In August of 2015, Steve and I began exploring the idea of living together, getting married and creating clarity around our 8+ year relationship. We like to call this the honeymoon phase!
There were a lot of reasons we had not done this before; children we did not want to put together in the same home, two houses, and honestly, we were used to having our own space during the week and come together on the weekends.
Steve has created a strong professional presence on Linkedin, Twitter, and through his personal website, (www.SteveHarville.com). As a result of building an online presence as an expert in his field he is often contacted by recruiters. Within a week of our conversation, the right job came to him at the right time.
Within a few weeks, he accepted the new job in Northern, KY (about 2 hours from our current homes), we got married and were moving into an apartment near his work and getting each of our homes ready for sale!
Even though everything was good and a fulfillment of our intention to clarify our relationship for the long term, we had just engaged some major stress factors! According to The Holmes-Rahe Stress Inventory we had accumulated at least 199 stress points in just a matter of weeks!
Even the most positive changes in life can have huge levels of potential stress associated with them. Notice that #25 Outstanding Achievement carries 28 stress points! The added stress of my computer refusing to connect to our new WiFi in the apartment is what really put me over the edge (They need to add technology issues to the list!)
In the middle of our move into an apartment, I broke down, I couldn’t move, I wanted to cry, I wanted to pack up and go back home. I did not want to be there.
As you might expect this did not go over well with Steve and I was not intending to make him feel bad or angry. Instead I took it out on everyone and everything else, including the bedframe I was attempting to assemble, the computer techs, and a list of others. My anger was out of control and I knew that it was deeper than just my stress factors.
I reached out to my friend Rich McDaniel, who has developed a process called the Stored Feelings Reintegration Process. To learn more about this process, check out his book, The Portal to Your Inner World. We have been working together on this for several months and I knew that this situation had evoked more than stress; it had evoked a disruptive emotion that was connected to a stored feeling. After working with me for about an hour on the phone, I connected this disruptive emotion with feelings of being trapped, pinned down and isolated in my childhood home.
The third step in this process is the stream of insights and a clear concluding message. Instead of piling more wood on the fire of a stored feeling, this process, once it is learned and applied, allowed me to use the evoked feeling to trigger curiosity. Interestingly, the work that Rich is doing helped Steve and me come to the conclusion that this was not about our relationship and it took the edge off the situation. We were both able to understand that this was a stored feeling and an opportunity to enter into the opened portal of insight and understanding that helped me reintegrate the reaction with compassion and release.
When I returned to the apartment the next week, it felt different; we had worked hard to set up a cute, functional space that was our first home together. My computer naturally connected to the internet and I began exploring the community around me with optimism. The concluding message: I have everything I need and I am safe and free to explore!
Of course, we are still under a fair amount of natural stress given our situation, however, I don’t believe we will experience the prediction of a 50% chance of a major health breakdown in the next two years and stated by the Holmes-Rahe Life Stress Inventory. I believe that the Stored Feelings Reintegration process has served as a preventative measure and a significant step in handling life events with positive, healing energy!
One thought on “What can you do when the best things in life trigger strong negative emotions?”
I increased my knowledge of life and my appreciation for you and Steve as I read your account of these experiences.
Very happy for you both,