Not everything that we feel is true! That’s because feeling memories can be re-experienced and with such vividness that they feel true in the moment. We rely on our feelings to guide us in relationship! So how can we distinguish between what is an old feeling replaying inside and one that is relevant to our current situation?
One big clue is how repetitious a certain negative feeling is. The child who is discouraged grows up to experience chronic internal discouragement. The child who could never feel competent has episodes of severe lack of confidence as an adult. If a negative feeling repeats with frequency, it’s likely that it’s a feeling memory living on.
Another important clue is the vastness of the feeling. When we were small and overcome with difficult emotions and there was not sufficient adult assistance then the emotions were bigger than us. We had no healthy adult strengths or perspectives to balance whatever was happening. Then those strong feeling memories live on in the form of habitual experience and beliefs.
When adults in intimate relationship can trust each other to validate whether their feelings about each other are true, relationships become a better place to heal and grow. Partners can also provide loving support to each other in those times when old feelings are like unwelcome houseguests staying too long.
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Nancy Christie BFA, CYW
170 The Donway West
North York Ontario
Certified Sensory Motor Psychotherapist Advanced Practitioner
Member Canadian Association for Psychodynamic Therapy
Member of the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario
Clinical Member of the Ontario Society of Psychotherapists