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What A Rubik’s Cube Can Teach You About Your Brain

Ever tried to complete what is to me the mystifying Rubik’s Cube?  I keep reorganizing it and reorganizing it until I finally give up.  I watched a very special 10 year old try a small one recently.  She is very smart, and eventually she gave up too!

The boy is thinking in his head touch cube

Our Brains are the most amazing creations!
I have heard Dr. Oz call it elegant.  Dr. Daniel Siegel, brain researcher and author from UCLA may be the world’s leading expert on some of the amazing ways it works.  Just like our bodies go right to work to heal a bruise or a cut, so the brain seems designed to heal itself naturally. If I cut myself shaving, I expect the wound to heal fairly quickly.  If I have cancer, well, there is most likely going to be outside help sought. If my brain receives an insult, I know how to deal with that.  If it gets a ‘cancer’ wound such as a sexual assault, usually it needs outside help even if that help is never sought (more on that issue later.)

After a sexual violation is what I call the Ravaged Stage, as discussed in previous blogs.  The poor brain is on overload and is working very hard to reach a sort of functional status quo. Often it uses Academy Award Winning Recovery as it passes through the Ravaged Stage.  How I wish Academy Award Winning Recovery would have worked for me!!  Sigh, it eventually falls apart.  Since we are all unique I am not discussing a time factor, but a processing journey that varies widely among survivors and those close to them.  It is easy to overlook family members who are close to the survivor and not realize that the violation has affected them too.

What generally happens after the Ravaged stage begins to recede a new stage on the Recovery Road is begun: Reorganization.

How well the brain reorganizes depends on many factors.  Some are:

  • How supported is the survivor by family, friends, and community?
  • Is it safe and comforting to talk about what happened as much or little as desired, to cry and be tenderly held?
  • Is someone trying to tell the survivor what he/she must or must not do?  This one is a no-no.
  • Does the brain have healthy, safe, joyful attachment to parents and/or parental figures?
  • Do those around him/her go for help themselves to learn how support the survivor?  It also helps to talk to someone about their own feelings regarding the situation.

The above list is just one to think about.  There are many other factors going on in the brain and personal story of the survivor.  The more the survivor’s brain has such things as listed above, the better the brain is at Reorganizing itself effectively and working successfully on its own Rubik’s Cube!!

I am aware good conditions for survivors to Reorganize do not always exist; perhaps even rarely.  This fact does not mean the brain cannot successfully Reorganize; more on this issue later…


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