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Retrain the Brain. Saturday May 28, 2016

I have been working with a wonderful holistic therapist who has taught me that thoughts are nothing and have no substance: they are just air.

However my brain does not know this fact.

It attaches powerful emotions to my thoughts. To my brain, negative thoughts can be as real as the computer I am writing on and feel as heavy as 100 pound weights. I can take one simple thought and work it into a drama worthy of an Academy Award.

Why does my brain not know that these thoughts are not real? One of the answers might be that my brain stopped growing emotionally at the point of trauma when I was seven years old. I think I lost my personal power and the ability to love myself at that age.

At first I lost my power to my parents. I now give it away unconsciously in relationships with men. I didn't know I was giving away my power. I forgot I had it. Now I am trying to remember what it feels like to have personal power. Right now I feel weak, terrified, ashamed, defensive, defenseless. I cannot move forward because I am waiting for someone's approval. I am not getting his approval so I feel like nothing and the thoughts are debilitating and paralyzing.

But he doesn't have the power. It is an illusion. My brain though fights the idea that I have power and that I can take my power back. My brain wants me to stay in this victim mentality I guess because it's familiar and I did get some protection out of it along the way. But I am learning though my therapy that that is an illusion.

I have done some deep meditative work and gone back and talked to myself when I was seven. My therapist always asks me: what would you say to her as a loving adult? At first I didn't know. But now I am starting to tell her that no one can take her power away. That she is strong and beautiful and well worth loving and being loved. If someone cannot see this in her then it's his stuff, not hers. I am still the same person that I was when he first met me. I will miss him. But I can do that and let go and still hold on to my power.

So today I am working to retrain my brain to let go of the old thoughts I gathered about myself when I was seven. The adults in my life then were my mirror, but the mirror was cracked. What would life be like if I knew I had power? What would my life be like if I knew I could do and be and have everything I wanted?

Lexi
A Moodscope member

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.


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Comments

Sarah Sat, May 28th 2016 @ 6:27am

Thanks Lexi. ..you're doing really well. A lot of what you have written made a lot of sense to me.

Lexi Sat, May 28th 2016 @ 12:59pm

Thanks Sarah. I hope you're well too!

LillyPet Tue, May 31st 2016 @ 10:06am

Hi Lexi, I'm probably too late for this to be read, but have to comment as your blog has touched me. You've it the nail on the head as it were, for me. I was bullied by a parent as a young child. My sense of powerlessness is still an issue today. The only power I felt I had was to hate from deep inside and the two have continued to drag me down. I too was asked what I would say to that child. I couldnt think about it. What can you possibly say to a tiny child facing a huge adult in that moment? What words could have made a difference? I'll re read you blog and work through my thoghts and feelings. The timing could be better for me as I had those feelings yesterday and need to turn it around. Somehow retrain my brain. Maybe just knowing that there is no power in thoughts will help. The people who do things that i have perceived as being "so powerful" are just clumsy. I have enough stuff of my own to clear out without taking theirs on too! When I feel SO affected by their actions, I must remember that their actions come from their stuff and I have no interest in their stuff. Their actions dont have the power, the thoughts and feelings that I choose is where my power lies now. Yhis stuff comes to the fore when I'm not "on track", that's all. Thank you so much and I too am happy for you that you have found your way to moving forward and through it. Much love. LP xx

the room above the garage Sat, May 28th 2016 @ 6:52am

Lexi I am so pleased to see your name. A couple of weeks back you were very, very low...and you have gathered strength, we can see it in your writing! I love seeing it. Fabulous! Love ratg x.

Lexi Sat, May 28th 2016 @ 1:01pm

Hi RATG! Yes I am doing MUCH better! This too shall pass, right? Actually I wrote this post a few weeks ago and in that time I have gathered alot of strength and insight. I'm in a good place now and off to a spa with a girlfriend - here in the US is Memorial Day weekend. :) Hope you are well too. xoxo

Christine Sat, May 28th 2016 @ 6:56am

It seems to me that if you feel you lost yourself aged 7, no amount of talking therapy will help. Talking kindly thoughts to the Little Girl aged 7 cannot have any effect at all, if the Little Girl is not there. You are right, Lexi; you are alone...the Little Girl has gone...BUT she can be found and returned to you, and the two of you can develop a loving relationship which can help you know you are once more a Complete Person, in charge of her own Power. xx

Lexi Sat, May 28th 2016 @ 1:06pm

Hi Christine, thanks for writing. More so than talking therapy it has been deep meditation and some EMDR. I was able to go back and change the way I felt about myself then, because the subconscious doesn't know time. It's a process and not over by any means, but yes I am experiencing self love and having my personal power back, which has been a life changing experience for me.

Little Black Cat Sat, May 28th 2016 @ 7:31am

I was 11. I didn't realise until 2 years ago, I'm 54, that it all started way back. Knowing this has enabled me to be more gentle with myself. I'm beginning to appreciate my gentle willing to please nature and surround myself with people deserve me.
I do hope you can find someone who is good enough for the wonderful person you are. Always be kind to yourself.

