Second Chance to Live – Why Do I React?
Posted by Second Chance to Live on May 1, 2008
Hello and welcome back to Second Chance to Live. I am delighted to see that you decided to stop by and visit with me. Please remember that you are always welcome around my table. Earlier today I became aware of some information that may result in my having to make some major changes in my world. Consequently, I have experienced various emotions. These emotions resulted in my becoming restless, irritable and discontent.
Based on my previous experience and some wise counsel I realized that I needed to go to a support group meeting so that I could quiet my unrest. As I listened and reflected I regained my center.
Through out my life’s experience, I have come to believe that many of my present day reactions to people, places and situations are directly linked to my previous experiences with people, places and situations. My present day reactions may be the result of specific smells, sounds or situations that were associated with an event or a person from my past. Consequently, I may find myself reacting in such a way that has little to do with my present circumstances.
For many years I was oblivious to the impact that memories had upon my life. Consequently I found myself being blind sided by the emotions that were attached to those memories. In essence, my emotionally charged memories were creating present day difficulties. For sake of a better word, I will call these emotionally charged memories triggers. Triggers are tripped when I have experiences that remind me of those emotionally charge memories.
I found that my triggers interfere with my present day living because my reactions were in response to those emotionally charged memories.
Through my process I have grown in my awareness. I have found that triggers bring about specific responses, almost in knee jerk fashion. Triggers open the door to unconscious messages that catalyze my reactions. These reactions are emotionally charged and susceptible to a lack of rational. In my experience I have found a common link between my emotionally charged memories and my present day reactions – my resentments.
The common thread that links me to my emotionally charged memories and my present day reactions are my resentments.
As I have grown in my awareness I have come to realize that in order to be free from the pain of my resentments I need to be rigorously honest with myself. Through my experience I have employed strategies that have worked for many people who have come before me. Thank God that I was led to a practical solution that could relieve me from the burden of my resentments. Practically speaking, I found that I needed to make a list of the people that I have had held resentments towards through out my lifetime. In my process I started by examining my family history, my work history, my academic pursuits, my relationships and my involvement with various churches.
Apart from being proactive in my own process I perpetuate the pain I am seeking to avoid.
I completed the exercise of identifying my resentments by examining specific periods of time in my life. In my experience I divided these time periods into manageable segments: ages 0-6, 6-12, 12-18, 18-24, 24-30, 30- 40 and 40- present. The exercise of listing the people that I held resentful towards was not done to blame or point the finger in anyone’s direction, or for purposes of berating myself, but to look for patterns. Through becoming aware of the pattern (s) and how I related to my environment (s), I have been able to understand why I reacted to various people, places and situations during those times in my life.
When I examined why I reacted to those individuals, places, and institutions I was able to own my resentments. As I have been able to own my resentments I have needed to examine why I held those resentments towards people, places and institutions. Through my process, I have come to understand that the majority of my resentments were found in the bank of my unrealistic expectations that I had held in deposit for too many years.
In my experience I found that I needed to be accountable to and for my resentments before I could be relieved from the pain of my unrealistic expectations. As I have been relieved from the burden of my resentment (s) I have been set free from many of the triggers that once riddled my life. In the process I have been able to clean up the wreckage of the past through making amends both to others and to myself. Through my awareness I have grown to recognize that my present day reactions to people, places and institutions may have more to do with the resentments from my past.
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