When did you first experience X?

 

When I facilitate a Living Inquiry session these days, with myself or a client, I often ask:

When did you first experience X?

When do you remember first having that feeling? Sensation?

When do you remember first feeling X? (Unlovable, not enough, better than etc.)

And I then explore that situation for a while, to see what’s there.

Very often, the velcro was initially created in childhood, as a protection. And we then continued recreating it and bringing it with us into adult life and the current situation.

We keep recreating it, because not doing so seems threatening.

Here and now, and from the past

 

Velcro, identifications, and trauma are here and now, and from the past.

They are here and now, and cannot be found in the past or future. We cannot even find past, future or present outside of what’s created by images, words and sensations.

At the same time, velcro, identifications, and trauma were initially created and formed at some point in the past, often in early childhood. And it can be very helpful to look at that, question the painful stories, and find love for what was unloved. One way to find these early events is to ask when did you first have that thought?, or when do you remember first having that feeling?

It’s frequently said, and it seems to be true enough, that childhood trauma is behind a great deal of what we struggle with as adults.

So which one is it? Are these things here and now? Or found in the past? It’s both, as so often. It’s all happening here and now, and within that we can find painful stories of events from early in our life. And it’s important to look at these, and find some resolution and healing.

It’s also neither. At some point, it can be helpful to look for velcro, identifications, and trauma themselves. Can I find these outside of my images, words, and sensations that create an experience of these?

And unfindable doesn’t mean doesn’t exist or that they are not helpful stories or pointers in some situations. They can be, for instance, in finding healing.

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A more fluid inquiry, and going back to when I first had the belief

 

Over the last several days, inquiry has happened in a different way for me.

An emotion comes up. Lately, it has been dread & terror, or a deep sense of longing. I may lie down on the bed, or do this before falling asleep or just after waking up. I go back to when I first remember having had that feeling, often as a very young kid. I remember the situation. I then go into who I was in that situation, a kid of perhaps four years old. And there is a dialog, encouraging me – as a four year old or how old I may be – to gently and slowly explore what’s happening.

Look at the feeling in itself. Set thoughts and images on the shelf for a while. Just look at the feeling. Is it OK? What are you afraid may happen if you allow and welcome that feeling? Is it likely to happen? How bad would it be if it happened? How is it right now? Notice it is just an emotion. Is it OK? Is there anything to really fear about this emotion? How is it to allow it, welcome it? How is it to be it?

Now look at the stories and images behind the feeling. What are you afraid may happen? What is more likely to happen? What is the worst that can happen? How bad would it be if it happened?

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