I recently heard the saying “Feelings are time travellers,” and I resonated with how true that statement is. It explains how, when just by thinking about sitting on the sandy shores of Ogunquit Beach in Maine, I can feel a sense of peace within. It also clearly explains my instant reaction of tears when the first few notes of “The Prayer” by Celine Dion comes on the radio, as it is a song I deeply associate to my mom.
Feelings, when triggered, have the ability to bring us back to the moment. They carry us to the past, good or bad. Our moments of experience are brought back to us, and sometimes it can feel as though we are right there again.
Knowing this can help us. I often hear from clients that they feel as though they “are right back where I started,” and I gently remind them that all they have learned is not lost. It may be that we get caught up in a triggered feeling, but the skills and strength we gather are still present to us. Knowing this can also help us to process our current feeling more quickly, as we can lean into the logic of recognizing that the feeling has done what it is meant to do, and we can continue to understand, accept, and grow.
While it is true that feelings may be the time travellers, it is also true that we are the ones ultimately steering the ship 🙂
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