The title is true. First I have to explain the two (2) most important perceptual positions in which we experience the world.
1st Position: being in our body, seeing what we see now/or what we saw then through our own eyes, hearing what we hear through our ears, and feeling what we feel now/or felt in the past. If it is a memory it is like it is happening now in that you feel the same feelings you felt then, with all of the smells, sounds, and maybe even the temperature of the air.
(3rd) or Observer Position: Is seeing yourself from a distance. Your viewpoint could be a few inches outside your body or you could be many feet way from yourself . This observer position could be in the now or past. In the past you will be seeing yourself. The feelings are the feelings you feel about the event in the past. In the now you are seeing yourself maybe with very little awareness of feelings.This is a great position for painful medical procedures, stressful situations, or in a terrifying experience.
2nd Position or the Other Position is being in another person. More on that position in another post.
The best way to relive pleasant experiences is in the 1st position. The best way to experience “Now” is in 1st position as long as there isn’t physical pain or ongoing stress (meds put you into the observer position).
The best way to relive unpleasant experiences is in the (3rd) observer position at least 15 feet away from yourself, eye level with others, and just feeling your observer feelings. If you are feeling the unpleasant feelings that you experienced then, you need to move further back or imagine pulling a plexiglass screen between you the observer and the younger you in order to get neutral observer feelings.
One client told me that they see themselves on their big screen TV experiencing their unpleasant memories and stated, “it like an actor that looks like the younger me going through the traumatic events.”
People that spend all of their life in an observer position are people that were traumatized as a child and are always in their heads without much body awareness. A dull life of always seeing yourself. Also never use the observer position on a pleasant memory that you had with a deceased loved one. It will cause you to feel the terrible loss feeling (grief) rather than the good feelings you had at the time.
When I do an intervention with people that have traumatic memories, after I do the intervention, I always test to make sure they see the memory in the (3rd) observer position. Almost all traumatic memories are in 1st position. An air traffic controller, Bob Jefferson gives an excellent description of this experience after I worked with him using the NLP Trauma Cure (Rewind Procedure) on a work related trauma.
If you live your life in 1st position except for the bad experiences and you disassociated the bad experiences into your “observer position” you will be setting yourself up for happiness. Don’t you wish someone had taught you this technique in kindergarten?
Bob’s interview after doing the NLP Trauma/Phobia Cure: