awareness and in the clear-seeing of their wholeness, their holiness, their beauty. I see it in my clients – it’s very much the mindset from which I work. And I see it in our planet.”

***

Note: I welcome your comments, insights, and thoughts that are directly related to each week’s post. If you’re struggling with relationship anxiety and are a member of the Break Free From Relationship Anxiety course, please bring your questions there. If you’re struggling with relationship anxiety and are longing to break free from its stronghold, I strongly encourage you to join the course. 

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50 Comments

  1. Sheryl,
    Beautiful post. Eco anxiety has been getting at me lately. I worry about not being able to have a family and raise children due to the many issues this world possesses. But, I do have a question. When it comes to relationship anxiety, is it normal to have thoughts like “He doesn’t do enough for Me”… whenever I get them I get really anxious and confused and sad. What do they mean?
    Blessings to you ❤️

    Reply
  2. Hello Sheryl,

    I wanted your opinion on something that has been bothering me for some time. My boyfriend’s way of communication really hurts me as im very sensitive and i have told him many times to stop being so sarcastic and snarky. When I tell him that he’s quick to apologize and tells me he will try but doesnt make much progress because it’s his way of communicating with everyone. Last night he told me he feels horrible that he makes me feel bad and he wants me to give him one last chance and if he doesnt make much progress he told me to break up with him.

    Now i don’t believe he’s trying to make me feel bad with all the sarcasm and snarky comments as he does that with everyone but I’m feeling tired and almost ready to give up. But I can’t… I think I still love him even if I’m so annoyed with him… I just want this all to work out and I’m afraid… What if I’m just staying because I have got used to his presence?

    I’d also like to add that I’ve been struggling with relationship anxiety for almost 6 months and he’s trying his best to be there for me even if he cannot understand what I’m going through and I know he loves me… What should I do?

    Thank you

    Reply
    • Dear F
      Thank you for your post and I wonder what Sheryl has to say about sarcasm. My now husband is the same as your boyfriend. He is sarcastic, he makes sarcastic, funny comments a lot towards me, family members, friends, people from work, anyone. It’s his way of communicating. When I confront him, he says that that’s who he is, that’s the way he is. He is sarcastic and he likes sarcasm. I find his comments very hurtful and ask him not to communicate with me through sarcasm. He feels (and I do too sometimes) that I’m too sensitive and can’t take a joke and just be lighthearted about it. So I find myself torn between hating sarcasm and finding it a stupid, childish way of communicating AND between judging myself for being too sensitive and soft.
      To my horror, I realised recently that I make sarcastic comments sometimes too. I decided to stop these immediately … I used to be much more sarcastic before my “awakening” to my sensitivity through relationship anxiety few years back. Back then, I definitely used sarcasm as an armor and a way to fend off people and deeper feelings.
      Is sarcasm ok? Is it a legitimate, fun way of joking and communicating with people? If someone jokes sarcastically, should we respect that as their personality trait?
      Thank you xx

      Reply
      • Dear F and Gabi, I wanted to share a book with you called It’s Not Always Depression. It’s about anxiety, depression and core emotions. I find it very compatible and complimentary with Sheryl’s work. Anyway, according to the book, sarcasm is a defense against feeling one’s core emotions. The book identifies a number of other defenses as well. Now I can more easily see when I or someone else is operating in defense mode. It’s very eye opening and I highly recommend it. Perhaps it can help you and your partners.

        Reply
        • You’re right, I don’t think neither my or Gabi’s boyfriends want to make us feel bad, I think they’re afraid of closeness as they do these stuff with everyone. My boyfriend has kind of admitted it too and he tells me that he does these things without thinking. It’s just my trust has been a bit broken and I don’t know anymore… I don’t want to give up because he’s so loving, caring, supportive and I feel (or at least used to) safe with him… He feels like home you know and I know we can be happy together, right now I’m not so hopeful though, but I believe I should hang on… I’m confused and scared, but I love him and my distance towards him lately I think is just a manifestation of my fears.

          Thank you again

          Reply
        • Hello Holly, thank you very much for the book recommendation, I will definitely look it up! Thank you!

          Reply
  3. I found this so interesting and I am really grateful for your words. I recently spent a week with my mother in law who spoke about politics and the state of our country every day while we were away! At first I thought she has alot of anger that probably needs released, but now I realise it is alot deeper than that. How do we deal with people who express their emotions constantly through external forces ? What I really wanted to say to her was, tell me about Your own pain, maybe I should have xxxx

    Reply
    • Ah, yes, maybe you should have. I wonder how she would have responded. Next time!

