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PsychCentral Feelings from the Past


Aaron Karmin

This article has been shared from PsychCentral. Copyright remains with the author at all times.

We change every day, sometimes in big ways, sometimes in very small ways, but our essential sense of self remains constant.

One day we are children, the next it seems we are adults. We are employees, lovers, siblings, parents and friends. Yet no matter what the role is, we are always just ourself.

Perhaps you, like most people feel an inner conflict between your emotional beliefs and your rational thought processes. It is a battle between two aspects of our personality. Our adult, civilized, mature thought processes are in direct opposition to the childish, impulsive emotions. Normally, things run smooth and all our behaviors, emotions, and thoughts work in harmony towards a common goal. However, under situations of high stress, we react in ways that seem out of character. We have temper tantrums, melt downs, and paralyzing fear. Ultimately, the situation passes, our everyday personality re-emerges and life goes on until the next bump in the road.

There is nothing unusual about the process of transferring a whole constellation of feelings and beliefs from the past to a similar circumstance in the present. Our emotional system is consistent. We tend to remember painful emotional events and unresolved problems. They nag at us and cause painful discomfort. We strive for resolution to release the tension. When these problems remain unsolved, emotions linger. Our memories of unresolved anger, private shame or paralyzing fear do not go away just because they are not expressed. They lay dormant and are triggered when a situation while a similar feeling occurs in the present.

However, we can make efforts to solve the mystery of where our problems in the present came from by getting to know ourselves better. Once we make these unconscious feelings conscious, they will finish in their intensity and frequency. This is why getting to know ourself is so important.

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