Anxiety is Awful

I need be anxious over nothing.
~ A Course in Miracles

The feeling of anxiousness – especially chronic anxiety – is awful. There is little experience of peace or calm. The world, and our body, is off-kilter. There is no sense of relaxed breathing, and everything feels like it’s on the edge of some precarious precipice.

And in such a state, it is very difficult to think deeply or find much cause for optimism. In fact, it’s a very dark place.

But there is a way out.

The goal of studying and practicing A Course in Miracles is to experience peace. Each of its lessons – and all thirty-one chapters of the text – help us understand where anxiety and all its unfriendly cousins like guilt, fear, and anger come from.

While it’s true that “our thoughts determine the world we see” (W-pI.11.1), the real question is where do our thoughts come from? Especially the anxious ones.

The answer is the ego mind. Whenever we choose the ego – which, if we’re radically honest and transparent with ourselves, is most of the time – then we’ll experience some form of distress.

But the instant we choose against the ego and for the mind of oneness (what the Course refers to as Universal Inspiration or the Holy Spirit), then we are aligned with peace.

There is a lovely prayer in the workbook that contains these lines:

I need be anxious over nothing. For Your Voice will tell me what to do and where to go; to whom to speak and what to say to him, what thoughts to think, what words to give the world. (W-pII.275.2)

Peace is ours for the choosing. We need be anxious over nothing. We simply need to recognize that we’ve chosen the ego and that we can instead make a different choice. When we do that, the anxiety melts away and we’re left with a wonderful sense of joy.