“We don’t learn from experience...we learn from reflecting on an experience”.
Have you ever been in a place where things are so foggy that you can’t see and you don’t know if you are coming or going...There are a lot of instances in care partnering when things get so foggy we have a hard time seeing the big picture, the true picture and the path to peace. In our last blog we talked a lot about the stories we tell ourselves and how important it is in supporting ourselves. But where do our stories come from?
How we interpret the world around us and process our experiences is rooted in our “box of stories”... Some stories are great and some are not so great, but each experience has formed our identity, beliefs, assumptions and expectations we have of the world around us. We also have our inherent beliefs which were formed based on how we were raised, our environment and our cultures.
Inside each of us there is a secret self who helps us sort through what we are seeing and feeling, and decide if it is going to be our mighty defender and friend or your biggest critic, naysayer and enemy. What side of our secret self shows up is absolutely fueled by the energy we give it. So let’s think about it this way, because our secret self is bold and fierce, lets apply a White Wolf/Black Wolf theory. If any of us were face to face with a wolf, our instinct would be focused on the movement and demands of the wolf, not question or push back and ask why are you even here.
Rarely do we challenge our reactions, emotions or belief systems and reflect on why we feel the way we feel or why we are reacting the way we do.
Your brain has an observer mind and the thinking mind, like the quote by John Dewey above, most of our learning comes from the reflection of an experience. This is called mindfulness. Mindfulness allows us the opportunity to question our secret self and as a friend and defender...and ability to stop the black wolf from eating us alive.... Remember as care partners... we need to examine each reaction we have and make sure our story includes the one thing we have no control over...the Third Entity... by adding this to our story we can extend the grace both of us deserve.
Would you let the black wolf into your living room?? Why would you let him into your brain?? What can you do to tame the wolf? We need to rewire, we can do that by noticing an emotion 3x a day and choosing a different one... by the end of 2 weeks your brain will start choosing a different response more automatically!