How Do I Live With My Existential Anxiety?

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(Q. 1. from the warm-up chapter in which I answer my own once unanswerable questions)


First. It’s possible to be spiritual & have existential angst, it’s possible to believe in your divine purpose & still freak out about why anything is anything, it’s possible to believe in both god & science, to have faith & unanswerable questions, to feel grateful & blessed & loved & also be losing your shit.


We have the magnitude to be all of it, all our questions & answers. The major turning point for me was when I began to own it, all of it, the competing desires, the conflicting beliefs. I allowed myself to be both fine & fucked up. I found I needed a lot of space to hold all the things, and then it was up to me to take up that space in the world.


Short answer: therapy, multivitamins, meditation, sunshine, clairvoyance school, music, self-development books, “spiritual” quotes, art & writing, wise friends & teachers & healers. It’s never just one thing, it’s always everything.


For the longest time I didn’t even know there was a name for these feelings. I just knew that I was not okay with being a spec of nothing on a planet floating in an endless universe. I get that while part of this is science, the rest is a fear, a belief, a story. What isn’t?


For me this angst is not something I’ve ever been able to meditate or pray my way out of. Having faith in things unseen has always come pretty naturally for me, but faith is like any other form of art, it takes questioning, exploration, practice & dedication for it to evolve. It takes a lot to be able to sit quietly in a room & feel supported by something unexplainable. You have to find your way to that room.

Jennifer ChardonComment