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Friday, June 13, 2014

Choose Your Brain Talk

By Rick Blumenberg / @rickblumenberg
Your brain talk is your destiny. Change your brain talk—change your destiny!
Most of us don’t think about what we tell our brains. Maybe we think it doesn’t matter. Maybe we don’t realize we even have the ability to talk to our brains, but we do and the way we do impacts our lives tremendously.
The brain is amazing. Even an unintelligent person has an amazing brain with the ability to manage bodily functions and teach ourselves about new things we face every day. But the brain is a servant rather than a master. Or, perhaps we should call it a servant-leader. The point is, our brains do what we tell them to do. If I tell my brain I am a dummy and especially if I really believe it, my brain will obediently work hard to help me be dumb. If I tell my brain I am fat, my brain will help me be overweight. My brain is my servant and I need to understand that. If I don’t understand it I may inadvertently use my own brain for personal defeat.
On the other hand….
What if I understand the power of my brain to help me be the person I want to be? What if I say to my brain, “Sure, I have done dumb things in the past, but I am an intelligent person with abilities I have never taken time to fully develop. I want to do better in the future and develop the ability to…..(put your own word in here).” Then subconsciously my brain takes charge of helping me reach my goal.
Before Jesus healed the man at the pool of Bethesda, he asked what, on the surface, may seem to be a foolish question. He asked, “Do you want to get well?” (John 5:6bNIV) Of course he wanted to get well!
Not necessarily. The man gave Jesus an excuse about why he couldn’t be healed, but he didn’t say he wanted to get well. Our brains know the difference between what we say we want and what we really want. Perhaps the man did not want to get well. Perhaps he was comfortable in his affliction and didn’t want to change. Jesus wanted to know, however, what he really wanted.
A few years ago a parishioner asked me to pray for him to quit smoking. I thought that would be good, so I agreed. A few weeks later he asked me to stop praying that he quit smoking. When I asked why, he said, “I think you need to pray I’ll want to quit smoking.” I realized this was genuine wisdom. I assumed he wanted to quit, but he had the maturity and insight to know he did not. He knew he would never be successful unless he really wanted to do so.
The brain is not a magician. It cannot snap my finger and make something happen overnight, but it is really good at helping me learn habits and behaviors that help me reach my goals. If I tell my brain what I want to accomplish, it helps me do it.
Years ago I cut a tendon in my right hand. Until it was repaired I could move my thumb right and left, but not up and down. Carol took me to the emergency room and the doctor reattached the two ends of the tendon and I eventually regained full use. As the doctor was working on my thumb I ask him, “Doctor, do you think I will be able to play the piano after this?”
He quickly answered, “Of course.”
To which I replied, “That’s wonderful because I couldn’t play before this happened.” I thought it was a good joke and appropriate for the occasion, but my surgeon was not amused.
My point is, the brain is not a miracle worker. It won’t help me do something I’m not suited for or be a replacement for skill development through practice. But it can be a great help.
I thank God for his healing power and I thank God for the medical profession, but I also thank God for innate abilities to heal and help ourselves through this magnificent organ we call the brain.

I’m Rick Blumenberg and that’s “My View from Tanner Creek”.

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