This really is a trust exercise: my present self trusting that my past self has my best intentions at heart. And that my future self will thank my present self for keeping a promise. But if the person I’m supposed to trust is telling me that I’m a failure for not living up to expectations, for not getting my lazy ass off the couch, then of course it will be impossible to build that trust.
I stitch all the wonderful photos and stories and captions together to create a mutant Frankenstein’s monster of a person who does all the things and against whom I compare myself.
I don’t want to lose my ability to find patterns. I do want to stop my brain from concluding that if I can’t find a pattern, I must be a failure or wrong.
I want to understand why my brain is wired in such a way that feeling appreciation, gratitude, pride, celebration is so fleeting. But, I don’t want to turn that understanding into another way I can criticize myself.
We are surrounded with messages about making our lives easier, being more productive and organized and efficient. There is a fix for everything, so why shouldn’t there be a fix for my own brain seeming to stand in my way?
The paradox of this time is that we’re so well-trained that “doing nothing = bad,” that now doing nothing seems like a punishment. But the only way for us to come out of this hard time is to let it be hard, and then to take steps so that next time, it’s not as hard.
If I ask this inner critic, “What are you trying to say,” and really listen, I hear its fear, its desire to protect me from failure and rejection, and I can say to the voice, “Thank you for trying to protect me, but I’ve got this.” What is the “inner critic” part of the brain, if not a string of judgmental words?
My brain can be trained to notice the feelings as something apart from me, clouds floating through the sky, sometimes maybe bringing rain or a storm. As in real life, we can grumble at the rain, take shelter from the storm, but inherently understand it’s part of our life here on Earth, that the rain is needed for life. We don’t analyze what we could have done to stop the rain from happening.
Yesterday, I had the realization that I’ve been carrying around something since a very young age, and I’m only now feeling the true weight of it, and how much it slows me down.
Taking the oars back from my chattering monkey brain, and directing where I want to go.