Monday, July 16 , 2018, 11:27 am | Fair 71º

 
 
 

Susan Ann Darley: Life’s Emotional Seductions

Painful memories will affect us until we acknowledge their existence and rise above them

Emotions. Madison Avenue uses them to sell products. Drug companies make big bucks by selling pills to fix them. Wall Street goes up and down, providing us with the emotional pulse of the nation. Charismatic cult leaders emotionally seduce followers, sometimes to mass suicides. Want to talk politics? Want to discuss the death penalty, abortion or gay rights?

Hot buttons. We all have them, and in the heat of the moment, people have been known to mutilate and kill in the name of personal justice based on emotional irrationality.

There is absolutely no way you can think for yourself or think clearly when your emotions are left unchecked or fly out of control. Or when past experiences rule your present-day state of mind.

I once had a cat named Maggie who reminded me of how our past can overpower our present. When she was a kitty she ran in the house one day growling like a tiger.

An old thorny rose branch was caught in her soft fur under her tail. She spun in circles, hissing at the painful and mysterious intruder attached to her. Carefully, I removed the branch.

Five years later she was still carrying the memory of the branch and the pain it caused her. Her tail would start to twitch and the cat fight would begin, except she was the only cat. The growling and hissing would start as she attacked her tail, spinning madly in circles. The only thing propelling her was the painful memory of her past.

Our present-day experiences are influenced by our past until we sort through messages given to us from parents, siblings, friends, spouses and others. Often, old and ingrained negative messages repeatedly play over and over, affecting our self-worth. We then carry a host of self-defeating feelings such as shame, guilt, anger, blame, mistrust, doubt and resentment.

So how do you detach from these messages that no longer serve you? You begin by acknowledging that they exist and still manipulate you. Next, you make a firm decision that your past will no longer rule nor dictate your present moment.

If painful memories are associated with certain feelings, know that you can transform the feeling by extracting the benefit of the lesson. It’s always there. Every experience is designed to help you become a better person.

Above all, be gentle with yourself as you sift through your feelings. Trust the unique design of your life and know that it’s perfect no matter what you’re experiencing. Rise above the seduction of the outer world that sits in judgment.

As you do, you will move and breathe from a center of calm while stripping away painful memories that have burdened you far too long. Let them go. Life is not meant to be suffered through — that is the ultimate seduction.

You’re worth so much more.

Susan Ann Darley is a creativity coach and business writer. She provides a complimentary coaching session or writing consultation by phone. For more information, click here or contact her at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 805.845.3036.

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