Book Review: From Anxiety to Love
“My anxiety journey was one of the worst, most terrifying experiences of my life. Yet once I allowed it to become my greatest teacher, it also became one of the best,” writes Corinne Zupko.
In her new book, From Anxiety to Love: A Radical New Approach For Letting Go of Fear and Finding Lasting Peace, Zupko shows readers how anxiety can become an awakening, directing us on a new pathway toward love and inner peace.
“Every experience you have can serve one of two purposes – and you get to choose which. It can help you awaken to the peace that is already in you, or it can help you stay unaware of this peace,” writes Zupko.
For Zupko, the change began with her experience in A Course in Miracles, which became a path to healing that ultimately helped her uncover what she calls her inner therapist.
“What I call the inner therapist is also known as the Holy Spirit, your higher mind, or your inner teacher,” writes Zupko.
It is through connecting with the deep wisdom that the inner therapist offers that we can learn to let go of the false perceptions that act like purposeful blocks to our peace of mind.
“We think our problems or enemies are “out there” in the world, but in fact, they’re mostly within our own habitual, unproductive ways of seeing,” writes Zupko.
What we often forget is the eternal love that we are made of – that pure loving mind that exists independently of our ego, and our physical body. And when the ego lures us toward specialness, we ultimately turn away from love.
“Just as a puppy curls its tail between its legs when it perceives it has done something wrong, we feel massive guilt for turning our backs on our loving Source,” writes Zupko.
It is also the ego that fears letting go and accepting the idea that the world isn’t our reality. The benefit of retaining our guilt and fear, Zupko writes, is that we remain a separate self, which helps us to feel special and live a life independent from our Source.
“In my experience, the voice of the ego is any thought that is judgmental or fearful, or has any sense of urgency to it (like, ‘You better do this now or else!’). It makes you feel unworthy, and it limits your sense of self to a body,” writes Zupko.
The inner therapist, on the other hand, exists underneath our distractions, projections, and fears. Through listening, we learn to separate the false from the true, moving from anxiety to love, and an unshakeable inner peace.
And while the purpose of working through anxiety is to locate the root of the problem, there are three steps Zupko offers: Be willing to see the problem differently; give your willingness to see the problem differently over to your inner therapist and ask for the miracle; and rest in trust that it is done.
An important part of this process is the commitment to an attitude of radical self-honesty.
“The opposite of honesty is denial, and denial is a very strong device for ego-self-protection,” writes Zupko.
Yet what we see in the world is only a reflection, a projection of what is in our mind. Zupko cites a teaching from the course: “I am responsible for what I see. I choose the feelings I experience, and I decide upon the goal I would achieve. And everything that seems to happen to me I ask for, and receive as I have asked.”
Some part of us may want the struggle – what Zupko likens to the Freudian tendency toward self-destructive behavior – as a way to maintain our belief in a separate self. Through being willing to honestly explore our own resistance to healing, and the additional fears it may disguise, however, they are often transformed.
It is also important to accept the process and accept ourselves exactly as we are.
“When struggling leads you to think you should be anywhere other than where you are, the ego is joining the party again. If you have thoughts like ‘I should be farther along with this than I am,’ ‘I should be peaceful,’ or ‘I should be getting this by now,’ you can recognize these as ego judgments. Step back from them, and do the most loving thing you can do for yourself: allow yourself to be exactly where you are,” writes Zupko.
Anxiety is a great indicator that we are identified with the ego, even lost in it. The discomfort that comes with anxiety is often what is needed to draw our attention to the changes that will allow us to grow. In that is the opportunity to reclaim our right to deep inner peace, loving kindness, and freedom from the ego. For anyone looking to move from pain and anxiety to peace, happiness, and love, From Anxiety to Love, offers a clear and enlightened approach.
From Anxiety to Love: A Radical New Approach For Letting Go of Fear and Finding Lasting Peace
New World Library
Softcover, 176 Pages