"Healing the Past. . .In the Present"
Susie and Otto Collins
Has this ever happened to you? Somebody says something
to you that immediately triggers negativity within you. You don't have a
clue why you are so upset and you wonder just where that feeling came from.
Tony Robbins would call this a "negative
anchor"-- something that is said or something that is experienced
that you associate with a previous negative event. Peter Levine refers to
this as trauma being held in the body. Whatever you
want to call it, the event and feelings surrounding the event, rear their
ugly heads again and again until you are able to heal the original
This weekend, we were with Susie's extended family of 14
people, ages 1 year to 79 years. The living room was crowded as we watched
the NCAA basketball game. There wasn't a chair for Otto as he stood in the
doorway watching the game. Several family members offered to make room for
him but he declined. As they continued to insist that he sit down, he
It took him a few hours but he realized that his
agitation came from previous situations with his ex-wife when she would
say to him, "Please sit down! You're driving me crazy!" His
agitation was from the trauma of the past.
The agitation from the present situation fired off a
negative anchor within him that instantly took him back to a time in a
previous relationship that needed to be healed. At that moment he pulled
out the baggage from his previous unhealed relationship but had the
awareness to realize that his present negativity had nothing to do with
the people in the room and the present moment. He
was able to let those old feelings go and live in the present moment,
enjoying the game and the people in the room.
This situation is what Stephen Covey talks about
says, "Old resentments never die. They just get buried alive and come
up later in uglier ways." The resentments we hold which are not
resolved usually manifest themselves again in other relationships which
have nothing to do with the original trauma.
We suggest that the first step in healing these past
resentments is to stop yourself when you first feel it and
examine where the negativity is coming from. The first step to creating
any change is awareness. Go back in your mind to your previous
relationships--where did this feeling come from, who was there and what
was the situation? It's very important to differentiate what happened in
the past from what's happening now.
Ultimately, you will want to work on forgiving that
person and honoring how that experience created who you are today. Only
after you are able to release the past, can you experience the emotional
freedom that we all desire.
Susie and Otto Collins are married, life partners who are
Relationship and Life Success Coaches, and authors of several books
on relationships, including "Should You Stay or Should You Go?" "No
More Jealousy" "Creating Relationship Trust" "Communication Magic"
and "Attracting Your Perfect Partner." In addition to having a great
relationship, they regularly write, speak and conduct seminars on
love, relationships and personal growth. To read more free articles
like this or to sign up for their free online relationship tips
newsletter visit http://www.collinspartners.com