I agree with what you’re saying but I don’t believe it

Isn’t it funny how we can understand the logic of an argument, find no flaw in the argument, and even agree with it, and yet some part of us will not allow us to believe it?

A conflict of brain and heart, one might say. However, contrary to popular depiction, the heart doesn’t have any jurisdiction over our thoughts or emotions. What’s happening is an internal conflict. Brain vs. itself*. We may follow the logic and desperately want to believe in it and yet… there’s something in our past experience holding us back from completely buying in to the argument.

It would be nice if we could readily recall what planted this very well rooted seed of doubt so then we could say, “Oh, oppositional part of my brain, that was an entirely different situation that does not disprove the statement. Allow me to explain why…” Then, the parts of the brain would harmonize and we could continue peacefully on with our life. The End.

Who am I kidding? Even when I can readily list off experience after experience that feeds my beliefs, I can’t reason away this unshakable connection. If anything, the resistant part of my brain presents a cogent counter argument using all of these experiences as evidence. “The original claim must be for a romanticized version of reality, not the one in which I have lived.”

I see you, hesitant brain. I know you have my best interest at heart. We’ve been hurt before. You see some parallels and have suited up to protect us from being hurt again. Thank you for sharing your concerns — I wish you would be more direct instead of speaking in coded riddles, but nevertheless, thank you for sharing them. Thank you for making our safety and survival a priority. So far, so good.

And also…. I think we could live a much more enjoyable life if we could fully buy into the ideas that…

  1. We’re not going to be liked by everyone whose path’s we cross and that’s okay.
  2. Making mistakes is necessary for learning and growth and does not make us a failure.
  3. It’s not lazy to rest. Resting is important for our mental and physical health.
  4. All feelings are okay and valid. We’re allowed to feel however we feel about our experiences without shame regardless of how much worse other people have experienced.

*Note: I wanted to use more precise terms for the reasoning part of the brain and the reactive part of the brain but fell down a deep hole of psychology as defined by the Internet and surfaced without enough confidence or clarity to define these. Frontal vs temporal lobes? Prefrontal cortex vs limbic system? My psychology expert followers, please enlighten me! What terms am I looking for?

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