All of us, from time to time, need to dissociate from the thoughts, feelings, and responses that are arising in the present moment, just so that we can survive - get through what we are experiencing.
When someone at work unknowingly hits one of our buttons, we can’t just fly off the handle. When we are dealing with grief and loss, and the waiter, or the cab driver, or a friend says something that threatens to push us over the edge; an amazing human capability is to step back from our experience - to disassociate from it.
It’s like we say to ourselves, “I can’t deal with this now, it isn’t safe - I’ll have to deal with this later.”
Unfortunately, for the vast majority of us, “later” never really arrives. If we manage to put off negative emotion - feelings like grief, anger, shame - or sometimes even positive emotions like love or desire; we are unlikely to voluntarily or willingly call them back up to feel them and process them.
So where do those feelings go?
Well, they don’t just disappear or evaporate… they are stored in the subconscious mind. Where they wait.
In my experience these “later” emotions tend to congregate in the shadows of the subconscious mind waiting for an opportunity to be felt. Waiting for a trigger that will open the door and allow them to flow freely into the present.
This is what happens when something small and irritating happens, and suddenly you find yourself raging at the barista; or when what should be a small disappointment leads to a total meltdown.
When old and dissociated emotion continues to build, it seeks association. Our feelings begin to influence our perception of life, relationship and the world around us. When we are full of dissociated grief, we look out and see a world full of sadness, events that are depressing, and a future that is bleak. It isn’t a reflection of reality - it is a projection of what we are carrying inside of us. The whole world becomes a Rorschach ink blot.
Your subconscious mind is in incredible resource, and it is there to protect you and keep you safe. When the situation feels dangerous or when you feel it wouldn’t be good to fall apart right now, the conscious mind makes a deal with the subconscious - “Let’s not deal with this now, let’s deal with this later, when it’s more safe.” to which the subconscious replies, “Okay, I can hold this, for now.”
But your conscious mind is always willing to put it off. The subconscious mind is nobody’s fool though, and if you don’t honour the agreement to address what is stored in the subconscious, it begins to collect, and it begins to seep - into your dreams, into your background thoughts, and even into your body manifesting as psychosomatic symptoms (sleep disruptions, phantom pains, etc., etc.).
Hypnotherapy provides a safe and supportive environment to address and resolve all of those feelings and experiences that you’ve put off to an ambiguous “later”. Your subconscious mind won’t wait forever.
Now really is the later you were talking about yesterday.