希望透過翻譯和更多的人分享宇宙的智慧，一起認識我們自己，善待自己，找到平安和幸福。這些僅是我個人對原文的解釋，並不代表作者....Like to translate to share inspiring words with more people so that we may know who we are and learn to love ourselves to find peace and joy. These are simply my interpretations of the original writings. I do not represent the authors.
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想對過去焦慮的我說四件事 / 4 Things I’d Say to My Anxiety-Filled Younger Self
4 Things I’d
Say to My Anxiety-Filled Younger Self
“I vow to let go of all worries and
anxiety in order to be light and free.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh
「為得輕鬆和自由，我誓言要放下一切擔心和憂慮。」 ~ 一行禪師
As I sit here writing this, I’m just
a couple of days away from my twenty-eighth birthday.
It’s been a whole decade since an
introverted, shy version of me turned eighteen years old and entered into the
realms of what many people consider to be “adult age.”
Back then, anxiety, specifically
social anxiety, plagued me.
At the time, however, I’d never even
heard of anxiety, let alone considered that I may be suffering with this thing that
could be termed a “mental illness.” Truth be told, I just thought I was a bit
I thought it was just who I was. And
that the uncontrollable sweating whenever I left the house, the monumental
nervousness before having to go into any social situation, the sick feeling
before making any phone call, and the continual worry of what might happen
in the future was just an annoying part of me that I’d have to live with for
the rest of my life.
The decade that followed, though,
brought some huge life lessons. I graduated from college, got my first
full-time job, left said job, started several businesses (failing at most),
became obsessed with health, nutrition, and fitness, met the love of my life,
and traveled to various parts of the world.
It was during this time I did
monumental amounts of reading, inward reflection, and deep inner work in order
to truly get to know what was going on inside of me. I got to understand who I
was and connect with myself at a level I didn’t previously think was possible.
So as I sit here now, ten years on
from my eighteenth birthday, I’d like to share four things I’ve learned over
the past decade and would want to say to that anxiety-ridden, nervous, and
severely introverted version of myself if I ever got the chance.
Part of the reason I was feeling all
this anxiety and emptiness inside was that I had this belief that I
somehow needed to be more than who I was. Like I wasn’t good
enough as me in any present moment, and so I needed to add on
external things in an attempt to bridge that gap.
As I attached my entire worth as a
person to all this external stuff, I created a world full of anxiety for
I got anxious about having to
converse with people, for fear they would figure me out as a fraud or someone
who didn’t have everything together. And my desperate looking to the
future for a time when I did have it all together would cause regular panic
when something even slightly compromised my ability to get there.
The real me wasn’t showing up in the
world, and I was holding myself back from everyone and everything. Bringing
just a miniscule percentage of the greatest version of myself into every
situation and moment. And that’s just not fair to me, or the world.
So the first thing I would say to my
eighteen-year-old self is to stop trying to be more than you are, and just
unashamedly be all that you are at any given moment.
2. You get to create yourself.
One of my greatest fears as an
eighteen-year-old, and for a good number of years following, was that I would
be this incredibly shy and anxious person for the rest of my life.
18歲那時和接下來的幾年，有件事讓我很害怕 - 我害怕我會一輩子這麼害羞和焦慮。
In fact, I don’t suppose it was really
a fear at the time. More a simple acceptance and frustration at the fact that
I’d been dealt this hand of someone who always had a knot in his stomach,
struggled to hold conversations, and was perennially labelled “the quiet one.”
If I’m honest, it caused me to
really dislike and become irritated with myself. It was overwhelmingly
frustrating to see other people make their way into social circles and progress
in life seemingly with relative ease. Yet here I was, having to calm down and
prepare myself for the simple act of making a phone call to book a dentist’s
This all just became a part of my
identity, just who I thought I was and a part of me I assumed I just had to
At some point along the way, though,
I came to the realization that I was choosing to keep this social anxiety as a
part of my identity. Maybe not on a conscious level, but certainly on a
I discovered that by facing up to
what was going on inside my anxious head, no longer trying to push it away and
suppress it, and challenging the negative
thoughts floating around, I could create a blank slate of sorts, to
assume an identity without all the anxiety.
In short, a person’s past does not
need to dictate their present or the future. There is no “hand” we have been
dealt. And so we get to create and choose into who we want to be in any given
moment or phase of our lives.
For so long, I had this grandiose
illusion that everything had to look a specific way.
I believed the “correct” path in
life, whatever that meant, was already there for me, and if I veered from it,
something terrible would happen. In my mind, everything was filled with
“should” and “should nots” around what life was supposed to look like.
Of course, I’m not saying we should
go against the grain all the time. There are some aspects in life where it’s
probably a good idea to fall in line. The concepts of not judging people by the
color of their skin or not being a serial killer are pretty good examples.
All this did for me was create
anxiety. I had a path in my mind, and if anything threatened me falling off
that path then, in my head, I would be castigated from society, nobody would
love me, and my whole world would cave in.
This is when I realized it was
perfectly okay to challenge convention. To investigate different ways of
thinking without the whole world judging me and everything falling apart. And
that it was perfectly healthy, even necessary, to figure out my own path.
This was something that took me a
while to truly understand and accept. But when I did, it created a monumental
amount of inner healing and peacefulness.
We all have dark parts of our past.
Some maybe have darker parts than others, but that doesn’t make them any more
or less valid.
For a long time I wished those
dark parts weren’t there. I would look into my past and feel frustration
and resentment for those dark parts that caused so much pain.
I’d look into this darkness and
think about how it shouldn’t be there. That it was wrong and bad it existed,
and because it did, I would be judged if anyone found out; therefore, I wasn’t
worthy of being happy.
In reality, every moment in my life,
the good and the bad, was part of a vast sequence of events that led me to this
very moment. We need the darkness in order to experience light, up to
experience down, and sadness to experience joy. Without one, the other cannot
But opening up to the idea of
letting go of resentment and frustration, and appreciating dark moments in the
past for what they really are, is such a powerful step. They don’t define us,
and they don’t need dictate who we are. They have given us the opportunity to
harness this very moment and unleash the amazing things that are inside us on
the unsuspecting world.