Did we really manage to “move on” without getting stuck?
To answer this, we need to define what “getting stuck” means: when we’re stuck, our mental and/or emotional energies are fixated on a particular event, unable to be utilized in the present moment.
Using a computer analogy, it’s like having a system error that crashes one application, and instead of rebooting the system, you keep running the system for hours, which means part of the processing power is tied up trying to work the program that crashed a long time ago.
How do you know if some part of you is stuck in the past? Here are some symptoms:
- Mental fixation: You can’t help but refer to a specific event that happened in the past that is causing you to be unhappy today
- Emotional fixation: You feel a strong emotional charge – anger, for instance – about a past event, usually tied to a specific person.
- Repression: You feel less emotionally alive compared to the past. You have less range of emotions (e.g. joy, anger, or sorrow) compared to when you were a child, or a teenager.
If none of these apply to you, congratulations! You’re one of the rare people that managed to stay vibrantly whole despite life’s many challenges. Feel free to skip the rest of the post, I’ll see you next week.
In case you’re stuck
I think most people leave some parts of themselves in the past, especially around past relationships. The problem with this is, just like trying to run a crashed computer without rebooting, you’re a lot less efficient, and unable to give your whole energy to solving the present problems in life.
Consider this: If your emotional energies are stuck around painful past relationships, or frozen around a traumatic childhood event, you have that much less to give to your present partner.
The result: a relationship that is less alive than the one you were able to have in the past, and it isn’t your present partner’s fault!
So then, in order to have a satisfying relationship (or a satisfying life, for that matter), it seems imperative to get our emotions released from the past painful events and relationships. In order to do this, it is necessary to revisit the past, at least initially, so that you’ll have the opportunity to feel and heal the emotions.
In doing this, some people may say you are getting stuck in the past. But this is actually the opposite – in truth you’re revisiting the past simply in order to reclaim your lost emotions, which allows you to be fully connected to the present. By being fully connected in the present, we experience the magic of relationships that can lead us to the future we dream of.