Dreadful memories of cruelty

Yet another way to picture our emotional baggage offers an additional way to resolve our past history. Throughout our lives, we experience unforgettable incidents of human cruelty. In those moments, we get terrified by what is happening to us or others. We get our feelings hurt, traumatized or devastated by the hostility. We gain a sense of greater danger than we had been predicting. We realize how we have been too trusting, patient, understanding or tolerant of some others. We discover how mean, brutal or wicked the hostiles can be. We lock into dreadful memories of cruelty to us and to others we care about. These enduring memories are our emotional baggage.

We do not want to keep thinking about these incidents, even though we need to keep them in mind. Our emotional baggage helps us out and takes the load off our minds. We subconsciously remember to look out for a dreadful reoccurrence. We only think we've outgrown what happened to us, while we unthinkably remain on the lookout for it every day. Our conscious thinking does not know what our baggage has been handling for us until it takes over control of our conduct on occasion.

These dreadful memories of cruelty linger as horrible feelings we are consciously experiencing. We may get an empty aching in our gut or an upset stomach. We may feel pains in our head, back or neck. We may get an awkward feeling where we suddenly lose our coordination, grip or sense of balance. We don't think about the dreadful memory, we simply get overtaken by these disturbing feelings.

When we don't recognize the connection between the feeling and our dreadful memory, we try to get rid of the feeling. We seek an "action of distraction" to alter our mood, shake off the feeling and change our vibration. Most compulsive behavior is driven by dreadful memories of cruelty stored in the subconscious mind. When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping, gambling, drinking, joy-riding, thrill seeking or worse. The goal of these escapades is simple: get rid of that dreadful feeling.

There's no end to this costly, unsatisfactory pattern while it's dealt with at the level of the unwanted feelings. The feelings make no sense to us so we indulge in the same old senseless behaviors to try to eliminate the feelings. We shoot the messenger and miss out on the message conveyed by those feelings. The solution lies below the surface, in the realm of underlying meaning. The unwanted feelings are deeply significant. They tell an emotional truth about a dreadful memory of cruelty. They alert us to ongoing vigilance, constant apprehensions and well established predictions of danger.

These feelings subside when we get their message. We take our baggage off of high alert once we realize those feelings indicate that a dreadful memory of cruelty has been activated. We wonder if our baggage may have a valid point right now. We consider how the present situation resembles a painful incident in our past. We accept the feelings as "on our team", "watching our back" and "in our corner". We appreciate how our baggage has taken a load off our minds. We think about the senseless urge to get rid of the feeling and the sensible alternative to validate what the feeling is indicating. We move in the direction of trusting our feelings to guide us once we've calmed them down.

It's our responsibility to listen, understand and relate to our feelings. Once we show them consideration, they will show us what to do next. We get our sense of timing back. We'll restore our sense of balance that keeps us from going to extremes. We'll feel how to choose between alternatives we cannot make up our mind about. We'll put our worried minds at ease following successful experiences of getting what we were looking for by of trusting our feelings.

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