QUOTES & WISDOM
TOP OF THE MIND
QUOTES & WISDOMfrom the Top of the Mind
QUOTES & WISDOM
Top of the Mind
Nancy Perovic, RN, BSN
University Of Chicago Hospitals, Chicago, IL
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Resolving Versus Reliving The Past
As a psychologist, speaker, and seminar leader, I consistently connect with people who are trying to shed the old memories, beliefs, and perspectives of the past in order to bring their best to life. Unfortunately, this tendency to focus on what they are trying to forget often has them thinking about, and even, reliving, painful memories, which only serve to deepen the wounds and keep the memory alive.
When asked, I suggest using the latest neuroscience to actually resolve (re-solve) the past so that we are no longer just reliving what didn’t work. To do this, we need to understand why the brain tends to relive the past in the first place, which has to do with how the brain learns. For example, the way we all learned to walk, speak, and write are excellent examples of how the brain uses past experiences to build on learning experiences to help us become successful. Even examples of negative experiences, such as, touching a hot stove or being stung by a wasp were educational in that we learned to avoid them in the future.
Unfortunately, however, the part of the brain that learns to avoid these negative experiences (the middle brain, or limbic system), doesn’t discriminate between what is helpful to remember and what we want to forget. Therefore, situations such as trauma, abuse, or simply being consistently rejected and/or shamed by those we looked to for love and validation can remain in our consciousness and affect how we live our lives as adults.
That’s the bad news. The good news is that the concept of “neuroplasticity” tells us that the brain is always rewiring itself, and, therefore, we can learn to rewire or reprogram the brain to resolve problems from the past using our clarity, confidence, and creativity. In other words, we can begin to rethink the past from the perspective of an intelligent, confident adult…in a way that we would teach and/or recommend to someone we love. This clarity will then allow us to take what we have learned and apply it to making more purposeful choices going forward versus simply using fear of the past to avoid further hurt or shame.
In order to accomplish this, however, we must understand how the brain works, have a model for shifting to the clear, confident, creative brain when triggered, and create a proactive process that we build into our day so that this new way of thinking becomes a habit.
This is what my “Life from the Top of the Mind” philosophy is designed to teach, and what I present to organizations and individuals around the world on a regular basis. If you feel that this would be valuable to those in your family and/or organization, I suggest you contact me, because until we are able to engage the solution-focused part of the brain to resolve (re-solve) the past, we will continue to simply relive it in ways that don’t serve us, and that we would not recommend to someone we love.
~ All the best, Dr. Bill