Ground Hog Day

Life on lock down has the feeling of groundhog day. Even now the restrictions are slowly lifting, today feels much like yesterday, and most of the tomorrows I can see ahead look the same. Its like standing between two mirrors.

I can’t entirely blame lockdown though. I’m currently finding a lot of comfort in things I’m familiar with. To the extent that I’m not even all that interested in watching a new box set on Netflix. I’m re-watching Breaking Bad at the moment. I’ve been re-watching films I’ve seen before as well (last week was Shutter Island and the week before The Green Mile, both are excellent if you haven’t seen them- or worth a re-watch if you haven’t recently).

I don’t feel like it’s an entirely bad thing – re-experiencing with the benefit of hindsight is quite enlightening, I’ve been picking up little things that I hadn’t noticed before and it really enhances their meaning and puts a different spin on things.

It’s also a technique I use in hypnosis to help clients change they way they view certain events. Most of us have, for example, perceived that someone has told us we aren’t good enough during a telling off as a child and we’ve carried that message has been carried with us into adulthood. We really believed that message and haven’t gone back to review it, we’ve just gathered more evidence that supports it over time.

It’s worth going back to these events, conversations or thoughts with fresh eyes. With the knowledge, wisdom and reasoning you have as an adult and questioning them.

Probably you realise now that your teacher (or parent, or whoever) was just a fallible human being, not the all knowing adult you took them to be at the time. You know now that they had their own short comings, stresses and limitations, just as you do and what they said to you at that time probably had more to do with how they were feeling than with you as a person, or was not meant the way you remember it. You can choose to access these memories and take the sting out of them.

There is a possibility that you really did understand it clearly the first time, but they are your memories and you can change them however you like. Memories are not trustworthy anyway – they are more like Chinese whispers than a recording. A little something changes with each remembering and it morphs over time.

Don’t get me wrong, no amount of hypnosis or any other therapy for that matter, can make you forget that something happened (and nor should it, even the most painful events hold a lesson), but reviewing how you feel about it and how you want to carry it around with you in the present can make all the difference.

I can’t keep living the familiar indefinitely though, I’m looking forward to adding in some new experiences again, even if it’s just a film I’ve never seen before for now.

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