Existential Anxiety

There is a very well-known expression called “The Elephant in the Room.” It’s more humorously referred to as “The rotting rhinoceros head on the coffee table.”

But the meaning is really the same. And that is, “What is the big thing that no one is mentioning but everyone knows is conspicuous by its absence from the conversation?” “What is the one thing that is so obvious, but it’s still not being talked about?”

The real elephant in the room (of your life) is that the world that you think you’re living in is completely based on fear, that everything – the good, the bad and the ugly, is all based on an erroneous presupposition that’s completely borne of fear.

Everyone is afraid to die. Everyone is afraid of loss. Everyone is afraid they won’t get what they need. Or, if they get what they need, they won’t be able to keep what they need because everything dies and even the things that are good leave you.

So, you can’t hang on to your health forever, and you can’t hang on to your relationships forever, and your wealth leaves you, and your friends leave you, or you leave.

This is what is called ‘existential anxiety.’ It’s a basic tension under the surface of everything. It’s why we do what we do, but it’s never mentioned.

I have a dear friend who is very attached to her cats. She doesn’t even like to contemplate the possibility that they might leave the planet; she is so attached to them. So, as much love as she feels and as much love as she receives from them, there is this underlying anxiety that one day, these little animals will not be in this body anymore.

So, what do you do about that? Well, a lot of people keep busy. They distract themselves. They preoccupy themselves with sensual pleasure, achievement, acquiring things, doing good, and doing what feels good.

There are a lot of concepts that feel good. It certainly is true that in the giving that we receive. 

But if you ask people what was the most meaningful day of their lives, they’ll often say, “Oh, it was the day that my child was born, and I was seeing life itself”—something that transcended the normal, something that was sacred.

The answer to all of this is not to figure out a way to live your life with great habits, diet, and exercise. Because you’re only prolonging the inevitable. While it makes sense to take care of yourself and this body while you’re occupying one, the real prayer is not to have a better way of thinking about this, nor to have a bunch of concepts or spiritual beliefs that give you some comfort.

The real prayer is, “Please, God, let me know reality. Let me experience the reality that exists apart from what I’ve created. Because what I’ve created has anxiety all over it. It’s under the surface. No one’s saying it but– we’re all going to die. Let me know that that isn’t true – not just conceptually, but experientially. Please let me know what reality is, and let me live in that.”

What you are seeking is what you actually are. What you want turns out to be what you’ve already been given.

The prayer is to awaken into the reality of love itself – the reality of the feeling that you hope to get from all of the ideas that you have of what it would take to have a satisfying life.

Life itself is satisfying. It is its nature.

Love is your nature. Ask for that… to be shown who you really are and who everyone is.

Then, the anxiety is no longer there. You reside in peace and in love. And, in doing so, in an allowance and forgiveness for everything that you’ve made up that has anxiety riddled through it.

This is your birthright. You’ve never left the garden. You’ve never left the kingdom.

You are love itself. Pray to know that.

Thank you for reading this.


  • Sandra Bradley

    Former Radio & TV host ‘Beyond Reason.’ Published writer & artist. Psychotherapist specializing in Regression Therapy, Soul Blueprint, Spiritual Mentoring, Healing, and whatever is needed 'in' the moment. Vipassana practitioner, student/teacher of A Course in Miracles since the 1980s. Sandra shares the reality of Quantum Physics & Quantum Entanglement in Metaphysical terms with those who wish to 'remember.'

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