When my brain was a tyrant...Getting freedom from tyranny
It’s July 4th weekend, the day we celebrate our country’s freedom from tyranny. And it has me thinking (which is a dangerous thing LOL). How can I relate independence day to our own lives? Well…. How many of us relate to this: our own brains are our personal tyrants. They dictate our inner dialogue, they tell us how to feel, they keep us shackled to our past, chained to our mistakes. Freeing our minds from this is hard work.
Why/how do we let it happen?
We are comfortable with shame. It’s familiar like an old friend.
We are afraid of what might happen if we truly let it go. It feels too risky.
We’re accustomed to the broken record in our heads; we allow it to be the soundtrack of our lives.
We don't give ourselves credit for what we learned from past mistakes. We only look at one side of the coin.
How do we fix it? It’s not an easy task. It’s not a quick fix. What inner resources do you have that you’re not using to free yourself? Confidence? Rationale? Independence? You have the inner resources you need. They are there. The tyrant isn’t letting them speak. It’s time for a good old fashioned protest. It's time for a Personal Revolution!
Here’s your homework:
1. Get out a notebook, write about your past mistakes. What were the consequences? How do you feel about it now? BUT this time, give those inner resources a voice. What did you learn from the mistake? How did you grow from it? What positives did you carry with you going forward? Don’t say, “I don’t know”. The answers are there. Find them.
2. Take a day and catch all those negative things your inner tyrant tells you. Maybe you haven’t been consciously aware of them, because it’s just a loop playing in your head. “You’re not good enough, you’re not worthy, you’re fat, you’re stupid, you make bad choices, you’re incompetent”, etc. Acknowledge them on this day. I propose that you wouldn’t let this tyrant talk to your child this way! Why are you letting it talk to you like this?! Defend yourself. And then think about what inner resources, what qualities do you have that your tyrant is silencing. Integrity? Compassion? Sincerity? Purposefulness? Resourcefulness? Love? Journal about it. List those qualities that you “forget” you have. Move these thoughts to your conscious mind. Practice it. As we do this on a regular basis, that tyrant loses its power.
Freedom for our country didn’t happen overnight, so be patient with yourself. Be curious about your thoughts and feelings without judgment. And watch what happens…
Happy Independence Day, friends!