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Poem: "Debugging the Brain" - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith
Poem: "Debugging the Brain"
This poem came out of the March 6, 2018 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] janetmiles , [personal profile] we_are_spc (Isaiah), and rix_scaedu. It also fills the "understanding" square in my 1-31-18 You Are card for the Valentines Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles.


"Debugging the Brain"


The mind is a complicated thing,
a program with myriad subroutines
always running in the subconscious.

Bad tape and bad habits, desires
and addictions corrupt the data.

Foibles and phobias gobble up
bandwidth, slow down processing,
spread through your head like viruses,
and pop up at inopportune times.

They are the cruft that accrues
over the course of a lifetime.

Understanding is the key to healing.

Only when you know what is happening
inside your head can you change it.

What can be programmed,
can also be reprogrammed.

There are ways to debug your brain.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
excels at identifying distorted thoughts
and straightening them out again.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing
defuses volatile emotions so they don't explode
and reduce your life to smoking rubble.

Positive Affirmations replace bad tape
with good tape, allowing you to choose
the programs that you load into your brain.

Computers are all about hardware and software,
while human beings are all about wetware.

Live. Breathe. Think. These are
the actions that shape our personalities,
and they are within our control.

For every fear, there is
a line of logic to reduce it.

For every addiction, there are
some unmet needs that could be
met in more constructive ways.

For every savage calumny,
there is a compassionate truth.

The tools are there, waiting,
like the gleaming steel devices
that lie inside an engineer's kit.

With these, you can create
the personality you dream of.

So think it through:

You can be an end user,
at the mercy of programs
you didn't put in your head
and don't want to have there.

Or you can learn to code
and become a wizard,
hack your head so that
it holds what you want.

Debug wetware now:
Yes / No / Maybe?

* * *

Notes:

Cruft is leftover code from earlier editions of software that make later editions run poorly.

Therapy can help people overcome personal difficulties. Know the hallmarks of good therapy. Learn how to choose the right kind of therapy and the right therapist for you.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) teaches people to recognize and overcome cognitive distortions. However, a known failure mode of CBT that often appears in worksheet examples is replacing one distorted thought with another, because it's very tempting to replace a negative distortion with a more pleasant but equally fictitious one. You really have to concentrate on sticking to objective facts.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR) uses gaze and tapping to relieve stress. It goes through a set of phases to deliver its benefits. Where CBT deals in logic, EMDR deals in emotion. It eases difficult feelings so that they stop causing problems.

Positive Affirmations offer a way to reprogram your mind. Once the bad tape is out, you can put good tape in to replace it. Remember that bad tape has to be replaced the same way it went in: one line at a time. This takes patience to achieve results, but it does work. Explore how to write good affirmations and use them effectively. Here are some examples to get you started, sorted by topic.

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