Some of my hypnosis and NLP clients seem to have picked up the bad habits of the mythological birds that only flew backwards. Those curious birds had become so interested in where they had been that they forgot to notice where they were going.
That is a large part of the way that those clients generate and maintain their problems.
They keep their awareness on their past. And, not just any part of their past. They dwell on the hurts and seeming limitations they experienced. Of course, when they dwell on the past that way, they feel stuck. Because, since they all believe that it is not possible to change the past, there is nothing they can do about it.
Recently, I worked with a client who was still harboring resentments for the relentless messages of disappointment during his childhood from a deceased parent. I asked him, “How much anger do you need to feel before you’re done, and you can get on with your life?”
That question caused some confusion, of course. How does one measure that kind of thing? And, it presupposes a number of useful ideas:
- Enough anger would solve his issues with his parent. My Client is way too intelligent to believe that, so the question started to destabilize his certainty that he needed to, or had to stay angry.
- An end to his anger is not only possible, it would actually be a solution to his issue.
- Getting on with his life means that he will have let go of the anger.
As a result of my asking that and similar questions mixed in with a little informal hypnosis in the form of stories, the next time we spoke my client was noticeably less angry about his parent and noticeably less angry in general.