Curating posts for the Life is Sweet project has introduced me to some pretty awesome people with incredible stories and unique perspectives. I was introduced to Stephan through a mutual connection on Twitter and he offered to share his story for this project.
I would say that for my entire life I have lived with anxiety. It's the sort of anxiety that made it impossible to meet new people on my own. Imagine that. Here I am on the first day of school, so fear ridden that when everyone else was mingling and making friends, I was buried deep into shyness and self-imposed shame. Frozen in my own prison of emotion. What the hell was wrong me with me?
Fast forward 20 years and I finally approached a girl on my own. At 27, I finally slept with one. At 28, I lost one, and it was the most difficult thing I've ever been through.
You have to see it in perspective. Nearly 30 years of trying to find love, love, and be loved in return, only to find it, have it and stubbornly lose it. Was it me? Was it my failure at being a man? Was I destined to be alone?
This is my story. But this also was my story. See, spend decades of your life with these feelings and you will be driven to discover why. So driven that you will go to the ends of the earth to discover the why, only to realize that what seem to be the most complex challenges have the simplest answers.
See, anxiety can be outer driven or/and inner created. Mine was inner created. It appeared every time I was attempting to be someone or do something that was outside my true values, my authentic being. I look back on it, after I educated myself and observe that I spent 27 years without having sex and had a fantasy about it. I can look at that as a problem or I can look at it and say sex just wasn't important enough to me to do something about it, and the truth is it's actually not. My biggest love is helping people open their heart to themselves and the universe. To me, no orgasm is better than expanding the heart.
That's the key of anxiety-- Expanding the heart. Anxiety is a symptom of trying to live outside your values. The minute you try it, anxiety creeps up to let you know about it and bring you back to the center. But it doesn't have to be that way. If you just asked how doing whatever it is you feel anxiety over would actually help you, you can turn anxiety into energy to move forward. But anxiety was only half the game for me...
The bigger fish for me was the loss of the girl of my life. This was to me, at the time, the most terrible thing that could have happened. I remember saying 'not in my universe' to her on the phone. I was delusional. Infatuated. Fallen in love too far.
I met my suicidal motives on that day. A far cry from where my friends had seen me and relied on me to be; a strong person, a helper, a healer. A genius turned sufferer of his own emotions, his heart finally blown open by the girl he loved. I stayed with this for weeks, hoping that by some string of potential that she would still be with me, but it never came in the way I wanted...
The song says 'You don't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need." If there were words I could live by every day, these are them. I made a choice to seek help, from the people who taught me to work with everyone else who was going through my challenge. I went back home to my greatest love-- The Demartini Method®.
Nearly a year later and I had progressed. Doing lists after lists of answers to questions like "What are the benefits of her breaking up with me?" "What were the downsides of being with her?" "If we had continued in the way I fantasized, what would have been the drawbacks to me?". The hours and hours of effort had paid off, but it wasn't entirely 'right' yet. See, when doing emotional work, unless the heart is left open and radiant, it's not done. I knew I wasn't done, but it had ceased being about her. It was now about me and how I felt that I wasn't enough for her.
Going back to trainers in Houston I felt like I was starting anew. I was shocked out of working with others from my awareness of my own inability to break myself through. I figured if I can't help myself, how can I give myself permission to help others? But sure as I knew my heart the first time, when I finally loved myself for being enough, more than enough, for her, I felt love again. So greatly that I poured my heart into her reflection, loving her for what may have been the very first time and even now as great friends.
Why is this what I chose to share, here in this forum? Because my beloved Em opened my heart by giving me what it feels like to be broken. By helping me feel what so many others feel yet so few ever love. Because of my own experience in what I thought I couldn't feel, emotion, I get now how fragile the mind can be. How easily it can drench itself in darkness. In doing so I honored myself for the first time for being one of the few masters in the world who chose to be a master of the heart and of their hearts.
Stephan Gardner is a Personal Greatness, Stress & Emotion Specialist with a luminary understanding of behavior and emotions. Educated at The Demartini Institute under Dr. John Demartini and a proficient student of personal and spiritual development (from Tony Robbins to Shamanic Ceremonies around the world) his mission is to inspire you to new levels of life fulfillment through work, wisdom, and love. www.stephangardner.com