      Reply
  4. Hello Sheryl! So, my relationship ended (not only because of RA but also because of real problems). We were long distance and it’s been almost 1year without seeing each other. It got tough and I was so frustrated and started to feel as tough it was not as important to him as it is to me (even he saying it’s not true, I kind of started to feel him more distant and our relationship was less intense and lacked the synchronicity it once had). I constantly talked about the importance of good communication and said it was lacking on our relationship and we should work on it, but I didn’t receive good feedback (no attitude, just a “yeah”). He was working A LOT and we had no time to talk (only at night and he only called me when i asked). So I started to see him putting less effort while I was giving a lot and receiving little. The resentment came and I was tired and bitter the last two days before we broke up. Our relationship was already fragile by the RA which for a while was “he doesn’t love me” and we were still working (at least I was), so when I said we needed to talk and sort things out once and for all, I said I felt as if I was carrying all the relationship on my shoulders and it was draining me, and he felt offended saying that’s not true and he’s tired and out of patience and we better break up then.
    I was shocked that the first
    suggestion he gave was that we should break up, so I think he already wanted that maybe. He said it was hurting him and he didn’t want that anymore because I don’t acknowledge his effort while he’s working a lot and etc. The point is, if he wanted to work on the communication and the relationship itself, wouldn’t he make a space to start a conversation about the relationship instead of me being the first to do it every time? I suggested we worked on it, but he didn’t want to because he said “we already did that and it’s always the same after a while”. I felt he was just being pessimistic and didn’t want to do the work anymore so he escaped. I said I can’t be in a relationship alone, so that’s all I could do.
    I feel some guilt now because my mind keeps telling me I should be more understanding and if I expressed in another way we’d still succeed. But I know it was more than that, and I’m trying to let go of it (all the plans, all the good moments and how sweet he used to treat me). How to get over it??
    Sorry for the long text, I’d just really appreciate some of your words on this. Thank you!

    Reply
      • Thanks Sheryl, but I already know deeply about RA. It was his decision, even though RA was one of the reasons I started acting that way.

        Reply
        • Ah, I see. I’m sorry for my misattuned response (as I wrote at the end of the article I’m not always able to respond to comments about relationship anxiety, especially when it’s not the focus of this week’s post). It sounds like your partner wasn’t willing to do the work required for being in a real relationship, and that your mind is spinning to try to override the grief and powerlessness of this breakup. If someone isn’t willing to do their inner work and make efforts in a relationship, there isn’t anything we can do. Relationship require both partners to show up fully and to hang in there when the waters get tough. In any case, breakups are deeply painful, and I encourage you to tend to your grief and be very kind and gentle with yourself. Sending love.

          Reply
          • Thank you so much, Sheryl. I’m doing my best! Sending love.

            Reply
  5. Thank you so much for this post. I have worked through a lot of my relationship anxiety – especially thanks to your work, but I have been feeling so anxious about the state of our planet on and off for the last year. Now that I’m married and am discussing the potential of having children, I think this fear has gotten worse. It’s made me not want to have children even though I have always imagined myself being a mother one day. Can you speak to ways to address the fear of bringing children into this world when it’s in such a sad place?

    Thanks so much,
    Kelsey

    Reply
    • Sorry I accidentally posted my comment twice! I didn’t think it posted the first time

      Reply
  6. Thank you so much for this comprehensive and thoughtful guide. I find your hopefulness to be inspiring. Like you stated, it’s so, so easy to get pulled into the reel of doom and gloom portrayed in the media, but there is SO MUCH good in this world that never gets shown.

    I love your idea that we are constantly moving toward a better, more evolved place. I’ve been trying to embrace this idea myself lately (and bless my husband for his contagious positivity) and I find myself feeling happier and more hopeful. Go figure!

    Thank you for all you do. I will undoubtedly be revisiting this blog entry ❤️

    Reply
    • You’re welcome, Shannon! I’m glad it was helpful, and it certainly helps when you’re married to someone who resides in optimism (my husband is the same way and he’s a pillar for me when my own eco-anxiety seeps in).

      Reply
      • How lucky we are for our upbeat partners 🙂 Helps curb the peaks and valleys so I embrace the good and bad a bit more evenly.

        Reply
  7. Thank you so much for this post, Sheryl! I have worked through most of my relationship, especially thanks to your work! But eco-anxiety has been very prevalent for me over the last year. Now that I’m married and am considering the potential of having children, it’s gotten worse. I really fear bringing children into the world when I think about things like global warming, school shootings, etc. Can you speak to ways to address this fear when it pertains to having children and the state of our world?
    Thanks so much!

    Reply
    • Thanks for your comment. I echo what you said word for word.

