For those of you who know me or have worked with me, you’re probs well aquatinted with Brenda, but for those of you who are new around these parts, let me take just a moment to introduce you.
Brenda is the name I gave my Storytelling Mind. Some things you should know about Brenda:
- I stole her name from another therapist who’d named her mind Brenda (Brenda is insisting it’s important to confess this unforgivable atrocity in the odd event that that therapist is reading this blog…).
- Brenda is sometimes helpful, sometimes not.
- Brenda is ALWAYS TALKING. literally… A.L.W.A.Y.S.
- Brenda sometimes has an accent. Note: It’s easier for me to take her less seriously when I talk to myself as Brenda with an accent.
- To Brenda, I will never be Good Enough (and, yes, thank you Brenda for that input… I’ll attend to that when it’s helpful).
For all the grief Brenda gives me, which is a bunch, I do want to acknowledge that she is always trying to protect me. When she is planning my financial future at 11:43pm, she is protecting me from an unknown fate. When she is advising me against making new friends, she is protecting me from looking foolish or being rejected. When she is reminding me of some mistake I made (also at 11:43pm), she is trying to help me learn and prevent more mistakes. When I first started to recognize my Storytelling Mind, I was often angry at it and would insist she “SHUT UP!” But now, the more I can take perspective on the ways in which it’s trying to help – but is not doing so as skillfully as one might hope – the more it gives me the distance and compassion to practice kindness. She’s literally doing the best she can.
So now, I can genuinely thank her when she tells me “I’m not good enough” to try something. I can say, “Yes, Brenda, I know I’m not good enough to do this. I’m going to do it anyway and practice. I appreciate you having my back girlfriend.”
This is a bit of a simplification and the stance of open acceptance to whatever she says has come with YEARS of practice; I wonder how the relationship with your mind might change if you give it a name and start practicing kind acceptance of all the work it’s doing. You don’t have to like or even agree with whatever it’s saying! You can still thank your Storytelling Mind for the gift it’s attempting to give you. Take a week or two and try it out. Let us know how it goes.
If you decide you’d like a little more help with that Storytelling Mind, give us a shout and we can be on your team. You can always book an appointment here.