“The spices are adding up.”
What I heard was,
“How can you be so irresponsible with money? Why are there so many spices? If you were more responsible, there would not be so many spices in the spice comment. Why can’t you do better? Be better?”
Ever done that?
Be on the receiving end of a comment made by someone and the comment just sends you over the edge?
Tom quite innocently commented that the spices were adding up.
Where we keep our spices, every spice has a little space. When there are too many we have to stack them, they start falling all over the place, and it’s a little like a “spice demolition derby” in our kitchen cabinet.
When he’d gone to get a spice and pulled out the shelf, two or three went flying. So he commented, “The spices are adding up.”
I, however, did not hear that as a statement regarding the physical location of the spices. I heard it as an attack on my character.
This is a perfect example of not managing my chimp brain.
I’m so proud of my response to the spice comment . . . (NOT)
“Do you like to eat?”
“I use every single spice in that cabinet. I need those spices. Don’t say a word.”
A hush fell across the kitchen.
Ever do that? Someone says something to you, but because in your brain there are lots of other things existing in there, too, you react less than your best self.
Our human brains are complicated, so this is a VERY modified and simplified explanation so that we can understand these concepts.
Three parts of our brains work together to form the “Psychological Mind.”
We have the frontal, limbic, and parietal.
In this understanding, we will call them the Human, the Chimp, and the Computer.
When we were in the womb, two different brains the frontal (Human) and limbic (Chimp: an emotional machine), developed independently and then began to form connections. Often, however, they are not in agreement. The Human and the Chimp have different ways of thinking and operating, and ultimately it is up to us and the ways we process information to see how we respond.
The Chimp is the emotional machine that we all possess. It thinks independently from us and can make decisions. It offers our emotional thoughts and feelings and depending. Those can be constructive or destructive (think back to the spice cabinet example).
Emotions are not bad things. But learning how to navigate them is an important thing to living a life that is full of Love and Life.
The main purpose of this message series is to learn how to manage our Chimp and harness its strength and power when it is working for us. Then, to neutralize it when it is not.
We all wrestle with using our emotions in a positive manner.
What if we intentionally focus on being our best selves so that the lives we live are rich, full, and those of peace (even amidst difficult circumstances)?
Luckily, Tom knows me well enough that when my chimp brain goes into action, he just lets it do its havoc and knows that typically, pretty quickly, I’ll get it back under control. But wouldn’t life just be easier if I could wrangle my Chimp back in before words come out of my mouth?
The answer is yes.
Let’s journey together and figure out how we can each use words to bring life to others instead of letting them do harm.
Grace and Peace,
“With lots of words comes wrongdoing, but the wise restrain their lips.”