Our negative pasts can sometimes weigh heavy on our hearts, but also can have a massive
impact on how we live our lives in the now. Because we all have past experiences, we have a
part of our inner mind that we call our inner ‘Observing Self’ or the ‘inner witness’ and this
part of you is always doing just that. It observes and records what you think, feel, say and do
moment to moment. It doesn’t decide if what you are doing is right or wrong, it just
observes and records. It is a bit like our own internal videoing system whereby we can go
back and walk through the experiences that we have had in our lives. We can pause and
take a look in more detail about what happened, how we felt and how we reacted and also
follow through the experience from A to B. Let’s use having relationship issues as an
example, let’s imagine that you had a hard relationship in the past that negatively affected
you on many levels. You have left that partner now but can still feel it negatively impacting
you in your daily life. Your new partner says, “Come on, we are going to be late”, and
suddenly you find yourself enraged and screaming at them or you find you’re feeling
anxious and tearful. So, what happened there? You’re not in that old toxic relationship. You
love your new partner so why are you responding in these ways? It can’t be the now so it
has to be the past impacting the now and this is where you can use your inner witness to
help you uncover what happened and get to the bottom of this.

Here is where your inner witness can be used to help you play back those moments in slow
motion and help you understand this reaction. Take time to really listen to your inner
witness and pause at each stage to take onboard the steps you took up to that overreaction.
Maybe it went like this, “OMG, is it that time already? I didn’t realise. I can’t leave now, I am
not ready, what would people think if I don’t look right and what would happen if I don’t
finish getting ready? I will not look my best and people may say something”. This is where
the insecurities are starting to creep in. “But if I take the time to get ready, I will be late and
this makes me anxious being late”, at this step, your anxiety is starting to grow. “I do so hate
being late, we were late last time because of the kids playing up, what will they think if we
are late again?” This is where you may also be starting to feel frustrated. “What is wrong
with me? Why do I take so long to get ready? Why didn’t I just start earlier?” This is where
you start to attack yourself. “Oh no, my partner is going to give me that raised eyebrow look
or worse still, maybe he will start to shout at me like my ex”. This is where fear is starting to
grow within you. “I bet he’s thinking all sorts of stuff about me now,” – this is where we are
turning our attention negatively onto our new partner – “he has no right to think about me
in this way, I told myself I would never be treated that way ever again”. Your anger is
growing at this point. “I can’t let people treat me this way, I won’t have it!” The fuse has
now been lit; bang, you are reacting, screaming and shouting at your partner.

At this point you’re not in the moment, you’re in the past and all those negative times,
those old insecurities, fears and anger, are surfacing again in the now. If we didn’t take the
time to listen to our inner witness and get to the bottom of this overreaction, it would just
mean we would continue to blame our new partner. This, over time, could mean that our
new partner would get fed up with being shouted at all the time, maybe even think about
leaving us or start fighting back, neither of these options is great. What some of us do
though, is that we go through all those stages, except the last ones and we don’t start
blaming our new partner, we just continue to attack ourselves and before we know it, we have brought ourselves to tears. At this point, we are also feeling anxious and can then start
thinking maybe we are not good at relationships or is this person right for us or are we not
good enough.

All of these ways of thinking and responding are going to impact your life and now’s the
time to get to the bottom of this and deal with these root causes. Life is too short to be
wasting it living in the past with our fears, pain and insecurities. It is time to work this
through and give us the time to heal and let go. This first step of understanding why we are
reacting in this way is the key to helping you work through your inner emotions and over
time this will help you also work towards coming to terms with the past. Over the next few
blogs, we will be looking at this in more detail and I will help you understand these inner
parts of your mind. If we can start to understand our inner critic and take the time in using
our inner witness in the now, to look back into our past experiences, we can then work to
become a better version of ourselves.

Have a great day Sara x

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