I made another brief visit to the Hindu Temple of Rochester today, as there was a bus that took me close by. Since I could access it by bus route, this time I went by myself. It was during this visit that I both learned one important thing about myself, as well as discovered how far I have yet to go to achieve personal transformation, but with hope that it can be done.
The overall theme of the trip seemed to be anxiety; anxiety about several things at once, it seemed. Not just immediate concerns such as how to get there and back on the bus and the like, but anxiety about my own sense of self. As I was making the trip, and even after I arrived I was asking myself: "do I really belong here?" "Am I doing the right thing?" "Will my presence here be seen as good, bad, or somewhere in between?" "How will people react to me?"
I know one of these days I have got to learn to be comfortable in my own skin, so to speak. That I have to be comfortable with my sense of self and the decisions I make. And while the anxiety I experienced during my visit is indicative that I haven't achieved this goal yet, my short visit overall has left me with a sense of hope that I can conquer these particular demons.
The reason for this is because while I was feeling anxiety during my visit, I noticed it was anxiety of a different sort than I usually experience. Sure, it was still anxiety, but I usually feel anxiety about things more global than just a temple visit. Things like world and local news, my usual interpersonal relationships, trying not to accidentally offend people, etc. When I was in the Hindu temple, the anxiety felt much more...localized, I guess, in the sense that I was not worrying about things outside of my control. I was worrying about my own thoughts and how to interact with the people in front of me, but I wasn't worrying about what they thought of me so much as what they actually did in reaction to me. I hope that makes sense. In short, it seemed like an anxiety about things on a more realistic level.
I did a short meditation session there of about 10 minutes. I couldn't concentrate during that session because the anxiety still lingered somewhat, but I guess that is to be expected. Still, it was good to have a different kind of anxiety for once, and by good I mean a kind that is more manageable. It was an anxiety based on the present.
I left the temple today feeling relieved, because while I felt anxiety about it, I did it anyway. It was a time when I could think about the present, instead of regretting the past or worrying about the future. And that is an experience I'm glad I could take away. I definitely want to come back again so I can work on conquering this anxiety even further.