Lexi Sat, May 28th 2016 @ 1:09pm

Hi LBC! Thanks so much for sharing. I am so glad you have come to know yourself with gentleness and love. And yes! Only be around those that deserve your wonderfulness! Being gentle with ourselves is so key. Thank you for the reminder.

Orangeblossom Sat, May 28th 2016 @ 7:49am

Thanks for sharing this experience with us Lexi. It is very refreshing & also very challenging.

Lexi Sat, May 28th 2016 @ 1:10pm

Thanks Orangeblossom for your kind words.xo

Hopeful One Sat, May 28th 2016 @ 8:28am

Hi Lexi- thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. There are complex issues that you had to face but you found the outside help that you needed and that seemed to have helped. I wish you good luck in you your quest for a relationship.


Our laugh for today.

A guy goes into a restaurant wearing a shirt open at the collar and is met by a bouncer who tells him he must wear a necktie to gain admission. So the guy goes out to his car and he looks around for a necktie and discovers that he just doesn't have one. He sees a set of jumper cables in his trunk. In desperation he ties these around his neck, manages to fashion a fairly acceptable looking knot and lets the ends dangle free. He goes back to the restaurant and the bouncer carefully looks him over for a few minutes and then says, "Well, OK, I guess you can come in - just don't start anything."


Lexi Sat, May 28th 2016 @ 1:12pm

:) Thanks for the laugh today and the kind words HO! xo

Carol Sat, May 28th 2016 @ 9:25am

I can identify strongly with what you are saying. You are brave to share. I am learning that my experience as a child made me strong and externally resilient but afraid to expose my vulnerability making meaningful relationships pretty impossible. I believe the child inside us that was not nurtured needs to be loved and cared for, we need to learn to do that for ourselves and only then can we open ourselves up to others. I am a work in progress in that respect. I feel supported in my journey by a few amazing people and by reading blogs like yours that make me feel less alone. Thank you for writing so eloquently from your heart, sending you love.x

Sheena Sat, May 28th 2016 @ 9:49am

Hi Carol - You posted while I was pondering! Alone, is a word that springs to mind. I voiced "We are all alone in this life" when I was still in primary school. I too was "strong and externally resilient" - and was keener to please others than have meaningful relationships for many years. You are not alone. Your comments above show how you are coping and moving on. Sheena

Sheena Sat, May 28th 2016 @ 9:44am

Thank you Lexi - your thoughts are clearly expressed and really resonate. I'm glad you have had help that enables you to understand yourself. How different people respond to similar issues must be part of who we are - but being free to be ourselves is wonderful. Every joy to you in your future relationships. Sheena

Adam Sat, May 28th 2016 @ 10:18am

Hi Lexi,
It's interesting that you say, "I cannot move forward because I am waiting for someone's approval." for what it's worth you have *my* approval, for bravely sharing your thoughts and experiences with us. But actually you don't need my approval - or anyone else's except your own. It's taken me a long time to start realising that myself!
Best wishes.

John Sat, May 28th 2016 @ 5:32pm

@Adam, @Lexi, I noticed that phrase as well. I've explored mental rewiring myself. I find sometimes it is helpful to create a "permission ceremony" to saturate myself with that deep feeling of approval. At the end of it I feel I have a fresh start and a new 'title.' ¶ A good example of what I'm talking about is at the end of the Wizard of Oz when Scarecrow get a diploma & this 'proves' he's smart. Permission. Actually all diploma ceremonies are group permission rituals. ¶ As a funny aside, Scarecrow says the "square of the hypotenuse of an isosceles triangle" ... it should have been 'right triangle.' Someone on the set needed permission to re-write that line ...

Anonymous Sat, May 28th 2016 @ 10:39am

Hi Lexi. I can identify with your words today especially when you write that you have given your power away to men. I have done this so much in the past. I have been aware that I am doing it at the time,but told myself it was the right thing to do to get anywhere; I fooled myself into thinking that by ostensibly handing over power, I would come out the the powerful one in the end. By trying to get into the mind of that other person, I could surely rationally extricate myself whenever I wanted to. How wrong I was.Those who already are seen to have power over us, hang onto that power above all else. I know that now and avoid power seekers. I can spot them a mile off. You are right to say that we can hold the power if we want to. We can just say No and mean it. We need to marshal our brains to mean it! Saying No is easy. Sticking to it is the hardest part. Good luck Lexi. Keep writing. Jul xxx

Anonymous Sat, May 28th 2016 @ 12:24pm

I don't mean to be getting at men here. I promise. What I am saying can apply to both men and women.I apologise if my wrath appeared to be totally directed at men. Its not. Julxxx

Richard Sat, May 28th 2016 @ 4:08pm

Jul, Thank you for liking my silly walk. Peace & Love, Richard.

Anonymous Sat, May 28th 2016 @ 4:33pm

Peace and Love Richard. Jul xxx

Still picking figs Sat, May 28th 2016 @ 10:52am

Someone once told me that 'it's okay to look back, but never stare.' It was good advice that I've often taken to heart. Last year, however, when I was very low, and burdened with studying, I did some critical thinking and reflection about my past.
In my mind, I began to see each version of me at a formative stage, step forward. They all looked beautifully innocent but sad and confused. I was overwhelmed with motherly and sisterly love for them. I spent a good while sobbing and 'hugging' them, telling them they were amazing and strong. Afterwards, I felt strangely calm and at peace. There was no blame.

