While zipping through the mountains of Sikanni, in the beautiful countryside of British Columbia, I noticed several fallen Douglas-fir trees. The strangest part is that many of them laid fallen with green leaves. I was told a pine beetle infestation was partly to blame. Curious about this, I searched for more information and discovered something that resonated.
Pine beetles attack from the inside, by laying eggs in the tree bark. The beetles set up residence, living, breeding and blocking nutrients from getting to the tree. Though the tree may look green on the outside, on the inside it’s being attacked by thousands of critters. Eventually, the tree falls over and ultimately dies.
Negative thoughts and negative self-talk act quite like pine beetles. They start small and as we agree with these thoughts they multiply, blocking the ability to let positivity in; similarly to the way the pine beetle stops the tree from receiving nutrients. Like the tree, we sometimes look fine on the outside, even when we may be struggling to stay well on the inside. If left unchecked, beetle brain can be deadly. Beetle brain tries to kill our self-esteem, dreams, and relationships.
The Awkward Healing
In my experience sharing the dirt with a trusted friend (mentor, counselor, etc.) can bring relief and perspective, and causes the negativity to lose its power. I’ve found when I bottle it or don’t address it at all, it becomes overwhelming. In my case, this leads to a heightened response to anything that could trigger beetle multiplication (aka I become cantankerous af). There are many things we can do to cheer up (exercise and get some endorphins, listen to music with a happy beat, read a delightful book, watch a funny show, etc.) but these are temporary distractions. The awkward conversation, spilling the beetles, that’s what gets to the root of the matter.
What do you do to rid yourself of Beetle Brain?