Our Personal History Matters

Our personal history is not always filled with fond memories.

In fact, we have a reservoir of emotional memories that can be triggered very easily.

Our fight, flight, or freeze defenses kick in and lots of conflict can occur without much prior notice.

It’s very common for adults who grew up in vulnerable families to have serious difficulty managing intimate relationships.¬† Emotional memories of traumatic childhood events can be stored in a way that keeps these memories out of our conscious mind until we get stressed out.

Daniel Goleman, Phd, calls this stress triggered process, “emotional hijacking” in his book, Emotional Intelligence.

A husband who is unable to listen to his partner without getting enraged will benefit from slowing down his process to explore what happened to him when he was younger growing up in his own family.

When there is too much stress, boom, everything can get blown out of proportion.

We need to focus on how we can take responsibility for ourselves  and our reactions, rather than blame others and expect them to rescue us from uncomfortable feelings in our own bodies.

And remember, when we feel sensations and emotions in our own bodies, it is our responsibility to identify, understand and resolve these feelings.

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