Do You Believe That You’ll Never Get Over It, That Your Past Will Keep You Stuck In Repetitive Negative Feelings?
For those of us involved in a healing process, there are moments in our day where we can get caught up in a state of mind where we become knotted up inside. Where everything seems to be turning against us for the slightest little event. Our perceptions may become faulty and darkened, and there doesn’t seem to be much hope.
We don’t seem to have much hope!
My client, Anna, brought this up as a theme in a recent Skype session: “Why is it that at times I seem to be doing really well in my life, but as soon as a few things start to go astray in my week, I seem to falter and to doubt all the inner work I’ve done? I resort to my old way of thinking, ‘it’s never going to change, and I’m always going to feel the shame and fear that continues to hold me back. It keeps repeating itself at times, and I sense I’m not going to ever find my way out. It’s disheartening, and I want to scream in frustration.”
Anna isn’t alone in her feelings. I, myself, have felt and had experiences of that faltering or feeling stuck over the course of the years. And throughout my work with clients, that fear seems to come up whenever they begin to question and doubt themselves when they are triggered into past old feelings.
There is definitely this tendency for us to drop back down into that fear that “it may never change and I’m doomed” type of thinking, and so I felt it important to address this in an article.
Here is what I have noticed within myself and with my clients.
You’re on a roll where you’re feeling like you are finally making some headway, your Essence is feeling alive, and you are moving along quite freely when you start to notice little niggly things happening during the day or during the week that set you off…. A little voice inside of you that says, “I’m just not going to make it, or I’m just not good enough, it isn’t working for me” and you start crashing down inside of yourself. At what seems like a flip of a switch, you suddenly feel overwhelmed, disillusioned and fall back down the rabbit hole. Those sinking feelings then start to feed all your negative thoughts about your self-worth and undermine your very best efforts.
However, I don’t believe we are just rolling along and then all of a sudden, at a flip of a switch, we come crashing down. This really isn’t my experience nor is it for clients when I push them to go deep inside and observe what they are inwardly telling themselves.
What I have noticed is that our inner dialogue can be so very critical, negative and judgmental towards ourselves most of the time. In fact, that dialogue itself is setting the negative ball in motion. And because we are so accustomed to controlling ourselves from the inside in such critical and judgmental ways, this has become a normal everyday state that we live in.
Then, something from the outside triggers us, like some misunderstanding with a friend, some not so kind response from someone we deeply care about, or an expectation that didn’t get fulfilled….suddenly we’re experiencing losing control with our outside world and that sinking feeling comes flooding back.
And, when fear gets triggered about feeling out of control with external happenings, the tendency is to exert an internal force and try and control ourselves even more forcefully by being inwardly super critical hoping that will change something for the better.
And, of course, it never does.
We feel like we are out of control because, in reality, we have no control over external events, outcomes or people, but we imagine that we do and this is what triggers our fear and spirals us back into those painful feelings and beliefs from the past.
My understanding of what is going on in those moments of being triggered is that we are ‘always’ at some subtle level keeping up some negative version, some negative story about who we are from that self-image that formed when we were growing up. And today, without doing the internal healing work of being very observant with how we are treating ourselves, we will continue to validate that negative self-image which then brings us to feeling confused and anxious in our everyday realities.
As children, we have taken painful and traumatic events, experiences and feelings and have created a story about them in our minds and within our energetic structure. We have created a story about what happened and why it happened and 99.9% of the time, we have made it our fault – we have made it about us.
Children do this all the time to protect those they deeply love.
Take note that ‘children do this all the time to protect those they deeply love.’ What I am saying here is very important because it brings you into the awareness that you were a deeply loving little being. The deeply loving being you still are at the core of your Essence today. You ARE deeply loving.
Most of the time our caretakers couldn’t model or be consistently self-responsible with their own feelings and so we took on blame, guilt and shame and whatever other negative emotions we drew on from those events. We made it about us and then we consistently created an internal cognitive pattern, a brain pattern that created an identity from those experiences.
That self-identity worked well back then, because blaming ourselves and taking on the guilt for others’ behaviours allowed us to feel in control over those situations and events that may have been scary and out of control. The feelings of being so helpless as children made us feel very uncomfortable and very vulnerable within ourselves. And, then we forgot about it at some level. That internal brain pattern is now there, and it continues to unconsciously pull us into the same thinking and feeling patterns. This has become part of who we are mentally, emotionally and physically and it is now an integrated part of our personality.
The sad part is, is that today, we are still unconsciously resorting to this way of relating to ourselves. I call it the distorted misperceptions that lead to the distorted self-identities within us. As an adult, you can become aware of the familiar ways you speak to and treat yourself on the inside. It’s an energy that you resort back to similar to what you grew up with. You can become aware of this energy and move into a more compassionate way of being as you remember your loving core nature.
A short exercise you may like to use to carry yourself out of those spiralling feelings of the past
1. When you are low and feeling utterly defeated from the past moments that keep coming up, notice if you can take a moment to centre into yourself, your physical body
2. As you centre in, notice your breath and move into your heart space high in the centre of your chest.
3. As you focus on your heart space, the centre of your being, can you allow yourself to open a new doorway within your heart and connect in with stark divine humility?
4. Notice how deep stark humility feels as you breadth deep into your heart space
5. If you allow yourself to bend even lower within, notice if you can find that place of nurturing the sweet love that the Divine holds for you within the vast unending, unconditional love that is here for you?
6. Can you feel into the purity of this love and nurturing?
7. If yes, then stay there until you feel the healing deep within and then allow yourself to move into another feeling that you are needing nurturing sweetness and love around.
8. If no, what might be happening for you on the inside?
a) What is stopping you from allowing your being, your heart to open? Maybe you have a very good reason for not opening. Could you allow yourself to sit with this reason without judging and putting yourself down about it?
b) Notice what it feels like when you just allow yourself to be in that low, defeated state without judgment but instead from a place of divine sweetness, acceptance and pure unadulterated humility and, acceptance. Notice if you can breadth into it and allow it the space it needs.
9. What can happen now as you allow yourself to just be present to this reality? Notice now what opens up and how you feel. What can and what has transformed from allowing yourself to be as you are right in this moment?
10. How does it feel now to be within the humble embrace of pure mercy and deep loving humility?
a) And, when you are ready, bring yourself slowly up and into the present moment and sensing how good it feels to know that you can at any moment direct the way you feel by coming out from under the feelings that keep repeating themselves.
The more you repeat your connection to the sweet, humble embrace of pure mercy, the more ease, and serenity you will feel as you move through those feelings and into the beautiful being you are deep at your core.