To hold the hand flat on a searing surface

Would be unthinkable


Psychical pain

Physical pain

Are equal

They both light up the same area of the brain

To hold a thought, a memory, of great pain unflinchingly

Is as meaningful as taking a knife to our own jugular

Yet we do it


With worry




Drop the knife

Walk away

And stop holding onto things that hurt you day after day

*Runs are good for thinking about things, particularly the long ones, which are tiring and cause pain. I actively begin thinking of other things that I can get lost in, rather than the temporary discomfort of the moment.

And one thought leads to another

And another

And then before you know it you are thinking about something that really doesn’t serve you.

What I’ve noticed is that some thoughts, painful thoughts, cause tangible weakness in the body.

You have to immediately set them aside, flinch when you hear them coming and switch to something more empowering, or they will drop you to a walk, and even a standstill, until you recover.

The mind is a dangerous place to go poking around in without some awareness. And even with awareness, we can accidentally trip and fall into rumination on painful or weakening things.

I’ve been watching Brene Brown’s The Atlas of the Heart (on Binge) I’m up to the third episode now. She talks about the importance of having the right language to describe feeling, because we are feeling beings first, and then thinking beings second.

I’ve always felt it to be the opposite. The thought causes the feeling.

Regardless (as I’m probably entering an argument akin to the chicken or the egg theory) I love the idea of empowering people with the right words to describe what they are feeling.

Because here is thing. Without words – thoughts do not occur. They just don’t, try it. There is a black void in the mind if you truly force it to be wordless.

Then if you use your words carefully and skilfully – you will be changing your life.

And this is another one of those things I come back to, in a bit of a different way. And I’ll probably come back to it forever

Because words are fascinating and to master language and communication is a lifetime goal.

Although I don’t know if we ever actually master language, or if it continues to lead us on a merry chase to that very last word.

And another – although if like me, and you’re interested in communication and words, just do a search on my site – plenty of posts will pop up – and you can disappear down the rabbit hole with me for awhile 😊

Image: Keenan Constance Unsplash

8 thoughts on “Flinch

  1. Kate, this is beautiful. I often think of Dr. Caroline Leaf’s quote, “Frame your world with your words.” After my TBI and cognitive impairment, coupled with the PTSD of my past trauma, I had to learn to reconceptualize my thoughts. Thinking of the big tree, as she explains, and the memories and thoughts in the dendrites (limbs) that seemed toxic and dead on my tree. I knew daily that I THINK, feel, then choose. I have a memory, and then what triggers it (a movie, a book,~~the limb) may make me feel a certain way, but I can write it and reframe it so that it no longer serves the same purpose. Because I can now reframe some very toxic things in my life I no longer FEEL the same way, but have rewritten my own narrative. By choosing to think in a different way I don’t have to fear it if a situation triggers a memory. This is probably all rubble I’m trying to explain. But through journaling and reflection I now know the triggers and have ways of reframing my thoughts. We are born with a desire to feel and love. And to be loved. But my thought process is so important in allowing my feelings to truly align where I am TODAY~not where I was 10 years ago when such and such happened. I think I’m babbling. Lol. I love your thoughts and perspectives. I’m fascinated by words and by people who love words and language, too. So glad we’re on this journey together. 💕🙌🏻🤗

  2. Blissfully, I don’t think when I run. A fragment of a song gets stuck in my head and plays on repeat the whole time. Sometimes that’s annoying, but not as annoying as getting mired in thought. Last weekend, I had this bit of Don’t Believe the Hype by Public Enemy playing:
    “But the S1s’ll straighten it out quick-fast, in a hurry
    Don’t worry,
    Flavor vision ain’t blurry”
    65 minutes of that. When I finish my runs, my mind is blank.

  3. Very insightful Kate.
    During the day I have no problem with thoughts.
    The night is a different story.
    Have to keep changing gear.

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