“When you are anxious, realize that anxiety comes from the capriciousness of the ego, and know this need not be. You can be as vigilant against the ego’s dictates as for them.” (A Course in Miracles, FIP ed., T-4.IV.4)
Anxiety dogs our steps, for anxiety is the most prevalent form of fear. We have an ego that is out of control, has always been out of control. And so we can easily recognize capriciousness when confronted with anxiety, for there seems to be no rhyme or reason to it. We do, surely, attach reasons to our anxiety, but this is grasping at straws. Twisting in the wind. We know, deep inside, that something that is in us, but not real—the ego—is calling the shots. And we would not have it so.
We can be vigilant against letting anxiety turn our days into a living hell. It doesn’t take much vigilance, really. If we never let the anxiety escalate, if we go within at the first signs of agitation. Turn to the inner Self Who knows best how to turn aside the calling of the ego. Don’t wait, hoping the uneasy feeling will subside. Go within directly, immediately. And watch the see if you don’t sense help from a Higher Power as you go within.
Being able to give up anxiety is powerful motivation. Who can be at the best when confronted with the verge of panic? Nobody. Ever. And so we seek, once again, to turn aside from the ego. We don’t actively “resist” the ego, for to do is to make resistance real, and the act of turning away too strident. The ego becomes strong in strife, and strife is what we have when we seek to force a solution by shouting “no” at our anxiety, “no” at the ego.
Just turn aside, gently. Meditate. Pray. Write in a journal. The way will open to a smooth pathway once again.
If agitation doesn’t go away, then perhaps it has something to say to us. The ego will try to speak to us, but what it says is only confused thinking, best left alone. Don’t try to make sense out of its ranting. You can’t do it. It is impossible.
Be gentle with yourself when in the throes of an egoic attack. This too shall pass. And so it shall.