One of my students told me that when he discussed his anxieties with someone close to him, like his wife or a close friend, then he found that the moment he started opening up to them, the anxiety decreased—even before he received any advice or support.
Togetherness definitely decreases anxiety. There is a saying in the wisdom of Kabbalah that “a sorrow shared is a sorrow halved,” i.e. when we share a sensation, we divide it up, and it in turn becomes more manageable.
Since it is quite easy to see how sharing our experiences lessens our negative feelings, the question is why do we not use this ability more? Why is it so hard for us to share our fears and anxieties with others?
We are indeed afraid of opening our hearts, letting everyone see that we have certain fears and anxieties. In addition to whatever anxieties we hold within, we usually have additional anxieties about sharing them with others, that it might cause others to perceive us as weak. Since society in general values stronger, smarter, wealthier and fitter individuals, opening up our anxieties to such a society makes us vulnerable to exploitation. We thus need to seek a social environment that would not exploit us for opening up, but would rather give us a sense of faith and confidence that it can help us cope with any negative feelings.
A social setting that can guarantee faith and confidence in its members is one that actively draws itself to the upper good and benevolent force—the force of love, bestowal and connection. It is this very same force that awakens negative feelings in us, whether they be fears, anxieties or several other painful sensations, in order for us to draw closer to that force, and we do so by drawing closer to each other.
If we wish to connect with the upper force and let its perfect quality of love, bestowal and connection fill our lives with a sensation of faith and confidence, then we need to emulate such a quality toward each other—giving them a sense of faith and confidence, and for them to do the same toward us. By wanting to positively connect with others, we then start awakening the positive force dwelling in nature into the connections we create, and we then feel a new sense of faith and confidence wash away any anxieties that we might be holding within.
Based on the video “How to Cope With Fear and Anxiety” with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman and Oren Levi. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman. Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash