Now we come to a fun part of the people who can talk to you in your brain, because this one you get to invent. You know how there is a special part of your brain that makes rational executive decisions?
We think and make decisions with a part of the brain named the prefrontal cortex. It is in the front of the brain on the right side. It is the brain’s rational part. This is the part of the brain that responds to situations with good judgment and an awareness of long-term consequences. And actually, we are finding that there are three circuits that combine memories, feelings, and beliefs in the process of making a decision.
I need a part of my brain to be rational and logical and make good decisions for me. What shall I call him/her? Let me call her Athena for our purposes. Athena is often considered to be the best Greek goddess of all the gods and goddesses. She is known as the goddess of knowledge, wisdom, crafts, civilization, and justice. She is calm, rational, patient and supportive. But she also has responsibility as my Chief Executive Officer in executing decisions about important areas of my life.
Would you prefer to call him Kratos, Sephira, Apollo, the Greek gods of wisdom and protection and power? Is this to be your Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operation Officer, Chief Food Officer, or Chief Recovery Officer? Or would you rather use a normal name like Bill or Rozanne or Bernice? Or a made-up name like Jilliforce?
Or pick a movie star, a famous person, or anyone else whose values and judgements you want to emulate?
Whatever you choose to call him/her/it, this is the person who follows the orders of your Wise Mind man or woman, the real you who has some real goals for changing his/her life. You, the real you, get to say what the decisions are and your CEO puts those behaviors in place. You tell him/her what you want to accomplish and he/she puts on the public face and makes those decisions for you. “No thank you, I don’t want cake.” “I’m sorry I can’t meet with you at 7 pm, I have another meeting.” “Yes please, some time with you would be lovely.”
And Kratos will sit down with me/you and our Higher Power to discuss decisions that we need to make. He will collect information – from memories of our previous experiences, from conversations with people we trust and from other sources and lay them out for the real you to choose. I choose my own priorities, values and goals, his job is to make them happen in my life. Do you see the value here? It gives me a chance to step back, pause and consider my behavior in light of my own goals and values. And I get to order another part of my brain to create the outcomes I want.
Your CEO also has the job of planning for the future. Of setting up the situations and experiences you want and of planning your recovery life.
This imaginary person can take so much stress away. Suddenly you, your CEO, and your HP are in a meeting about how you are going to handle recovery for the next seven days. Include a sponsor’s views if you wish, and you can fully and freely say no to Gertrude and her alternative plans.
I know this sounds silly, maybe even corny, but we all talk to ourselves to various degrees. Let’s try making our mental conversations positive and helpful. Little can be gained by beating myself up and telling myself what a failure I am. Much more can be gained by focusing on the things we need to do to get the results we want, and controlling what goes on in our mind is a big piece of that.
Now we have one more group of decisions to make and they are all yours. Who else do you allow in your brain? A parent, a sibling, a loved family member, a good friend. The doctor the dentist the pharmacist, the psychiatrist. You get to choose, and you get to choose how much of what they say you will allow in your brain. Can they be trusted with other things but not food? Can that one be trusted with the food? Be serious about the thoughts and the feelings they provoke. If you want, give these other people titles like COO (Chief Operating Officer), CFO (Chief Food Officer), or CRO (Chief Recovery Officer). Each has an area of life to deal with, but they all take orders from the CEO and ultimately you.
Turn to your Higher Power when you need help deciding. Ask for clear direction. Get Athena or Kratos out talking to other people to help you make these choices. Create a safe space for your Wise Woman to have time and information to make good recovery decisions for you.
Blessings to you,