Fight for Your Future

In the end I am the only one who can give my children a HAPPY MOTHER who loves life. - Janene Wolsey BaadsgaardJust yesterday, I was struggling with some old patterns.  I had started to go down the thought trail of I should be more, have more, be a better mother and after about a day of doing this, I just wanted to escape.  To not feel inadequate, to just feel free again.  I have been in this scenario many times, sometimes I just stay busy in an attempt to escape my brain.  More recently,  I have tried to listen to my thoughts and not engage…to feel the feelings and let it go.  I have never experienced what I did last night.  All of the sudden this little voice inside of me started to say, “stop it.  stop it.  I will not let the mother of my precious babies talk to herself in that way.  This will have a negative impact on the babies and THAT is not acceptable.  ”  Needless to say, it was a game changer for me.  I immediately recognized this old pattern for what it was, a rabbit hole of self sabotage of sorts and I replaced these thoughts with the question, what would the best version of Jen do in this moment, the one who is modeling how to live her best life for her kids and who is in the process of reaching all of her dreams?”

It has taken me quite some time to be able to process my thoughts and emotions in this empowering way.  I don’t succeed at it every time, however the more I work at this practice, the stronger it has become.

You see, there is always two parts of your brain at play.  Your amygdala and your prefrontal cortex.  Your amygdala will always take the safe path, the known path and typically the most comfortable, most well worn path.  This is the survival part of your brain, the part that looks to keep you alive at any cost, that will have you running for your cave when it thinks there may be any type of threat, albeit the most non threatening situation.  It was very useful when we were running from lions, but is usually not useful at all in today’s day in age, as it is always seeking pleasure and avoiding pain.    This part of your brain will keep you stuck in a holding pattern, preventing any forward movement in your life.

On the contrary, the prefrontal cortex is the executive functioning part of the brain, allowing us to resist the urge to go hide in our house forever, or to watch Hulu all day with our favorite junk food. It allows us make decisions ahead of time and set goals with the reasoning to follow through on them.

By knowing that these two parts of my brain are constantly at play, at times feeling a bit like a tug of war, I can decide ahead of time how I want to handle various situations.   My primitive brain (amygdala) will always come up with new potential threats because that is its’ job and I  know I will have an urge to hide, seek comfort and avoid pain at all costs. Without resisting these thoughts and by acknowledging them, I can stick with what I have already planned ahead of time to accomplish my desired outcomes.    In this case, my brain wanted me to forget about evolving and either keep  busy  or indulge in a comfort food so that I didn’t have to feel the emotions coming from the default thoughts.  In this situation and more often than not, it’s the same thought; that I am not good enough.

So, in conclusion, I am so thankful for my prefrontal cortex for coming up with the most recent statement, ” I will not allow the mother of my babies to talk to herself this way…this will have a negative impact on my babies and that is NOT acceptable.”   So all of my moms and dads out there, the next time your default setting comes up and starts to convince you that you are not good enough or how you should just numb out because of these insane thoughts that our primitive brains like to come up with, come up with a new thought.  One that will empower you to be the Mom or Dad you want to be.  Don’t be bullied by the part of your brain that would rather numb out (numbing out is over doing anything; alcohol, screen time including social media, sports, shopping, eating, staying too busy) in an attempt to stay safe.  Decide who you want to be and follow through on it.   Fight for your dreams and your most important asset and our future; your babies.

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