Updated: Nov 3
It took me a long time to fall asleep last night. I was thinking about a family in our neighborhood and feeling a lot of sadness and fear. Yesterday their 8-month-old grandbaby (who lives with them) suddenly died from RSV. A few days ago she was at the beach with her mom and dad, totally fine. Today, she's no longer part of their mortal lives.
Earth life is like that. There are so many challenging circumstances we can’t control—disease, accidents, disasters, economic downturns, and pandemics to name a few.
We are also living here with people who do things and say things and make choices that we don’t like.
We are here in a fallen world with bodies that get tired and hungry and old.
All of that is so dang hard.
Our Brains Don't Always Help
But our brains make it even harder. Their default settings tell us to be afraid. They are programmed to notice what has gone wrong and they never stop noticing it. They think that they have to be constantly looking out for possible danger. And they like to be right, so they constantly push back against reality.
Meanwhile, we are also spiritual beings trying to make the most of our earth life experience—trying to love and have joy and become who we are meant to become.
We think that should be easy: Just make good choices, choose to love your people, and choose positive thoughts, right? How hard can this be?
But the truth is that nothing about having a human brain makes that choice easy or obvious.
So... Can It Be Fixed?
Listen up: That is not your fault. That is the nature of having a human brain. Our brains choose fear automatically and we don’t even know it’s happening. We believe our fearful or shameful thoughts without even realizing we have a choice to think something else.
This is why I think everyone should be in my coaching program. It’s not that you don’t have the choice to choose love in every circumstance. It’s just that it’s freaking hard to see your choice because your brain is in the way. And coaching shows you that there are other choices.
When you can see and understand the instinctive, “automatic” choice your brain is making all the time, you have so much more power and authority to interrupt that choice and choose something that's more useful.
I spent my whole life beating myself up for living my life the way I felt most of the time. But it was only because when my brain was in charge, I couldn’t figure out how to choose anything else.
Coaching changed all of that for me. It revealed my choice. And after that, choosing was easy.
I want to be sad for my neighbors right now. That's who I want to be. But allowing their loss to take over my thoughts and keep me in a state of worry and anxiety doesn't do anything to help them OR me. Worry never accomplishes anything. So this week, I'm coaching myself and I'm getting coached by my life coach.