I think we can all use a little of this right now.
I recently read Sarah Wilson’s enlightening book covering “a new journey through anxiety.” Her premise, aside from giving us a look into an anxiety-brimming mind and life, is based on an old Chinese proverb:
Before you can conquer a beast, you first must make it beautiful.
While practical treatment with medicine and professional treatment should always be considered first in cases of anxiety, depression and bipolar* (a place to call for those working through these struggles is here at government mental health departments), deep introspection and mindset shifts are what Wilson ultimately introduces to fight her battles.
*I retooled her premise with the perspective of mindsets and paradigms that I believe about myself. This is the direction I lead my writing…
What are the things we repeat to ourselves daily- The job market is too competitive to get hired, my work doesn’t compare to what they’re doing, I couldn’t mean enough to them.
What is the thing (emotion, belief, trauma) that “mantra” is rooted in? Fear of failure, self-loathing, self-defeating woe.
This is where Wilson steps in and says, “Yes, I’ve got these conditions (mindsets)… But they are also my superpowers.” She writes about the joy she gets writing letters to her brain, asking it questions about why it does what it does and why it thinks it can control so many of her actions. She befriends the “beast” and walks with it, not against it, to live a more healthy, less panicky life.
There is a meta-purpose to the battles we fight everyday against our minds’s pernicious games. We can conquer the beast and, behind its lies, find beauty. Make that a mantra.
Sarah Wilson, First We Make the Beast Beautiful.