      Reply
    • This question arises frequently with my clients and course members, and I imagine I would have been in the same boat had we known about the climate situation 15 years ago before we had our first son. But i’m quite sure we would have chosen to have kids anyway. Here are some thoughts to contemplate:

      – When we allow fear to rule our decision-making process, we allow fear to rule our life.

      – Consider what story you’re telling yourself: That the world is going to end OR that this era is ending, we’re in global transition, and we’re unfolding into a new story and a new era.

      – Imagine how you’ll feel in 15 years when your child-bearing window has closed and it turns out that we were going to be fine all along. Remember that fear always catastrophizes and latches onto the worst-case scenario. This could turn out completely differently from the way the mainstream news tells us.

      – Having a child is always a risk and a sacrifice. If you were to set aside your fears around the current state of the world, your underlying and personal fears and grief about having a child would emerge. This is really where the work is. The intrusive thought around the planet is serving as a protection against your own fear and grief about this transition.

      I hope that’s helpful.

      Reply
  8. What great timing. I have lately been thinking about how entrenched many of the world’s problems are, and feeling frustrated that no one person can magically fix it all. When I get in this space, it’s easy for me to think that anything I do in service is meaningless, that the world’s problems will always be there. But I try to remind myself that direct service, human to human, also has the potential to heal people and ricochet past ourselves.

    Sometimes I get caught in a trap of thinking every decision I make that isn’t “green” (using plastic cutlery, taking a bit longer shower to unwind, etc) is bad and I’m a bad person for being selfish. I will try to keep in mind what you said about serving from a place of fullness. Is there anything else I can tell myself to assuage my guilt? I have a feeling it stems from the feeling like I was never “enough” as a girl. It’s hard to figure out what enough would look like for me, when I never really knew how that felt.

    Reply
    • You’ve wisely answered your own question, Mayberry (I love when we do that ;)). Yes, it likely points back to your own lifetime of guilt and not feeling enough, which points to the long path of unwinding the cognitive distortions and shame-based stories that led to the formation of these feelings. This is where the deep inner healing work comes in. If you haven’t done so already, I encourage you to take one of my courses and/or read my book.

      Reply
  9. Thank you so much for this post Sheryl. So relevant and so needed! You know after our discussion a few months back that this is something that is very much at the forefront of my mind on a regular basis (particularly the animal piece of it all). I really appreciate the reminder that the work is always the same, no matter the topic at hand.

    Reply
    • It really is – over and over and over again at deeper and deeper layers.

      Reply
  10. Thank you. Wholeness – what an elegant answer to the question of “faith”.

    Reply
  11. This is beautiful and exactly what I needed to hear today. Thank you.

    Reply
    • I’m so glad it was helpful, Addie.

      Reply
  12. Dear Sheryl
    Thank you very much for your post today, it’s very very helpful! It’s extremely helpful to realise that ecology is another field where anxiety likes to hang its hat! many of my friends fell pray to the doom and gloom worldview that we are being served today. And it’s very hard not to! They recycle the last small bit of paper, stopped buying clothes, make their own shoes and hate taking antibiotics …. There’s nothing wrong with these things, but when you do it out of fear and panic, than you need to pause and wonder what’s really going …
    I find this book very uplifting and helpful, it offers fact based view of today’s world: Hans Rosling, Factfulness, published in 2018

    Reply
    • Hi Gabi—

      Thank you for sharing that recommended literature. I look forward to reading it!

      A few months ago, I would’ve sounded like one of your panicked friends but I have gone through a bit of soul-searching and realized that while, yes, my love of composting and wind-powered electricity are good things, to be driven to the brink out of fear is far from good.

      I look forward to extracting a bit of wisdom and logic from the title you recommended! Sounds like a great one from the reviews I’ve seen so far.

      Reply
      • Hello Shannon
        Ooh, I’m glad I could offer something helpful :)) I truly believe that the planet is in much better shape than we are made to believe. Keep up your great composting work, I’m sure you’re serving the planet very well xxxx Lots of love and I hope you will enjoy the read

        Reply
    • Thank you for that book recommendation, Gabi. I just put it on hold at the library ;).

      Reply
      • Oh Sheryl, that makes me so happy 🙂 I hope you will enjoy the book.

        Reply
  13. Thank you for this post. Eco-anxiety has been with me for a while, but I do notice that as I work through my anxiety in general, eco-anxiety gets less. I also noticed that when I am really in touch with my spirirual practice daily, eco-anxiety is also less of a problem. That being said, it really breaks my heart to see what humans are doing to animals and trees, to nature in general…

    Reply
    • Spiritual practice is key, as is allowing ourselves to feel the heartbreak of the world and attending to our personal anxiety from the root. It sounds like you’re doing all three. Thank you, Suzanne.

