Did you know we have two different brains, or identities? You may have felt them competing with one another. They are very different and want very different things, but entertaining these two very different brains is just part of our human existence.
I have noticed these two brains really going at it over the past few months - maybe you can relate. We are living in an unprecedented time right now and when there is a lot of uncertainty it is natural to default to what I call the victim-brain.
lives in self-pity -
blames everything outside of our control for all our problems -
and looks for a villain
It leaves us feeling powerless because we believe we are not responsible for the problem, and we therefore cannot possibly be responsible for the solution. After reading that list, I'm sure none of us would ever own up to playing the victim, but we all do it. It's totally normal. The key is deciding to not stay there!
The opposing identity we have is our owner-brain. This identity is
committed to a solution -
aware of what is within our control and what is not -
and is intrigued by the problem rather than distraught by it
This is the place we want to be because we recognize that there is a problem (whether or not we caused it) and we can be responsible for the solution. Can't you just feel the empowerment there?
Let me give you an example that might help illustrate this a little better (and that maybe you can relate to). It's summer and that means my kids are out of school (this is different from the previous 2 months because at least when they were quarantined at home they had school to do). Aside from my teenager who has work, the other 3 kids do not have any real schedule. I often walk into the room after working and find them all on devices or laying around. I immediately feel upset and frustrated with them., and have many thoughts running through my mind: Why aren't they doing their jobs? Why haven't they found a friend to play with? They are so lazy. Etc.
When I choose to react like this can you see how I am immediately in my victim-brain? I am making my children the "villain" in that moment. I am blaming them for how I feel. And instead of talking to them about using their time more wisely, I just want to give up, run away, or yell. I am so powerless in this moment. I am giving away all my power to those 3 kids who really just want to be kids.
What is the alternative? Let's look at the exact same scenario and rather than me choosing to get upset, I could turn on my owner-brain and see that maybe I haven't given them enough direction, or set the expectation for them. I could come up with a creative solution to this "problem". That is me recognizing that I am part of the problem and therefore I need to help find a solution.
Why is this an important thing to learn and understand? Because there are going to be/are a lot of problems in the world and we always have the choice to either be part of the problem or part of the solution. I have found that when I am aware of my victim-brain and decide to set it aside to make room for my owner-brain, I am part of the solution. This allows me to show up in more love which is exactly what the world needs more of right now.