Inquiry -
For years I have been in a pattern of suffering which builds to being completely overwhelmed. When it is not like this, there is fear of it returning.

Reply -
The pattern is complete. You are either suffering or fearing suffering, which is also suffering. At both apparent ends is resistance. What is the 'it' that appears to come and go? Stop resisting the overwhelm, panic, suffering, the struggling with it, and go into it. Disappear. What is the fear of that perceived place? Release the effort to fix or escape 'it'. What you resist will persist. If you stand within it, perhaps you will know why it is you bring it, maintain it, and you can finally face your fear. Stand with it, then stand within it, then stand as it. To break from the patterns one is engaged with and running is not a breakdown, it is a shake-up. The return to Truth. What you resist does persist. Then you can inquire, who is it that faces self? Who is it that suffers?

Facing fear is facing illusion, and it is this that can be shaken to return to life simply as it is. To consciously bring oneself into the apparent fear and darkness is to release the illusion of shadow, and the shadow of illusion. This does not rid self of the possibility of the triggers of panic and anxiety, this changes the lens through which they are viewed.

To that which suffers, to the mind that thinks it is in control, to the one who is seeking, stop looking for your True-Nature, stop looking for Presence. Instead, look for self. Where is self?

This dream is but a thought, and occurs in the space between night and day. All arises in you. You are not in life, all of life arises in and as you. The you you think you are does not exist. That which appears to be a gap or glimpse is not the person seeing this. It is precisely the absence of the person. There is in fact nothing to disappear. You are already gone. You are an idea. The belief and notion that one is defined by the perception of tendencies, habits, beliefs, vasanas, memory, is an illusion.

There is no switch to flip to end your suffering, no either - or. There is pointing to what you are and are not. There is pointing to what you are attached to believing you are, and how this brings suffering by means of the attachment, and maintained by the resistance to what one brings to attach to. Sensation brings story, story brings pattern, and the repetition of pattern establishes belief. Belief then triggers sensation, and the identification to this as who you think you are is complete. The constant trying to understand, analyze, interpret, fix, cope, manage, is the partnered dualistic pattern to allow ego to feel it is doing something in the opposition to the suffering one is also identified with. It is one and the same, the story of self. These are the strategies that arise to identify and maintain the illusory notion of self. Self is the abuser and the healer. This is not skillful means. This is who one thinks, feels, and believes one is. What follows is the secret sense and knowing this is all a lie. The sufferer then feels disguised with separation in a world of other sufferers, all carrying the same belief, secret, sense, and all are longing. Self-deception is of the self. All these states are imagined.

The focus of attention to a self-reference, determined by habits and behavior, reinforced by patterns and tendencies, does not determine Awareness. It is Awareness that is seeing. One does not 'have' Awareness, and Awareness is not yours or in you. You are Awareness, as that which is prior to any and all notions of self.

The way to freedom is direct. Do not align with circuitous methods. The only thing that appears to stand in the way of Truth, is the clinging to the idea of who you think you are, and the fear that you will not exist without suffering. In truth, you will not, and you already do not. The false-self is a phenomena not separate from other phenomena. An appearance.

Do not identify with what arises. To use practice, or believe one can hijack Awareness or Presence to bypass or dissociate from suffering is delusion, and a game of ego. One is already Presence. To self, the body is space, the mind is time. Do space and time depend on you, or you on them? Investigate what is appearance and truth. Investigate what you are, and what you are not. You are not the body, or in the body. Self asserts itself into everything to prove its' existence, and denies or does not know what or who it is. It never will but thinks it does. Consider mind to be a symptom of resistance. Who are you when you are asleep? Who is it that arises?

Suffering is imaginary. Love and compassion are always present as Presence, and this is your True-Nature, and this is who and what you are. Abandon the lie which maintains the belief one is their suffering, and that one is separate. Abandon the notion that one uses to abandon self and maintains suffering by these means. Follow the secret and the longing to truth.