“It’s going to be OK!” Shocker! I know! When I am not whispering these words to myself, I probably could be. As Elliot* the charmingly precocious, three-going-on-four year-old son of my friend-and-former-college-roomate, Alice, often says, “Here’s the thing…”
It turns out that in much the same way that through repeated self-talk I became undeniably, firmly, entirely, almost delusively convicted of the unarguable, irrefutable, incontrovertible fact that I was a) hideously, disgustingly fat, b) horrifically, unnaturally worthless, and c) so seriously flawed, broken, and defective that I must have been some sort of accident or mistake of God’s creation… by repeating to myself over and over and over and OVER a bazillion times that all of this mess of life’s journey, “Might just turn out OK in the end, eventually, some day… why don’t I just wait and see…” I am actually coming to believe it! It’s as if every time I repeat the statement, I am shoveling some dirt over the ruts left in my brain’s neural networks where the automatic negative thoughts used to fire away in fractions of a second while laying down new tracks for healthier, positive automatic thoughts.
I would not have believed that these changes of mind and heart were possible six months ago. A few weeks past, during an appointment with Kelly, my nutritionist, she leaned in and, half laughing, half grinning, with a twinkle in her eye, asked me, “You DO know that all of this turns out OK in the end, right?” It was as if she was in on the secret, and suddenly I felt in my soul that she wasn’t just making shit up to placate my anxieties.
Here’s the thing… I’m learning to trust my Wise Mind. It’s my Wise Mind, which I sometimes also call my Reasonable Mind, that whispers to me, “Hey, you know this is going to be OK, right?” My Wise Mind is that concerned, comforting, compassionate voice in my head that listens to all of my screaming, crying, arguing, debating, and ruminating, and then says, “Are you done yet? Let’s go over this again…” It’s not judgmental, critical, or harsh. It’s forgiving, but it’s also honest and holds me accountable. “So, let’s review why that wasn’t the best decision,” might be something my Wise Mind would say. And then it would conclude, “But, you know what? I have a secret… It’s all going to be OK.”
*Names have been changed