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PodcastLeave the Past Behind

Leave the Past Behind

Part 3 of Kessonga’s week on relationships. He discusses how staying present helps us deal with conflict in the moment, instead of bringing up the past.

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Better mental health starts with Headspace

(keys clicking) (tranquil music) Headspace Studios. Greetings, everyone. Welcome to Radio Headspace and this glorious Wednesday. My name is Kessonga. So far this week, I've been giving relationship tips that I have learned over the years. This includes all types of relationships. And I always like to mention that I'm not a relationship expert by any means. But again, these tips have worked for me over the years. They are based on mindfulness, and I really believe in them. Today's relationship tip is to leave the past in the past. What I'm specifically referring to are those moments of conflict that we all experience in our relationships. During an argument with your romantic partner, it's not uncommon for one partner, out of anger, to dredge up something from the past. This is almost always destructive and usually just exacerbates the conflict. But we're human, right? This is what we do. In those moments of an argument, especially a hurtful argument, you want your partner to feel the same hurt and anger that you're experiencing in that moment. But just to reference yesterday's episode, this is the complete opposite of effective mindful communication. My wife and I have learned this the hard way. Well, you know what, let's keep it positive. Let's say we've learned this through experience. My wife Cheryl and I have been partners now for 26 years, 22 in marriage. We met in college and have been attached to each other ever since. We felt our love was pure and golden and true. However, not everyone felt this way. Specifically, my parents. My parents' chief concern was for me to finish college with stellar grades and then continue on to medical school. They felt that a relationship would be a huge distraction. And the thing is, I understood their viewpoint to an extent. They were West Indian parents, my father being an immigrant, who sacrificed everything for their children to be successful. And they weren't going to let anything jeopardize that. So when Cheryl came along, and they saw how serious I was about her, all kinds of red flags came up for them. It was just a ridiculous time. They would actually put Cheryl down with all kinds of insults which, like a fool, I would go and tell Cheryl about. Naturally, this hurt her feelings deeply. So today, all is well between all parties, apologies have been spoken, and everything has been talked about and forgiven. All good, right? Not necessarily. I distinctly remember on a few occasions when Cheryl and I would get into an argument, she would bring up how my parents made her feel. And she would say something in the effect of you're just like your parents. Remember, when they called me such and such or so and so? Or some version of that. And it would infuriate me because it was a different situation, and I thought that we had moved well past all of that. But again, we're human. When...


Duration5 min

About your teachers

  • A former Buddhist monk, Andy has guided people in meditation and mindfulness for 20 years. In his mission to make these practices accessible to all, he co-created the Headspace app in 2010.

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  • Eve is a mindfulness teacher, overseeing Headspace’s meditation curriculum. She is passionate about sharing meditation to help others feel less stressed and experience more compassion in their lives.

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  • As a meditation teacher, Dora encourages others to live, breathe, and be with the fullness of their experiences. She loves meditation’s power to create community and bring clarity to people’s minds.

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  • Kessonga has been an acupuncturists, therapist, and meditation teacher, working to bring mindfulness to the diverse populations of the world.

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  • Rosie Acosta has studied yoga and mindfulness for more than 20 years and taught for over a decade. Rosie’s mission is to help others overcome adversity and experience radical love.

    More about Rosie
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