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Be Present to Anxiety Instead of Its Prisoner

By:Guy Finley
Date: Sat,04 Jun 2022
Submitter:Life of Learning Foundation

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Anxiety is torment. But we never suspect that the mind that is anxious is anxious because it is trying to bring an end to its own pain… and it can’t, because there is no peace in the world of a mind set against itself.

The problem is that we are born into a world where, within a very short time, we each have our own inner “personal attendant.” This attendant has two things in its hands: one hand holds a small clock, and the other a pitchfork. The attendant never ever leaves our side. It is literally bound to us because it is an extension of an un-awakened consciousness we presently live from.

At any given moment the alarm clock can go off, and all we’ve ever known to do in those moments is to listen to what the attendant tells us: “OMG! Rush! You have to do this now, and you must do it quickly otherwise you’re going to miss what you have imagined that I told you to imagine! Something bad is going to happen to you, so you’d better hurry up. In fact, because it’ll help speed up the process, I want you to be anxious. I really want you to feel anxious!”

And if for any reason we don’t respond the way the attendant wants us to when the alarm goes off, that’s when the pitchfork comes in. We get the old jab in the side, a stab of pain that lets us know: “Gee whiz! This must be important because of how much it hurts me to stand here and not get busy trying to get to the other side of whatever my mind had pictured will liberate me from my attendant!”

But we don’t know it’s an attendant. We think the pressure belongs to us because that’s what the nature requires – that we identify with the whole condition. Anxiety, rushing is an unnecessary torment that only seems necessary to us now because we’re identified with what’s explaining it to us. And what explains to us why we’re anxious other than an anxious nature?

Isn’t the rush always, in one way or another, a certain pain that’s prompting, pushing us to do what we have to do to get through the moment, to get to the other side where the grass will be greener? What if we could remember there is no other side of the moment? Our mind has another side to the moment because it has created a monstrous moment that needs a savior. It has created a moment of magnitude that we must respond to properly or we’ll be miserable. But there is no other side to Now. Our mind thinks there is, and that’s why we get anxious!

We get anxious because something tells us that we can do more in this moment than to complete it by allowing it to reveal to us the part of our self that is never at peace in the present moment. Its peace is always the sensation of some promise that will be fulfilled in time.

So, what’s the solution? We can be present to the anxiety instead of its prisoner. To be present to the anxiety instead of imprisoned by the promises it brings means for the first time in our life we’re going to stand there and be aware of the pain of this divided mind.

We think our pain is the product of a world that won’t do what we want it to do. In fact, the pain we are in is because we live from a mind that promises pleasure, but to promise it, it must have a pain that it’s trying to reconcile. The divided mind is all involved in a very small unconscious world that we can begin to walk out of once we understand and have the wisdom to apply these discoveries to the anxiety that’s been punishing us.

For over 40 years Guy Finley has helped individuals around the world find inner freedom and a deeper, more satisfying way to live. His in-depth and down-to-earth teachings cut straight to the heart of today’s most important personal and social issues – anxiety, fear, self-discovery, meditation, relationships, addiction, stress, compassion, and personal peace. His work is widely endorsed by doctors, business professionals, celebrities, and spiritual leaders of all denominations.

Guy is the author of 45 books and video/audio programs, including his international bestseller “The Secret of Letting Go,” that have been translated into 30 languages and have sold millions of copies worldwide.

He has a weekly program on, and is a regular contributor to numerous print and online publications.

Guy is the founder and director of Life of Learning Foundation, a nonprofit Center for Spiritual Discovery located in southern Oregon, with tens of thousands of online newsletter subscribers worldwide. His talks are live-streamed free from the Foundation twice each week.

A Life of Learning outreach program is OneJourney, a growing, international community. In a world where differences among people are tearing us apart, OneJourney uses the wisdom of the ages to show that the journey to wholeness is an inner journey that is essentially the same for all people and all religions throughout time. It’s just been described in different words. The OneJourney site and its ever-expanding Living Book helps us meet life in a new way so that we no longer fight with events, but can use everything to grow stronger while making the world a better place.

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