The whole Ebola situation in the U.S. tells a cautionary tale, but maybe not the one you are thinking. If you connect with the greater world via TV, Internet, newspapers, and magazines, you may have found yourself feeling a little worried about when Ebola is going to break out in your town. Of course, it could happen (and did for those in Texas), but you are far more likely to get into a deadly car accident today, than you are to catching Ebola–and that isn’t very likely either. Just to be on the safe side, go knock on some wood (if you can find something still made out of wood.)
The human brain is quirky. Much of how we think is based on pre-historic conditioning. Yep, our brains still function as though something big and scary (maybe even hairy) is plotting to eat us at any moment. So, hearing something repeated over and over–Ebola, Ebola, Ebola, Ebola, Ebola–our brains start being hyper-alert and a bit fearful to the point where someone coughing in public sends us running for our pocket-sized hazmat suits.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not making fun of Ebola. It is a terrible, deadly virus. When unchecked, like in West Africa, it is one of the worst public health crises since the Bubonic Plague. I am, however, making a point about our human brains.
If YOU are telling yourself over and over again that your attachment challenged child is going to grow up to be a criminal (because your child’s brain is pre-historically conditioned so s/he lies, steals and breaks rules), then YOU are scaring your own pre-historic brain to death, causing yourself hypervigilance and over-the-top parenting, and making the situation worse.
Pre-historic fear or love?
Fear or love?
Love. Love. Love. Love. Love. Love. Love. Love. Love. Love. Love. Love.
Ce Eshelman, LMFT
All you need is love, love.
Love is all you need.
And nerves of steel.