The Fitness Herald

The Process of Resolution

A Current Situation
It all starts out with realizing that there is a present situation that’s causing us grief of some sort, or trouble. Either we don’t like how we felt in a situation, or we don’t like how we responded. And so we realize that we want help!

The process of resolution includes identifying something in the present that is uncomfortable in any way, and then getting in touch with how we feel now, and then find what matches that emotion that happened back in our past. It really is the feeling that is the thread that connects us to our past. Remember, time separates the original event from the emotion that remains. Because of this we usually don’t know why we feel a certain way, or why we have responded or reacted in a particular way. By the time we are adults, these feelings and behaviors seem to just be a part of us. We just know that we are angry, or upset, or annoyed, or procrastinate. Or, we just “feel bad,” are sad, or depressed—any of these “things”. We usually don’t know how to articulate them, but we do know how we feel, and at some point we become aware that we don’t like it.

Getting in Touch
Once we are in touch with what we feel, the search is on to find the matching event in our past that produced those same feelings that have remained. If you will sit quietly, ask yourself. “When was the first time I felt like this?” Or, “when did I learn to respond like this?” Most often, it will come to you. Once there is a connection of “Oh, I know when this started”, or “I remember the very first time it happened, or the very first time I remember feeling this way”. Then you have the “container” that is holding the keys to your pain. Now it is a matter of finding out “What was I thinking?” “What do I believe about this situation?” or, “What conclusions did I come to based on this event?” “Did I make any vows?” “What happened here that changed the course of my life?” You will find that your emotion will match your belief, or conclusion.

Only a Slice of the Pie
Because our understanding in this place is based on one small slice of the whole pie, there many aspects that we have no clue about. It’s very possible to come to wrong conclusions based on circumstantial evidence, i.e. we come to conclusions based on what appeared to be true to us, with limited understanding of the whole. Our conclusion made perfect sense to us at that time. Our conclusions most often are about our self value, the core of our selves.

A vow of “I will never let this happen again” is a determination of self protection from future pain. I felt really bad here and I don’t ever want to feel that way again, so I’m going to take a certain action. If we were hurt by someone who said they loved us, we might conclude that “I will never love again.” This conclusion or determination of action will dictate our lives from this point on, and our ability to enter into a love relationship will be hindered. We will find ourselves self-sabotaging without knowing we are doing so. We’ll just never figure out why our relationships never last and usually blame it on the other person.

Very often people who have been sexually abused will get fat with the underlying belief that “If I’m fat, I won’t be attractive, and no one will want me, and I won’t get abused again.” Fat become self protective, all the while hidden in the subconscious. On the surface they wonder why they can’t lose weight or why they can only lose X pounds before it all comes back on!

A Self-Imposed Prison
Unknowingly, our conclusions in the place of our hurts and wounds and “feel bad” situations dictate our future from that point on. In a very strong way we are held captive to these places of Unfinished Business: they are subconscious prisons, telling us how we will live our lives and limiting our potential. Once we understand their power to rule us from behind the scenes, we can begin to recognize present opportunities to break these bonds and gain our liberty and freedom to be the very best “Me” there is.

An Example of the Unfinished Business of a Wound
The following is based on a true story.
Let’s say when I was very young I was starved for my mother’s attention. It seemed that she was always busy with things, work, relationships, etc. Anything but spending time with me. And at times she would ask if there was something I would like that she could buy. I didn’t want something that she bought me; I wanted to spend time with her. But she would still buy me things. When I would ask her if we could talk about different things she would just look at me looking somewhat puzzled and just walk out of the room.

Here’s where it gets interesting.

What did I conclude from that?
If someone walks out of a room when you are trying to talk to them, then we don’t love you or care about you. At that moment are we aware that we are coming to a conclusion that we will not bother to question for years to come?

No.

We don’t and it is normal human behavior to attempt to understand our experiences by coming to conclusions. In other words we all do it. We try to make sense of things.

We are not done yet!
So now 20 years later, I am talking to my busy room mate about the fact that not only has our rent increased but it is also due right now (something I think is important) and he walks out of the room.

