Have you ever over reacted to a situation and "lost it," and you had no understanding how or why this over reaction occurred in the first place? Maybe it was just a certain "look" someone shot your way that irritated you. Maybe it was the tone in someone's voice that did it. Either way, you were irritated, and you didn't know why.
So, why does this occur? Well, there is a theory about this. Some refer to it as "emotional resonance." It is when a current stimulus (a song, a look, etc) fires a memory in your subconscious mind (which stores EVERY experience you have ever had). Then, a reaction to the memory occurs. The current stimuli (the song/ the "look") was simply a reminder or trigger, and your subconscious mind put the pieces together, made the connection, and activated memories and emotions.
To get an idea of how this works, imagine two musical instruments, a piano and a guitar, being placed in a room together. If they were tuned to each other, you could walk over to the piano, strike the A key firmly, and guess what would happen? The vibration would move through the air, be received by the guitar, and the guitar's A string would begin to sound/resonate. The energy contained in that A key traveled, and it activated a sympathetic response in the guitar's string. This is very much the same way our memories - conscious and subconscious - trigger emotional responses within us.
So, are we victims to our memories? Are we doomed if we had a difficult and somewhat unpleasant past? Does this theory give us permission to over react? No, No, and NO! You are not a victim; knowledge is power. Recognizing and understanding thought patterns and dealing with pent-up emotions from the past (i.e. learning to let go), will resonate in the present, enabling you feel internal peace - at last!
I will share an example in my life; perhaps you too can think of a specific one. One day, my beau was reading the newspaper, and I asked him a question. He simply lowered the paper, looked at me, answered the question, and then continued reading the paper. Gasp! How rude! Well, most wouldn't think so, but initially I was really hurt by his innocent and appropriate response. He did, after all, answer my question. However, I wasn't "receiving" the information well. There was a disconnect somewhere.
Fortunately, I am a great fan of recognizing patterns of behavior in life, understanding patterns, and, if need be, rising above those patterns (shocking, I know). So, I was able to step back and quickly identify just how unreasonable my response was, and I stopped myself from spiraling into some sort of dramatic episode. I then wondered why/how such an innocent event could trigger such an emotional response in me. Then I remembered. Growing up, my father was a very busy man with a very stressful job. When he came home from work, he needed "downtime." He didn't especially appreciate interruptions from a little girl who had lots of questions about the world. Oftentimes, he lowered his newspaper in the same fashion, looked at me, and sent me on my way. Yes, sometimes I felt like I was a pest. BINGO! There we have it! The same movement my beau made triggered this subconscious memory, and it resonated with me, creating an "out of place" emotional response. The movement of paper and the a gaze of the eyes transported me...made me resonate. Fascinating, isn't it? It can also be the source of a lot of trouble, however, if you don't seek to understand.
So, next time you "lose it," take a step back and see if you can identify the TRUE source of your emotional response. See if you can figure out just what connections your subconscious mind is making. Instead of feeling like an angry victim, you will ultimately feel empowered!