Lexi, congratulations on finding your seven year old self. I hope she feels free and can now enjoy playing in the sunshine. She will always be there for you, reminding you of innocence and delight.

Figs xxx

Richard Sat, May 28th 2016 @ 11:33am

Thank you, Lexi.
Quite simply, your blog shows courage and self-knowledge. If it works for you, keep doing it. No matter what.
Peace & Love,
Richard.

Lesley Sat, May 28th 2016 @ 12:50pm

Thank you, Lexi, for being so open and honest. Much truth in there. I too have sought approval from others, especially men, in my life. I am spending time now just being. The Presence Process by Michael brown is a deeply nourishing and lovely book which is assisting me. Highly recommend it.

Jane Sat, May 28th 2016 @ 1:17pm

Wow! I cried when I read this. I have a constant battle with myself over giving away power to one person and needing approval. Lexi you clearly have so much more courage than I. Thank you so much for your strong words. Enjoy the spa!

Jane Sat, May 28th 2016 @ 1:18pm

And Lesley -thanks fior the book recommendation.

The Gardener Sat, May 28th 2016 @ 5:41pm

Interesting blog. Because my life is subsumed to the care of another, 'power' to order life is not possible. But, due to a downturn in Mr G long talk with eldest son - most observant, thoughtful, and faces facts. He caught me at breakfast, absolutely down and out after two bad nights and being sworn at. Son says, and think he has got it, that Mr G sees me as his mother, strict, not very loving, always comparing him with his elder brother and found him wanting - now I have all the responsibility he seems to be taking the ills of his life out on me. My parents had an awful marriage, split up when I was 15, BUT my bi-polar Dad gave me a tremendous background in taking an interest in things when he was 'up'. It was he who did not accept the word 'can't', which has probably led to the wilder projects in my life. At the end of her life my mother saw me as the catalyst for the marriage break-up as my father did more with me than her (she objected to most plans anyway, a placid, tearful stay-at home married to an extremely good-looking go-getter). The last three increasingly awful years although acting always for the best (or least bad, more likely) I have needed approval, struggling for confidence - knowing defeat is near, as I am the wrong person for Mr G and facing up to how to deal with what is probably the worst decision to make in life, hand your spouse or child over to a professional.

Leah Sat, May 28th 2016 @ 10:48pm

Gardener What a moving piece of raw honesty and emotion and wisdom.take care leahxx

Leah Sat, May 28th 2016 @ 10:52pm

Lexi
You have given me lots to think about. All the thoughtful comments have much to consider as well.
Not sure I understand it yet but i will try.

Belinda Mon, May 30th 2016 @ 9:46am

Hi Lexi, & all,
I am daring to express myself, having been a moodscope user for at least 4 years. I read the blogs but not usually the comments. I have tried to write but as yet never published.
I understand what it is to give away power & your blog touched me sufficiently to write.
The comments you all make seem so reasoned, supportive & eloquent.
I have been afraid to express myself for fear of what people would think, lacking confidence. Now I have the confidence, but just not sure how to express myself.
May I thank you all for all your witty, caring thoughtful and real comments.
Belinda

LillyPet Tue, May 31st 2016 @ 9:37am

Hi Belinda, I'm so glad you commented. Maybe it's about your confidence and sense of having some power? Your response is valuable and valid. I know we can be self concious about our comments. You may not have anything to say, but if you do have thoughts about a blog it'd be great if you could focus on that rather than whether it's "good enough". It's nice to have this safe place to have a chat! Were allin the same boat, big hugs :) LP xx

LillyPet Tue, May 31st 2016 @ 9:38am

"All in" lol! :)

LillyPet Tue, May 31st 2016 @ 10:18am

Hi Lexi,
I'm probably too late for this to be read, but have to comment as your blog has touched me. You've it the nail on the head as it were, for me.
I was bullied by a parent as a young child. My sense of powerlessness is still an issue today. The only power I felt I had was to hate from deep inside and the two have continued to drag me down. I too was asked what I would say to that child. I couldnt think about it. What can you possibly say to a tiny child facing a huge adult in that moment? What words could have made a difference?
I'll re read your blog and work through my thoughts and feelings. The timing couldnt be better for me as I had those feelings yesterday and need to turn it around. Somehow retrain my brain. Maybe just knowing that there is no power in thoughts will help. The people who do things that i have perceived as being "so powerful" are just clumsy. I have enough stuff of my own to clear out without taking theirs on too! When I feel SO affected by their actions, I must remember that their actions come from their stuff and I have no interest in their stuff. Their actions dont have the power, the thoughts and feelings that I choose is where my power lies now. This stuff comes to the fore when I'm not "on track", that's all.
Thank you so much and I too am happy for you that you have found your way to moving forward and through it. Much love. LP xx

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