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Gaining perspective on the past

12:13am, 25/06/14

UnhappyMemories of the past can elicit a range of emotions. For instance, seeing a picture of you and your friends at a fun-fuelled party can bring back feelings of joy, laughter, camaraderie and so forth. Sometimes even the fragrance of a perfume or the sight of someone who resembles a person we used to know can instantly bring back powerful memories and change our emotions in an instant. Unfortunately however, not all memories are good, and unless you gain some much-needed perspective on your darkest times, it’s likely that you won’t ever fully move on from them.

For example, many people suffer from poor self-esteem which stems from their time in school. Perhaps you were skinny or overweight, or you had bad acne, or maybe you were just unfortunate enough to be in the same class with a bunch of particularly vindictive children. While the abusive taunts that you were subjected to as a child might seem ridiculous now, if you don’t take the time to come to terms with the past, their echoes will continue to affect your life in subtle ways that you may not be aware of.

The need for validation

Ex-England goalkeeper David James famously experienced hideous racial slurs during his time at school where he was the only non-white student. One of the ways he managed to combat these attacks on his self-esteem was to become extraordinarily skillful as a goalkeeper. By proving his worthiness on the football pitch, he was showing the world that he was not the inferior being that his schoolmates attempted to portray him as. In the same fashion, it’s not uncommon for people who grew up in a poor household to become obsessed with the acquisition of material wealth. Likewise, many guys who were bullied in school for being skinny often become obsessed with lifting weights and building muscle-mass. While one could argue that negative memories can serve as a catalyst for personal growth, moving towards something you like is always more fulfilling than running away from something you dislike.

Holding hands

Learning to trust again

If you’ve been in a relationship where your partner has been unfaithful, have been betrayed by a business partner or friend, or have simply lost your faith in other people’s integrity due to a litany of negative experiences, your ability to trust other people has probably been significantly damaged. In the same way that a rescue dog who has experienced abuse and neglect will be suspicious of displays of affection, whereas a dog who has lived with a loving family is more likely to be trusting and open, your previous human interactions dictate your present behaviour. Bad experiences with other people can teach us not to allow ourselves to be manipulated, which is a good thing. But such experiences can also cause us to read hostility into the actions of others when there is none, hurting our chances of connecting with people who would have a positive influence on our lives if only we’d let them!

Gaining perspective

Powerful regression techniques can be employed during hypnotherapy sessions which can allow us to gain insights into our past that we would otherwise be oblivious to. Hypnotherapy will not erase our bad memories, but it can certainly take the sting out of them so that we can keep the valuable lessons we’ve learnt without having to re-live the trauma and stress!

© 2012 Don Ely, all rights reserved . last update: 23/11/17