Most of us know the frustration of having the computer do what we unintentionally asked it to, rather than what we thought we were asking it to do. Sometimes this can be as simple a problem as a finger hitting two buttons at once, or confusing the “command” and the “option” keys. (Sometimes we never figure out why it did what it did. I like to blame computer pixies.) But we can forget that our subconscious mind often is programming us as much as our conscious mind is. And like a toddler who has no problem asking questions he doesn’t want an answer to, only your attention, your subconscious has all the time in the world. It can keep on telling you stuff you don’t consciously believe hour after hour. Like the toddler, it often repeats things it doesn’t understand, but picked up long ago- perhaps from an advertisement: “you aren’t good
looking enough (without whatever we’re selling)”, or perhaps from something someone said although they didn’t mean it: “you must be crazy!” The problem is that when something is repeated often enough, you begin to accept it. It becomes “the new normal”. You accept that you aren’t good enough or you’re crazy. The thing to do is to argue back with that inner toddler voice with a firm “no”. You don’t need to reason with it, it won’t respond to that. You just tell it firmly, and every time you hear it. “That’s not true, I am plenty good, I am sane, I am happy, I have a good life…” Don’t get bogged down in arguing, because it’s a waste of time.
Don’t give both sides of a foolish argument the same weight, in any situation, they don’t deserve that respect. Some things are different. While you can look for the silver lining in breaking your leg, the pain is real, and worthy of taking pain killers. (“thank you body for that excellent message that there’s a problem, I’m dealing with it, now be quiet!”) The messages from your subconscious are often not worthy of that consideration. This does mean we have to learn to distinguish between the voice of our intuition, which can be a powerful helper, and the voice of our inner brat, but as with most things, that comes with practice. Sometimes your inner child will remind you to enjoy the puppies, the beauty of a snowy day, the opportunity to have fun. Sometimes it wants all the cake, not just one piece, or to whine and sulk until it gets its own way. There are many parts of the subconscious mind, and the benevolent parent is as important as the voice of the child. If your inner child is not serving you well, it’s time for a time-out. And yes, with frequent patient reminders, you can reprogram or train your inner child (or inner critic) to stop feeding you negative messages, and instead become a ally to remind you to stop and enjoy yourself. Think about “enjoy”, a verb about filling yourself with joy. Do it.