This week Kirsty has asked us to confess to our biggest strength. I have been thinking about this prompt for over a week, mainly because I struggle to talk positively about myself. I decided to write instead about the part of myself that I think is the strongest. It might not always be a positive thing but it is still the strongest part of me, my mind. It has the power to build me up, or bring me crashing down.I think of the brain and the mind as two different things. It sounds strange and probably like I am splitting hairs. However I think that the brain is more the mechanics and the mind is the feelings. It’s the fears, the triumphs and the chatter. Whereas the brain does the outside stuff, the walking, the talking and the doing.
My psychologist often says to me that our minds are like spoilt brats. It wants the candy, the junk food and the easy stuff unless we put boundaries in place. It’s like dealing with a toddler. Unless you say no, your brain will always fall to the default, and for a lot of people that is the negative.
It’s always amazes me that the words that I say to myself can have such an impact, that a part of me can be so much stronger than the others. I used to believe that my mind was the strongest part of me, that my body was weak. I then realised that it wasn’t that way at all. It was simply my own mind believing the lies that I was telling it. I was using the strength of my own mind against myself, in a negative way.
Another thing that my psychologist is often saying to me is that I need to start using my strength for good. I am so stuck in the rut of believing that it’s easier to hate that there are days when I don’t know if there is any other way. I feel like the negative thoughts come in an avalanche. The faster I envision the thoughts floating away, the faster they come.
Maybe I need more acceptance. Not acceptance that this will always be the way, because I know that it isn’t true, but acceptance that these thoughts will come. Acceptance that the thoughts will come, but the knowledge that they don’t have to have the power that I give them.
My mind is my strongest asset. I know that, and I have known it for a long time. However I think that it is time that I realise that I don’t have to use that strength negatively. I can use that power to build myself up. I can make the strength my ally instead of my enemy.
I struggle with my strengths because I also strongly believe they are my biggest weaknesses as well. Perhaps I’m just looking at things all wrong?
I like that theory that our minds are like spoiled brats! Clearly mine is one that just wants the bloody cakies all the time. I need to remind myself I’m being a spoiled brat next time I feel the craving to indulge. LOL.
Yes, it is about the acceptance that the thoughts will come, but we don’t have to give them power. Very thought-provoking post.
This reminds me of what I used to say about Miss 19 when she was a toddler, strong willed and full of determination: “these are great qualities, we just have to help her channel them in the right direction”! And so it is with our minds too. I’m glad you recognise the strength that you have x
What a great way of explaining the difference between the mind and the brain. I struggled with the interpretation when I first started learning about mindfulness after my anxiety showed up in 2015. I get that my mind tells me lies too. This is so helpful (when I remember!). Your writing explained this so well. A strength!!
I like that way of viewing the mind…as a toddler. Man I indulge mine when it comes to late night cravings!
I agree that a strength can also be a weakness – which is the case with two of the qualities I talked about today, kindness and generosity. I think it tells a lot about your progress and your personal strength that you can now recognise your mind/brain as an ally.
Our minds can be so strong and yet, be our worst enemies at times. I personally think you are strong yourself…you a brave and resilient. You keep fighting no matter what your mind tells you. Sure, there are days you’ll slip up and that’s ok. But you don’t give up.
Absolutely Tegan! What a great post and one that made me think. I have never heard the brain and the mind described in such a way and I have to say I agree!