Guess what happens to me?
That’s right! I take a trip at warp speed down forgotten memory lane to a place of emotional pain and yes, an unresolved issue where I made a conclusion 20 years ago which I had not updated because there was “no reason to”.

The emotional pain hits me like a speeding train, I morph the pain into anger and (for no apparent reason to Bill), I find myself screaming at my room mate like he has never heard before telling him “Don’t you dare walk out of this room when I’m speaking to you”. Anyone want to guess what just happened? That’s right, I just got triggered, in this case turbo-triggered because this was a very sensitive issue.

An Innocent Trigger
Is Bill my problem? No Bill has just (without consciously trying) become my innocent Triggering Agent.
This is that place we were talking about where a #1 spoken word gets a #10 response or reaction. And Bill is scratching his head saying, “What is your problem, I was just going to the bathroom, now what did you want to talk about?”

Here’s where I say, “Uh oh, what just happened?”

It was close enough! My current situation was not identical to the “source and origin” with my mother, but close enough to feel the same. And my “conclusion” combined with the old wound took on a life of its own.

That’s why I call it Unfinished Business.

Although it didn’t look like it- it was opportunity knocking. Know it or not, my present situation was an opportunity to get in touch with why I was feeling and reacting the way I was and find freedom and break the power of a past hurt.

Resolution is the state of emotional neutrality.
Some would call it peace; some would call it no pain. Some would say “I can now leave this because it has no emotional impact on me any more”. Some will say, “I now understand.” To find resolution means the “container” has been gutted of all pain and discomfort, and filled with knowledge of the Truth. Knowing the truth about the past situation is sufficient to put it to rest forever. This means that any time you choose to look back on that memory event, no pain or discomfort is stirred. You remember what happened, but it doesn’t cause you any distress at all. You may have a whole new perspective about what happened, sufficient to render it emotionally inert.

So what was the truth about my mother? The truth is that she loves me very much. Her way of showing me love at the time was to give me gifts. As a child, it turns out I didn’t understand her, I just knew what I wanted. If you think about it, we can’t be expected to know things like that at that age. But that doesn’t prevent us from coming to our own conclusions that hurt! Given the circumstances, I came to a wrong conclusion and created Unfinished Business. Now however, the Issue is Resolved. I have permanent Resolution. The once Unfinished Business—is finished. And I am done…with that one.

Next:
Real Forgiveness

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The Fitness Herald

Feelings and Emotions Part 3

Correctly Interpreting feelings and emotions is the key to solving the mystery.

The role of emotions is a very good one; critical in fact. They provide a big service for us if we can see them for what they really are. They are front line messengers that are in touch with our subconscious. They hold the clues to why we feel the way we do and why we respond the way we do. There are at least 2 ways to look at emotional messengers.

1. We can deny them, suppress them, or attempt to manage and control them externally, even funnel them into something “good”. We can corral them, hopefully in a “right” direction, and not harm yourself or anyone else.

2. Or we can learn how to become effective detectives and solve the mystery of why we feel the way we feel by following the clues brought to us by our emotions that are “informants.”

It’s a good thing to be in touch with our feelings because they are trying to tell us something important. Our conscious mind is not always aware of the inner workings of why we feel the way we feel, or why that person “makes me mad” or that thing ticks me off. We accept that this is a normal part of life, we get angry, sad, confused, hurt and offended and I just can’t help it, or do anything about it. “It’s just the way I am!” The truth is we rarely see our emotions in their true light, or for their beneficial function, nor recognize the opportunity they bring to us. If we would do this, solve these mysteries, we would remove what is hindering our progress and success in life and relationships that we have some control over.

Some Examples
We know that people who have been in combat come back with some degree of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Many times what has actually happened is that they are traumatized by their experience and they have come to conclusions about their experience, and their feelings and responses reflect what those conclusions are. Often when a soldier returns to civilian life they are “jumpy” or afraid of elevators, or they are afraid of sudden loud noises; a passing car back fires and to them it sounds like a gun shot, and they are ducking for cover; or they see an accident on the side of the road and they see someone “wounded” not injured (this one actually happened to me). In that moment, in a flash they are back in a previous experience flooded with all the emotions that were there at the time.

