- Posted May 3, 2014 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
The written word: Your personal essays
I love PBS..well I loved it when I had cable and could watch whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. Now I don’t have anything but streaming stations, and one Network station. PBS sometimes makes an appearance, but without the recorder….I actually have to watch the program in real time which just is not happening. I digress.
Back in the good old days of cable, I watched the most interesting program on the brain. Specifically, this program set out to explain the differences in the brain of a man and a woman. The man’s name is Mark Gungor and his rather hilarious program is called” A Tale of Two Brains”. Look him up on You Tube….it is worth the watch!
Mr. Grungor explains the two brains something like this. Men’s brains are made of little boxes. Each little box is for one thing…for example there is a box for the car, one for the money, one for the wife etc. The boxes never touch. When a man wants to talk about something, he goes and gets that box, carefully pulls out that box only, opens it and discusses only what is in that box. When he is finished, he puts it back in taking care not to touch any other box. Women’s brains are just the opposite. Women’s brains are like a big ball of twisted wires, everything touching everything else. There is an energy that keeps everything moving at hyper speed in Women’s brains and that energy is emotion. This is why women remember everything, because when you pair a thought with an emotion, it is burned into the memory. In a woman’s brain, the kids, the money, the house, the car…everything touches everything else and it is all connected.
He goes on to talk about a box that contains something only a man can conceive of, the nothing box. He says that men can quite literally think about /do absolutely nothing and that if truth be told, the nothing box is man’s favorite box. Women on the other hand, cannot begin to understand the concept of thinking about nothing, because they are absolutely unable to do it! Remember the woman’s brain is in a constant state of emotionally charged, all encompassing, hyper-speed action.
Herein lie the secrets of so many fails between men and women. Real life science has proven that our brains are wired differently; women’s are wired side to side, across the two hemispheres while men’s are front to back in a single hemisphere. This appears to be the reason men are generally better at spatial tasks while women have better memories. Personally, I like Mr. Gungor’s explanation better.
I get in quite a bit of trouble in relationships because I can’t make my brain slow down. I forget that my partner’s brain is not zooming around in hyper speed, charged with emotions and remembering every last word of our last 30 conversations, 45 emails and 100 texts simultaneously, like mine is. How many of you girls can relate to a situation that goes kind of like this. You and a great guy have been dating exclusively for a month or so and he has said things like, “We live so close, would it be ok if I came to see you for just a half hour sometime?” and “ I am falling for you.”, and “Truth be told, you are the best match for me that I have ever met.” , and “I am not going to go another week without seeing you.”. Generally, you would assume this means he wants to see you as much as you want to see him. You decide that possibly Saturday would work and have a time set for a text to confirm. When you get the message two hours, a text and an email (from you to him) later saying that he is not going to make it over because he decided to have few beers with the guys, you are completely stumped!
When something like this happens to me, my brain goes to a spot that says, he has been lying this whole time. Immediately, I believe that nothing he has said is true and that if he really cared about me, he would find a way to choose me before drinking beer with his buddies. At this point (or a very similar point…same song second verse), in a few previous relationships, I have thrown in the towel, convinced that I have been pouring all of my love and care into a man that does not see it, feel it, could care less about my love or me and furthermore is selfish and has no idea how to love in return.
If I look at the wires and boxes theory of female and male brains, I should realize that I was in the Lucy box and he was in the box of whatever he was talking about with his friends. He thought I was safe and feeling cared for in my place in his brain. In actuality, my brain was in emotional overload because none of the dots were connecting, while his was peaceful because he had just told me he missed me and he cared for me and so I should know that.
It is no wonder there are so many divorces. It is impossible to understand the opposite sex because we have absolutely no clue what it feels like to be in the other’s head space. At this point I need to circle around to unconditional love as a part of the solution. Unconditional love says, “I love you no matter what”. It does not say, “I have no boundaries and it is ok for you to tread on my heart just because I love you”. Unconditional love sees the differences and tries to understand. It attempts to lay aside the fragile ego and go to the next level. It sees beyond the pain the self (ego) is in, to the true love beneath and tries to recover from the pain it has been dealt.
In a word, we need compassion as well as passion in relationships. We need a love that goes beyond our own needs, our own desires, our own head space and seeks to love the beloved more than we love ourselves. We need to understand more than to be understood. We need to listen as well as to be heard. We need validation, we need to know that we are seen, heard and appreciated and equally, we need to see, hear and appreciate the beloved. Sometimes this means, seeing our partner’s brain for what it is. Ask the questions, communicate, and try to exercise patience. When one person feels like the boundaries have been ignored, that person needs to step up and communicate. Sometimes when you truly love the other person unconditionally, you will put aside your own desires for that moment and really try to find out what the beloved needs. Sometimes, you will know that you will never understand the beloved’s brain, but you will try to understand until your dying day because you love that person so much. Sometimes, you will know that love, the noun, must act as love the verb and that in so doing, the love will continue to grow and deepen.
Understanding the emotions or lack of emotions, the zany emotionally charged, tangled up speed track of the woman’s brain or the nothing box in the men’s brain, is the key to working out the functional difficulties in relationships. If the love is truly there and the boundaries are in place, nothing is too much to overcome.