It is so important to monitor what we tell ourselves if we care about how we feel. At any point, we can change negative self-talk and bring happiness to our experience. Here’s a recent example of this process in my own life, as I continue to heal from a head injury I sustained last spring, expressed in a poem entitled “Recovery.”
I tried to take myself to task,
brow beat, you dummy, you dope. I tried
to feel bad about overdoing it yesterday,
imagining the worst: You’ll never get well!
I tried to punish myself.
But I couldn’t. Those days are past,
sculpted in stone, set behind museum glass.
I am alive now. Love breathes me.
A daughter of trees, I am schooled by roots
and the quartz in their embrace. I lie down
on earth, trusting the weight of my head to her;
clouds fill my skull. I am free.
Here’s another way of saying it. In the medical memoir My Stroke of Insight by Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, she discusses how important it is to be aware of our thoughts about ourselves in order to have good mental health: “Regardless of the garden I have inherited, once I consciously take over the responsibility of tending my mind, I choose to nurture those circuits that I want to grow, and consciously prune back those circuits I prefer to live without” (186). Tending the garden of the brain is up to each and every one of us.