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Old Self vs. New Self

Jamieson Van Loan

I received some not-so-great news this past week. It was one of those gut-punching moments when you want to cry, scream and curl into fetal position all at once. And let's be honest, I did pretty much all of those things. I didn't even take the time to reality check myself or question where my emotions were coming from. I just reacted. 100% pure raw emotions.

After the first few hours of my meltdown/adult tantrum, I started to dive into why I reacted that way and what part of me was this situation triggering or hurting. Why the hell in a handbag did this situation put me into such a negative tailspin?

My conclusion (thanks therapy!) is that this current situation was bringing up my old self and my old self views. It was putting me right back into a previous chapter of my life where I felt not good enough. It was dragging up past emotions and traumas that never served me.

It is not my current self that was throwing a tantrum. It was my old self. I was reacting from a place that I thought I had exorcised. Even though we become new, hopefully evolved, versions of ourselves, this doesn't delete the baggage we carry. All of us are carrying around the old ghosts of our former selves. We intrinsically pull from our heavy baggage as a part of our defense mechanisms but also as a way attempt to heal those past traumas.

The cliche example of this is that if a woman feels insecure about her body image, she will ask the people around her (most likely her partner) to compliment her and rely on them to validate how her clothes look on her. She is taking her emotional baggage and trying to find a way to heal from it. But as we all know, that work can only be done from within. She will not grow into a new (healed/loved) self otherwise.

What really brings us to the newer versions of ourselves is how we deal with, process, our past experiences and traumas. Experiences build us into new people. That is if, we allow for it. How I dealt with this current experience was to acknowledge that my old self took brief control and then I allowed myself the freedom to feel all the emotions for a full day. I then counted my current happily abundant life and moved on. Twenty-four hours with my old self was just enough to remind me of how far I've come. Phew!

I hope whatever situation you find yourself in today that you approach it with the grace, compassion and love of the present you.