Mind Games: Figuring out the game.

By Paula Bianchi –

It was during my time dealing with my cancer, when I started thinking of a way to deal with all the emotions raging through me. I knew my attitude was the key, but the battle in me was always leaning on the side of despair. Of course, depression began to seep in. The fear of the unknown took front seat as I tried to guide myself through the unthinkable.

This moment, and how I dealt with it, would define me for the rest of my life. It set the stage for how I was going to deal with what life has to throw me. I became more aware of my inner voice, and the conscious effort it took to try to stay upbeat and choose the positive. As a way to take myself out of the emotion of my problems, I started thinking of my thoughts like they were a game playing in my head.

This analogy, I’m about to present, is just the way I choose to imagine it, but in actuality, I’ll be talking about the three apparatuses of the brain: the id, ego, and super-ego, but that just sounds too technical to me, so I’m renaming them: the devil, inner child, and an angel. I’ll take it one step further in my imagining of my leader in the game, as my spiritual self, or higher self, guiding my inner child through life. (This was inspired by my metaphysical interests.) These are the characters on my team in my mind game.  Who is my opposition? Life and People.      

The devil is the source of our bodily wants, needs, desires, and impulses, particularly our sexual and aggressive drives. He expects immediate gratification to any impulse. It doesn’t matter how it comes, if it’s ethical or not, he expects our inner child to fulfill his desires.

The angel impresses upon you the moral and ethical ways to have the devil’s needs met, but if those needs are met in a negative way, she bombards you with a sense of guilt, remorse, and self-judgement along with other self-punishing thoughts.

The inner child is the decision maker trying her/his best to make the devil and the angel happy, while also trying to help my spiritual self achieve its karmic goals.  He/she bases these decisions on the many facets of life’s experiences. Both negative and positive.

My spiritual self is there to cheer on my inner child. Pointing out some of the pit falls of any given situation. Always trying to get the inner child to choose the angel’s side of any situation. If she should choose the negative way, then I try to help my inner child fix the problem her bad choice caused. This aspect of myself also holds all the answers to why I’m here, and guards this information like a miser, only sharing bits and pieces of it when the time is right.

If you’ve noticed, the inner child is the star of the game. Being stuck in the middle, of my spiritual self, the devil, and an angel, can be very overwhelming. Trying to please all three, can test you to the limits. Especially when you factor in the good or the bad life experiences the inner child uses in determining how to deal with the devil’s request. This is when all the negative things that have happened to us comes into play.     

Our inner child is the gatekeeper to all of our emotions, so in many instances he/she shuts down the devil’s request out of fear, anger, hatred, or any of other emotions you may have stemming from the treatment you received as a child.

Here’s an example of this: I’ve always had the desire to work and help out my husband with an income of my own, but my distrust of men kept me from that desire. During my lifetime, I’ve had 4 jobs. I ended up quitting these jobs because of the attention I would get from men, who in my view, reminded me of my molester. My flight or fight instinct would kick in just before my panic attack would begin leading my inner child, who wants to protect herself, to choose to get me out of the situation I was so uncomfortable in. Now I could’ve forced myself to stay working, but my wish to avoid anymore panic attacks was greater than my need to work, and I was fortunate enough to be able to make that choice because of my husband’s own desire to have me raise our kids.

At the time, I had no clue what panic attacks were or how they made you feel because I hadn’t gone through therapy yet. I just knew I couldn’t handle the constant impulse I had to take flight from the situation. What happens to your body, and not knowing why you feel that way, is very overwhelming. I didn’t have the mental tools to deal with what was being presented to me. It sent me on a quest to find a job I could do from home, which lead me down the path of writing.

Now that you’re familiar with the characters you’re dealing with on a daily basis, you can begin to sort out the dialog that runs through your head. You know what I’m talking about. From the moment you get up in the morning, to the moment you fall asleep, (even during your dreams) your thoughts are filled with what will make you happy, and what you don’t want in your life. You think of the people who you love and trust, or you fixate on your so-called enemies. You judge the things people have done or said to you while trying to come up with the proper response. It’s never ending.

Mind games are hard and complex because they’re based on your emotions and goals in life. The largest part of the game is taking control of your self-defeating negative thoughts. I believe we’re the ones who are responsible for our own happiness in life. You can never place that burden on anyone else. To do so, is setting yourself up for a fail.  Never hand over the keys to your life to someone else because they’ll take you down roads you never would’ve taken, then, they leave you to deal with the consequences of their choices, so we have to learn how to play smart.

In my next Mind Games article, I’ll share the golden rule to all mind games. Hope you’re enjoying the read. Goodbye for now.

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