When you accomplish, endure, and surpass – do you launch forward into the next cycle, or do you circle back? And when you reflect, are you efficient at it or do you dwell? Were you aware that you could reflect in a way that’s harmful to yourself? Here’s a quick crash course.
Your cells hold onto memory. Every time you revisit a memory, you have the choice to have an emotional & physical response to those mental pictures that you’re reviewing. If, when thinking about something traumatic, you allow yourself to feel the intense emotions that you once felt during those events, you are actually compounding more hurt, pain, fear, etc. onto those memories – and thusly, giving them more control over you. You’re not only making those memories more potent, but you’re also conditioning yourself to respond in the same or a more intense way the next time you are brought to face something similar. And so, if you reflect in this way, you’re not actually learning from or rising above the events to improve your response or recognition. Furthermore, you might be dooming yourself to repeat the cycle you just exited.
So, my love, the best way to circle back and reflect on something you’ve overcome is to remain anchored in the present – don’t relive it when you visit that place in your mind. Remain objective, look for patterns, and give yourself the advice you’d give a loved one. Remind yourself that you can’t be harmed by these events any longer. Go back, using that powerful mind of yours, and tell yourself that you are loved. Change the perspective. You can heal yourself and relinquish those memories from controlling you.
I’ll give you an example that came up two days ago for me. I was coming home at night and saw something in the sky that brought me back to my childhood self, when I would look out my window at night and long for my father (who lives several states south) to fly in on a plane and visit. Immediately, because I had conditioned myself for so many many years to do so, I felt sorry for my child self. But because I no longer allow myself to dwell in a victim mindset, my secondary response was to think loving words to my child self. “You’re so loved! Your whole family loves you, and your mother loves you more than enough to compensate for what you believe you’re missing. Let that longing go and enjoy what you have in front of you.” My whole body tingled with love and comfort and I no longer felt sad for myself. See how powerful intention can be when you put it to good use?
I was stretching this morning, and my first iteration was pitiful. Super tight muscles, little flexibility. But I persevered with optimism, and on the second iteration, I was already more flexible and feeling more energy moving throughout my body. And by the third cycle through, my head was resting on my knees when I stretched my legs. If I had given up after the first circuit, and dwelled on how impossible it seems to push through discomfort, I would likely continue to stay in place and never progress. But when I give myself the time, space, and the permission to be imperfect, great things become attainable.