How experiences get stored on our timeline
From the moment we are born our brain starts learning, filing, organising and structuring our experiences. If you feel pain when you touch the stove, you quickly learn not to touch the stove when it’s on. We learn this much faster than someone telling us, “don’t touch the stove, it’s hot”. Each lesson is stored permanently in our unconscious mind. Hot things hurt. The same goes for emotions. If someone pushes you off a swing in the playground you quickly learn that being pushed aside hurts.
The physical and mental pain might also get wrapped together to form a lot of hurt. If that is the first time, we experienced hurt, then the instance of being hurt by whatever has hurt us, for example, the swing, will become the root cause for hurt.
Every time we are hurt after this our mind will compare it to being pushed off the swing. If there is a match (your mind will almost always create a match, even if there isn’t one) the new hurt gets stored next to the existing hurt, like some kind of DVD library or photo album. This is how hurt looks, smells, feels, sounds and/or tastes.
By the time you are in your 20s every new instance of being hurt will be carefully (and really quickly) compared against your listings of hurt all the way back to the incident on the swing. Now, when you are broken up within a relationship it feels like your world is about to break open from so much hurt and rejection, not just from being rejected, from every scrap of hurt you have ever felt amplified like a warning, right through your body – just like the swing.
This is what is called your Gestalt of emotion. Your record of emotions and how to deal with them. However you chose to deal with the original swing incident is how you will respond every time you are hurt. If you ran away and cried, if you pushed back, if you covered up your feelings, this will be your programmed response to hurt.
How does timeline therapy work?
Every record that you have of hurt can be reconsidered using a session of timeline therapy. Your timeline therapist will guide you back to the root cause of your emotion – in this case, hurt.
Your unconscious mind already knows the first instance, even if you have never been aware of it before. You will be transported back to that memory, the first one, completely bypassing the other instances.
When you get to the root cause of your emotion (or belief system) you can have another look at the situation. What really happened that day on the swing? We are using hurt as an example here but it could be any individual belief system, “I’m not worthy”, “I’m not good enough”, or any of the negative emotions, anger, sadness, fear, hurt or guilt.
From this point, as an adult looking back on the event without any judgement or emotion, you can sort out what emotions in your memory you want to keep and what you can let go of.
Looking again you might realise that the person who pushed you didn’t mean it, maybe you were not sharing the swing, maybe it was an accident. Only you will know the resolution and the new understanding of your personal event.
When you realise what really happened the labels you had on the event will simply and naturally fall away. Once the is unhooked from the feeling of hurt, all the evidence you had to keep all the other memories stored in hurt vanishes.
Without evidence, there is no reason for all these memories to be stored here. Your unconscious mind will re-sort all the memories into new categories, leaving hurt clear and without emotional anchors.
None of your memories will ever be erased, the only thing you let go of is the emotional feeling connected to the memory. Imagine feeling free of that old negative emotion? Timeline therapy opens that space and lets your unconscious mind do the work it needs to do to understand the event and the lessons attached.
Because of our unconscious desire to clear and heal we work in harmony with your mind to achieve this result making it smooth, rapid and completely painless.