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Unfinished Business and Intruding Negative Thoughts

What does intruding thoughts and unfinished business have to do with each other? Lots! First let’s talk about what I mean by intruding thoughts.  Intruding thoughts are thoughts that pop into your head and always have a negative evaluation of you:

your capabilities,             Intruding thoughts

your safety,

your worth,

your lovability.



They often originate from childhood memories of events that had an unhappy ending or even an abusive element. Intruding thoughts are hard to get out of your mind, and often come at the times when your need to hear the exact opposite.  They may have been triggered by something or someone in the present that reminded your subconscious of the event from the past. Sometimes you don’t know what the trigger is, but you suddenly find yourself, well…, not being yourself, but a part of yourself that is not as flexible or spontaneous as you want to be.  The trigger can also be:

  • loneliness,
  • any seeming failure,
  • physical pain,
  • a change such as a new job or moving,
  • an e-mail or other mode of contact,
  • a person who reminds you of someone who harmed you.

We can also call intruding thoughts the old tapes from the past.  They get rewound and played over and over again regardless of our desires because our brain needs to make sense of our world. However, intruding thoughts:

  • steal your confidence,
  • your physical energy,
  • health,
  • your focus

They steal your clarity, mental energy and mental efficiency for the work at hand.  You are often left trying to suppress these thoughts which become more and more like holding beach balls under water.   Ultimately, and if you don’t seek help, the negative intruding thoughts will affect your important

relationships   relationships

occupation    dressed for work

health  cholesterol

  • Unfinished business are those times when you know you should have said something, done something, or been somewhere and it didn’t happen.
  • Unfinished business are moments of speechlessness or when you have crossed someone’s boundary or they have crossed yours, but nothing is said in the way of restoration.
  • Unfinished business can apply to your present, but it definitely applies to your past. 

When coupled with intrusive thoughts, “unfinished business” are events in childhood that have not been resolved.  Those events may have been a parent’s anger, alcoholism, depression, or some other mental illness that the parent was exhibiting.  It can be pains that you experienced due to abuse or neglect that are stored in your mind as-if-you-are-still-a-child.  Unfinished business in childhood may occur from not being emotionally validated, physically respected or given the support needed for your age and gender to grow into a productive and secure adult.

We ALL have a certain amount of unfinished business from childhood.

  1. Some people have parents that are capable of talking about childhood memories and the “unfinished” business can get resolved in the very best of ways.
  2. Some people have a parent or parents that have died and you will never be able to discuss pivotal events in your childhood with them.
  3. Some people have intruding thoughts from childhood trauma that need to be addressed with a parent, but that parent is not a safe person, and presents a possibility of re-wounding you.
  4. Others have intruding thoughts from childhood trauma that are incomplete or the thoughts are very scary and largely avoided so you are not able to create a composite image of what happened to share with anyone for the purpose of closure or of “finishing the business.”

Unfinished business that manifests as physical sensations or numbing are events that were stored in the body rather than the brain because the brain of a child is too immature to process trauma.  

In every case, the reason that there is unfinished business from childhood is because the event or trauma was too overwhelming for a child’s brain to process. However, as an adult, our mind and body wants to and is driven to make sense of our past experiences. 

If you have symptoms of unfinished business that you cannot resolve alone, then consider seeking the help of a professional counselor skilled in disarming these trauma memories.  Even a decade ago there were not many good counselors to take these types of symptoms and provide people with the needed help so they could go on with life in health and peace.  But now there are many trained in the field of helping others “finish the business of childhood” and live a life fully in the present rather than with re-runs of messages from the past.

If you need to complete or get closure on your “unfinished childhood business” don’t hesitate to give me a call/text at 720-982-7057 or visit my website on the Contact Me page to complete the form for a 30 minute free consultation.

May you live long and prosper in every area of your life,

Valerie Senger


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