Ever notice how battle language forms a big part of the lexicon around mental health? There’s pervasive messaging like “conquering” the mind, “crucifying” the ego, and “overcoming” fear.

We’re postured in an offensive stance against our inner workings – with the insinuation that when we don’t win the fight (and we never will) it’s because we did something wrong or that we’re weak. This approach sets us up for failure – what we resist will always persist, and hit us back harder.

Our brains are wired and programmed to scan, analyze, compare, and send us warning signals when it senses a dangerous threat. That’s what our thoughts and fears are all about – our brains doing their job to keep us safe. Science has proven that we cannot control what we think or when we think it.

What we can control is our relationship with our thoughts. Do we believe them? Do we define ourselves and others by them? Do we become enmeshed or swept away? Do we use them as excuses to justify our behavior?

Let’s stop going into battle – all the fruitless attempts to fight, squash, or eliminate our thoughts are only causing us more anxiety, frustration, and unhappiness anyway. Let’s instead work with our minds by acknowledging that our brains are just doing what they’re supposed to do, and by accepting that our thoughts will keep coming – but we have the power not to believe or act out on them.

One thought on “Battle

  1. This is important. The language we choose to use creates our narrative. Multiply it into a communal, into a national narrative and we start to fall into the abyss of war, destruction… Peace starts right here : )
    Thank you for this, Meg.


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