At many times in our lives we go through traumas, major crisis situations or just plain rough moments. Sometimes if the situation is exceptionally challenging, with a large dose of negative emotions, we tend to hold on to the bad feelings. We may not even know we have repressed those feelings, but they lurk under the surface and can subtly affect how we act and interact with the world around us.
Unfortunately, we may not even know this is happening. We may feel that the event or situation has passed and we came out the other side feeling good. But, if not faced directly and consciously, these small and unconscious memories sit in our mind hidden and active.
Today, I realized that I had been holding a negative memory from my high school years. High school was not a pleasant time for me. In fact, it was probably one of the worst periods in my entire life. My self-confidence and self esteem were at their lowest points. I never felt like I really fit in. Each day was a struggle. Graduating was one of the best moments as I felt like I had been freed from a prison.
So, those are my memories. But, they are not who I am at this time. I’m not the person I was back then. I believed that I had worked through all of those issues many years ago. So, I was quite surprised when these feelings of hurt, struggle and pain resurfaced today. They only lasted a few minutes, but I just sat through them, breathed deeply and observed from a different perspective.
It’s really good when repressed feelings like this surface. This gives you an opportunity to examine them and let them go. Holding on to these old memories and events takes energy that you may not know you are using. Once the emotion has been let go, you get the energy back. That’s one of the reasons why people feel better after a good cry.
If this happens to you, just let the process happen, breathe deeply, allow the emotion to move through you and then let it go. Don’t try to repress it again. You don’t need it anymore.
Have a great day!