      Reply
  14. Hi Sheryl,

    This topic of anxiety definitely hits home for me, especially since becoming a mother. I know there are very real problems, and I daily try to do my best to do my part, which I think is very important. However I know I also have some personal work to do, as eco-anxiety is one anxiety of many that pop up for me (also, health, relationship, etc etc.) and I appreciate your wisdom in how to go about it. What I have learned from you and in your other courses/blog has already been helping me as well, specifically sitting with my fear and grief, to be able to move through it. I think many people don’t do anything because they’re too afraid to face the issue.

    I found the podcast you recommended helpful, as is this one I listened to recently: https://onbeing.org/programs/joanna-macy-a-wild-love-for-the-world/

    “…we are called to not run from the discomfort and not run from the grief or the feelings of outrage or even fear-and that, if we can be fearless, to be with our pain, it turns. It doesn’t stay static. It only doesn’t change if we refuse to look at it. But when we look at it, when we take it in our hands, when we can just be with it and keep breathing, then it turns. It turns to reveal its other face, and the other face of our pain for the world is our love for the world, our absolutely inseparable connectedness with all life”.

    Also: ” you’re always asked to stretch a little bit more. And actually, we’re made for that. But in any case, there’s absolutely no excuse for making our passionate love for our world dependent on what we think of its degree of health, whether we think it’s going to go on forever. This moment, you’re alive”.

    Reply
    • I also wanted to mention I’ve found my faith in God/having a spiritual practice to be really helpful… Also talking about climate change with people around me that is sometimes the ‘elephant in the room’.

      Reply
      • Thank you for the link (I listened to that podcast a while back and definitely resonated with parts of it) and YES to turning to a spiritual practice! It’s what I teach in Grace Through Uncertainty as I find that it’s essential to managing the fundamental uncertainty of life regardless of what is happening on the planet.

        Reply
  15. Hi Sheryl, eco anxiety was actually the first kind of intrusive thought I ever experienced, which was about 11 years ago when I was 23. It was truly hell. All the points on your post make sense for why I was feeling that way. I remember being obsessed about buying things organic, and I’d get massive anxiety if I had to use plastic bags. I couldn’t even look at newspaper headlines as I passed them on the street. I was sure the world was going to come to an end at any moment. After about 2.5 years of that, the anxiety jumped to another topic and my eco anxiety was resolved as a result. I haven’t had it since. I’m still very conscientious about the environment and make choices that support it – but I don’t obsess if I make a choice that isn’t perfectly environmentally friendly. I don’t feel need to make certain choices compulsively to attempt to ward of something bad from happening. I don’t feel like a martyr for the environment anymore.

    As I said my anxiety has since found other things to latch on to, but in this particular area I’m anxiety-free while still remaining conscientious (more conscientious than most people I know in fact, but anxiety isn’t driving that.)

    Reply
    • Thank you for sharing this, Holly. Isn’t it fascinating how anxiety changes themes? One of the ways we can break through a current theme is by remembering that the other themes that once felt like a matter of life-and-death no longer hold water.

      Reply
      • ???? 10000% to this guidance! By recognizing the pattern, I’ve found I can gain some power back over my fears.

        Reply
  16. Once again, your blog and insight has hit me right where I needed it most. I don’t know how you do it! And with such incredible wisdom and poignant perspective.

    I am eternally grateful to you, Sheryl – you’ve changed my life for the better and saved me in so many ways so many times. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    This is exactly what I needed this morning. So grateful to you forever.

    Reply
  17. Wow, thank you Sheryl. This is exactly what I needed to hear, and really helps me at this time.
    Lately my anxiety about the Earth and what’s happening has been debilitating….and the feeling that I can’t do enough in all the areas needing Healing in the world. My intrusive thoughts have been spinning. While at the same time I’m aware of the unhealthiness of this obsessive anxiousness…..It feels good just to hear you acknowledge this type of anxiety, and your insights and direction give me clarity and something to hold onto. I will be exploring these metaphors within me, and reawakening my inner parent….I’m also processing a breakup so the other comments were helpful as well. Thank you for your unshakable hope in all of us and Earth, and for sharing your divine insights. I appreciate you.

    Reply
    • I’m so glad it helped, Courtney :). xo

      Reply
  18. Hello,

    I found this article while on an anxious Google search this morning. It is so wise and grounding. Thank you Sheryl for your wisdom. I feel more able to calm myself now, and recognise the positive action I can take to help the planet, from a place of love and not terror. Thank you.

    Reply
    • I’m so glad you found your way here, Susie, and that the post was comforting :).

      Reply

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