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Turn That Villain Upside Down

There is so much that has happened since my last post. Circumstances have changed so quickly and so suddenly that it’s been hard to keep track of it all. But the one thing that hasn’t changed is that there is so much uncertainty out there. The truth is that uncertainty is always there. We just don’t pay attention to it. Before this pandemic, if we were to isolate every single circumstance, we could all agree that people lose their jobs, people get sick and die every day, stock markets fluctuate, flights and events get canceled all the time, etc., etc. What makes these circumstances seem catastrophic is that they are happening at once. Our minds are running on overtime, processing thoughts about what is taking place in the world and our own neighborhoods. My brain is in such heightened alert right now. I purposely don’t seek out to watch or read the news, but the news has sought me out in the form of youtube videos sent by my mom, sister, or friend; perhaps an article someone found informative and decided to share with me. There is more than enough information hitting my inbox right now to send my brain into overdrive. And that’s okay. I know that my brain’s job is to protect me, so when I read an article or watch a video, I know my brain is going to focus on anything that could potentially be dangerous. It wants me to solve the problem so it can be restored back to a state of safety. But as we know, we can’t always change our circumstances, and we can only solve for the thought about the situation that is causing the problem. I have observed that during these times, there has been a disconcerting way to respond to all these circumstances. We, as humans, have a need to find a villain. We do this when we, ourselves, take on the role of victims. It is very natural to look outside of us to see all the wrongdoing that the government, your spouse, kids, relatives, neighbors, and even your dog are doing to cause us to feel isolated, frustrated, angry, and hopeless. It’s almost as if it’s comforting to assign fault to anything and everyone outside of us. But this actually leaves us feeling more powerless than ever before because we become dependent on the outside (“the villain’s” actions) to feel a certain way in the inside. What if there was no villain? Let’s be extreme for a moment and ask, what if this villain is actually a hero? I’ll be honest with you. I found myself caught in this last week. My son and daughter’s lack of motivation to do their optional work assigned by their teacher was getting to me. Well, at least that’s the story I chose to believe. I saw them as the villains in the movie I played in my head. I told myself, “They are adding so much work to my already busy schedule” “Why can’t they just get their school work done?!” As you can imagine, these thoughts generated much frustration, which resulted in a lot of nagging, ruminating in my head, and beating myself up for not being able to handle it better. It would become obvious to me that in the end, I was the one taking the role of a villain. I know at that moment in time, I was probably feeling stressed or scared, and anything that my kids did or didn’t do would direct my brain to quickly find the culprit of my emotion. And so it did. Taking ownership of my own thoughts and emotions has allowed me to no longer see my kids as the villains. I can go inside my head and edit the movie. I changed the script and started telling myself, “They never liked doing homework before, why should they be motivated to do homeschooling now?” “This is new to them too” “I’m sure they would much rather be playing with their friends at recess right now,” “there is no manual for how things should be in this moment.” This new narrative in my head opened up the doors to a new scene filled with compassion and understanding and much love for my kiddos. I completely dropped their roles as villains and saw two young heroes being themselves and doing their very best. This was yet another lesson learned during these unprecedented times. My message to you is, “What if you could find the heroes all around you when right now your brain is extremely focused on protecting you by defeating the villains that you think are causing your pain? What if those villains are and have always been your greatest heroes?

If you know you will benefit from coaching, there is no better time to do so than right now. So please reach out. I’m here for you!





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