Thursday, August 20, 2015

Who's driving?

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, I've been wrestling with a lot of stuff going on inside my mind/heart. It's been good, actually. Reading Miller's 'Scary Close' has brought some things to mind, and also forced me to face some things about myself I'd been trying to neglect. So, all told, I felt a sense of relief and freedom yesterday. I am always amazed how sometimes just writing something out can do that. Not that it works for everybody, or that everyone necessarily has things they need to work out, but it works for me.

So, in keeping with yesterday's reading from Miller's book, Don talks about the story we live by. Everyone has a story, or at least should. He says that what often happens is we live the story written by our 'false self' - the one trying to compensate for our shame and pain - and we overlook (or fail to recognize) our 'real' story.

This reminded me of something my counselor explained to me a couple years ago. I'm just going to re-post what I wrote on March 21, 2013...
I was recently told to imagine the brain as though it were a tiny car inside your head with 3 people in it. 
The ADULT is the one driving the car. This is the person who controls behavior and ultimately determines where you go - they hold the steering wheel.
The PARENT sits in the passenger seat, and is sort of the navigator. They hold the map. It is good to have them there to give you boundaries and direction, however, depending on how things go they can also be a source of guilt and shame.
The CHILD sits in the back seat. As long as everything is going smoothly up front, the child stays pretty quiet and doesn't cause any problems. Once the child senses something is amiss though, they can start to act up. The child wants everyone to get along, and they also want to do things that make them feel good. So they are not the best guide. They want pleasure without parameters.
When people are operating normally the adult drives along with the contented parent and child there with them. When the adult starts to question things, or can't make a decision, or doesn't know what to do, the parent and child will start to speak up and try to give their input. When the adult gives in to the inner parent or inner child is when bad decisions (and behavior) come into play.
There is also a part of the brain that controls the insula (or something like that). This is where the "gut feeling" that we can get comes from. This "gut" part of the brain is likened to our GPS system. This is really where we want to go. The challenge is getting ourselves in tune with this and listening to it rather than the parent or the child. In other words, you could think of this as the "walk by faith and not by sight" aspect. Or, perhaps think of this as where the Holy Spirit resides (in the Christian).
So our goal is to get the driver of our car to follow the "gut" part of our mind. This is when we find inner peace and contentment.
That makes sense to me. Letting the "adult" drive the car is the same as living my life based on the story of my real self, instead of my false self. I am no longer "little Danny Horwedel," but am now a capable adult. While it's true that "things" have happened to me, they do not have to define me. Everyone has "stuff." Our shame might be our own fault or it may have been caused by someone else. It doesn't really matter who's to blame. What matters is how we're going to react to it or what we're going to do with our life AFTER.

Honestly, I don't blame anyone for any hurt they may have caused to me. We're all human. I have hurt many people myself. And it's not that there aren't consequences for our actions, but to live as a victim is to live from the wrong, false story of our lives.

That's what I think right now anyway. Who knows. Just writing stuff down as it comes to mind.

It's a new day...