To the brain, everything is about me and my. It is obsessed with itself. It loves to chat about my life, my job, my weight, etc. The chatter isn’t impartial or balanced. It is rather fixated with itself in a neurotic way. My brain is kind of a narrative stalker.
It thinks it knows how much my weight should be, what my job performance should be, what I should say and not say and how I should behave and not behave.
If this isn’t constricting enough, it also thinks it knows what the people in my life should say and do.
My husband and I could have exchanged scripts instead of rings when we took our wedding vows.
With years of learning about the brain and its biases, I found this little trick:
When I begin getting obsessed about anything with “my” in front of it, it’s time to drop the possessive noun. Here’s an example.
If I am thinking I know how my husband should do this or that to better his (my) life, my focus narrows and my body tightens. I’m very invested in the process and outcome. When I see this, not necessarily the same day, month or year, I remember to soften my focus.
I change my husband to Paul. Instead of my husband has a decision to make (and this is how and what he should decide), I think Paul has a decision to make.
This little hack creates enough space to see that I am making it too personal, and his choices are not a reflection on me.
It reminds me of the brilliant quote by Viktor Frankl: Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response is our growth and our freedom.
I am free when It is not all about me.
This has helped a lot around my aging father, to be called Ted from here on out.
My dad drives me crazy, and Ted gets to age and live any way he chooses.
When my brain gets a hold of my dad, oh boy does the scriptwriting go into overdrive. It is not kind or respectful. Two characteristics I value greatly.
Give it a try on your my’s. See if it creates some space.