Most of us haven’t been in a war, but have had our own kind of combat experience—Life! We have had parents that have been unkind, or siblings or classmates who have said very hurtful things to us. Like it or not, we always come to conclusions or learn “lessons” in these situations. We even make vows during these moments to “never allow/do that or let that happen again.” Even if these conclusions or lessons were not based on truth, they are set up as truths and become Our Truth. We now function in life with this foundation. The feelings associated with these events now accompany us along our life journey, lying below the surface. These have just become Unfinished Business and are the very things that can hold us back.

My wife has given me permission to share one of the things that happened to her that illustrates what I’m trying to convey here.

My wife was told as a child that she was lazy. Different people will respond to the same situation differently and conclude different things about it. In her thoughts she determined to “prove” her parent wrong. What did she do? She became super diligent, a very hard worker, driven to give 150%.

Being industrious and hard working looks like a good thing on the surface. Most would label these qualities as admirable! But on the inside she felt tremendous pressure to keep producing, with a lot of fear that if she didn’t, she would be “lazy.” And she “learned” in her youth that being lazy was “bad.” So there was a great deal of inner turmoil “motivating” her industriousness wrapped in a fear that in spite of all she was doing, it wasn’t going to be enough to not be lazy! Rest, and take time off? She had a hard time doing that because she felt guilty if she wasn’t busy doing something. Even though on one level she knew she needed rest, at another level she felt that “If I lay around doing nothing, I will be lazy!” Look at all the emotions are that going on here.

After a while she lost contact with the original reason she worked so hard, even taking “pride” in her “work ethic.” It became a pattern of life. And of course it gets reinforced along the way with kudos from people. But who wants to be driven like that all of their life? Why not be motivated? Inspired? Who wants to feel guilty when they sit down to rest and take time off? Or feel compelled to do?

When investigated, the truth was that the label came because my wife didn’t always do what one of her parents wanted her to do, and so in frustration, in the heat of the moment, a carelessly spoken declaration was made, which happened not to be actually true. She was just a young child at the time.

We can now see the power of this one word, spoken by a trusted authority figure. If they said it, it must be true! But we carry the impact of it until we realize we don’t have to do that anymore. She was actually afraid that if she gave up the pressurized work ethic that she would actually become lazy! Talk about layers of untruths!

The outcome is that now, while she’s diligent, working with a standard of excellence, she no longer does things because she feels “compelled” to do them. Now she does things because she’s internally inspired and “wants” to do them and with a standard of excellence minus the slavery of “perfection.” She’s also not driven to work for acceptance or validation. She can now really relax and takes time off to recharge without any guilt.

Another person might respond to the same words with depression, anxiety and give up, accepting that label.

Another example is the child who is told, “You are never going to amount to anything”. These people will “self sabotage.” At some point they will lose contact with the original event and won’t be able to figure out why they are not succeeding in life. Every time they start to make progress “something” comes in to derail them. But the root of it, if they were to investigate and solve the mystery is that they sabotage themselves because at some level down deep they believe “I’m never going to amount to anything” so why try? Why bother? I’m not going to win anyway, I’m not going to prosper anyway so even though I want to prosper, even though I want to succeed, I don’t deep down really feel that I am able to do it.

This happens to all of us: with time we become disconnected from the primary reason why we respond to certain situations or people in that certain way. What is left is the emotional messenger, or “trigger” that gets “activated” and we don’t really pay attention to why we do what we do, or why we respond the way we do because we haven’t solved the mystery. We just know that we feel certain ways, we feel bad, or we feel stressed or we feel angry, etc. We don’t know that we can stop and ask ourselves why we feel that way, and that there really is a solution. We don’t have to feel like that, there is a remedy.

In summary:
Rightly interpreted, Emotions and Feelings carry messages and clues that are waving a flag saying “Hey! Pay attention to me, I’m a clue as to something that has gone on in the past that holds the very key that will unlock a mystery as to why you respond the way you do.” And if you pursue where these come from you can solve mysteries and find genuine freedom!

Next time:
The Process Of Resolution