Flashbacks of similar situations kept cropping up. I wanted to stalk off. I wanted to yell. Sarcasm and meanness is what I wanted to bring into play. I wish I could say something stopped me from doing all of this. It didn’t. It was only on reflection later that evening that I realized that I had been bringing old energy into new situations.
Bringing Old Energy Into New Situations
We’ve all been there. We’ve all got emotional baggage, and it accompanies us into all our interactions. Having worked on ourselves, we think it’s resolved. But it’s an on going process of healing that we need to work at.
Old energy often what causes us to leave behind rational engagement and response, becoming over-stimulated about something trivial. We have an outburst, and yell at someone because we see her behaviour through the prism of an old hurtful situation.
If we are self-aware, our rational self eventually helps us to see things in perspective. We realize what made us flip the switch from irritation to anger, disagreement to judgment, self-acceptance to invalidation.
I’m glad I spent a few moments getting things into perspective, even though I had an unwarranted outburst. If we’re lucky, we can explain our outburst to the other person and hope that he or she still wants to be connected with us.
Here are some suggested steps from Psychology Today:
1. Notice your physical reaction to others. If your heart is pounding or you can’t sit still, your fear of getting hurt has been triggered. Recognise it as your fear, not something that someone else is doing to you. Simply becoming aware that these feelings are yours is empowering because you are both taking notice of them and able to choose what to do about them.
2. Notice how you feel. Do you feel like crying or storming out of the room? Do you feel like a child when you are in conflict with someone else? If so, you are trying to get your childhood needs met and you are probably doing so in childlike ways.
3. Take a deep breath. Step back from the situation. Realise you have a choice. You can respond to the person in front of you in the same way you responded in the past, out of fear, or you can respond to the present, as an adult, and leave your childhood fears behind.
We make mistakes. We act in irrational ways. Old energy new situations. It happens all the time. But we need to reflect and rewrite old scripts.
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I actually recall feeling that way around certain people… and it left me tensed and yes, triggered for the rest of the day and even some time later.
Leaving them or just distancing myself from them physically and emotionally made a big difference.
I wonder – do you think this applies at a level on social media too? We see so many getting triggered even by the ‘good morning’ of a person on twitter and racing out to attack them. While I believe they are looking for the aggression, it would still be a case of people who need to understand the gist of this post.
Honestly, I’ve been cutting off relationships left, right and centre, Roshan. But when someone does something unknowingly, s/he needn’t suffer this fate because of our previous experience with someone else, right. I hope I’m making sense.
Yes, I agree, on social media there’s more so much more pressure to respond immediately and also be a smartass!
the bespectacled mother
I can connect with this post very well. I have sensed that fear of getting hurt arising in me based upon past experiences with a certain person and have reacted (and have been) with the old energies time and again. No matter how much I decide to choose my responses and not react, I keep failing. The burden of getting judged and disected in every interaction wears me down.
Thanks for the reminder, Corinne, through this post. I hope this helps me in staying aware in my interaction next time.
I really liked those 3 tips from Psychology Today (one of my favourite resources too). It’s very interesting, when we really get down to it, how much of our reaction is rooted in old trauma.
I find them so useful to practice, MG. It’s scary to think that our responses could go back to feelings we experience second hand while in our mother’s womb!
I needed to read this today. I was talking to someone today and I felt so hurt that if I hadn’t controlled myself, I would have cried. While talking, I stayed rationale and closed the conversation with a mutually agreeable outcome. Then came home and cried. You are so right that sometimes we continue to put old energy in new situations. Thanks for those tips! Like I said, the most relevant thing I read today. <3
You know, just this evening I was thinking that it’s tough trusting people because someone behaved in a certain way in the past. I know I can’t put a label on every person that he/she can never be trusted, but old experiences often come in the way and make me wary of people and situations. I fear history might repeat itself.
I want to work on that area, but I am really not sure….Am I making any sense? 😛