My mother, like so many moms, was “Super Mom”. She was supportive, loving, and made home-cooked meals that acted like medicine. “No time to be sick” was her mantra for her and her 5 kids, so we seldom were sick.
Recently, when visiting my frail, now 87-year-old mother, who is bedridden and barely able to speak, I struggled to find some connection. Finally, I said to her, “Let’s pray.” After reciting the prayers she taught me as a child, I asked her if she recalled them. This question startled her into a brief state of anger responding “of course.” Seconds later, she asked me, “Did we pray?”
My mother is now overtaken by the effects of Alzheimer’s, leading her to experience an occasional irrational anger that accompanies this disease. Her brain is now chronically irritated.
Recently, a pathology report was released on Aaron Hernandez, who died earlier this year at 27 years old from suicide. You may recall he was a star tight end for the New England Patriots and was convicted of multiple murders. Pictures of his mansion and reports of his multimillion dollar contract to play pro football routinely made the news a few years back.
Hernandez was found to have advanced damage to his brain, which was the result of years of head trauma associated with football. His chronically irritated brain produced multiple behaviors we would consider irritating, such as murder.
A nervous system that is irritated produces irritating perceptions and behaviors. You don’t have to have multiple concussions or Alzheimer’s to have an irritated nervous system. For most of us, the irritation of the nervous system is reversible. Our focus is to help your nervous system be more at ease – the opposite of disease (dis-ease). It’s a powerful way to show up in your life.