I’m referring to the 3-year-old again. This is what he says precipitating a meltdown, and I think it is a perfect way to describe how the adult brain feels pre-meltdown. Of course, as adults, we are not allowed to let it all go like this. Instead of releasing all that stress and confusion into a glorious, freeing tantrum, we have to swallow it back down again. Ugh.
It will come out somehow. Either immediately as a more decorous display than a toddler could throw up – some tears, a few words of rudeness to whoever is closest to us, two fingers up to the driver who wouldn’t let us in to the lane – or later, in those few glasses of wine we will pour ourselves or (if we are wiser) in that exercise class or solo run.
What I aim for now is not getting to the stage when I’ve Got No More Brain Left. I want to pass this on to my sons too. That doesn’t mean suppress anything, God, no! It means trying to let it out in the healthiest way possible. And for toddlers, that can be a tantrum, absolutely. That’s just what they do, and sometimes you have to let them at it – for a while anyway.
For me, it’s meditation. I’m working on doing that exercise class or run too, but for the last few years – since I began to take meditation seriously – I haven’t even touched the place where I’ve had no more brain left.
Before I started a meditation practice, I lived in that place. And it was painful.