Gary Craig and many other practitioners use the phrase “I love and accept myself” sometimes adding “deeply and completely” in their set-up phrases. I don’t know about you, but I’ve come in contact with quite a few people that have a real aversion to this statement. Seems to me, that if we loved and accepted ourselves, most of our ‘problems’ would not exist in the first place. Do we need to use this phrase while Emotional Freedom Techniques(EFT)/tapping?
photo by Shena Pamela
This is a great question that I get a lot. Here are 4 thoughts to consider when choosing the phrases we are going to tap to.
1) The words we use while tapping or doing EFT aren’t magic
This is the piece of advice I give most often to beginning tappers. When most of us learned tapping for the first time we were taught to tap on a point and to say a phrase, leading us to believe that to get relief what we need to do is say a phrase and tap. In reality the way we find relief while tapping is to focus on an issue and to tap on the points. One very effective way of focusing on an issue is to say words out loud about the issue, but it is important to remember this is not the only way to focus on an issue.
I share this to say your focus is most important. There are times with a specific word, phrase, or reframe is going to help us to focus with laser like focus, while other times no words are need at all. The nice thing about tapping is it requires very little time and there are very few consequences for trying something new.
My advice is to try lots of different phrases and find the ones that work for you. If something is not ringing true, try something else. It only cost you a few seconds to try a new phrase. If the phrase “I love and accept myself isn’t useful then look for something else that is useful.
[For more information on the types of information that we get from each round of tapping and what to try next check out Feedback: What we can learn from each round of tapping]
2) Even If We Don’t Believe The Words We Say While Tapping and Doing EFT They Can Still Be Helpful
This again builds on the principle of the place we focus being more important then the words we say. Often times saying words we don’t believe will help us to focus in on the place we want to do work. Let take a weight release situation as an example.
For this example let’s say we want to release 35 lbs and there is a part of us that doesn’t think it is possible. I could tap on the phrase: “There is a part of me that doesn’t believe I can release this weight.” Tapping on a phrase like this could very easily help me to tune into the part of me that is hopeless about releasing weight.
I could also say the exact opposite and achieve the same result. I could say out loud “I know I am going to release these 35lbs!” and the little voice inside my head is going to respond “No you are not! There is no way you are going to release this weight. It is hopeless for you!” Here my focus is not on the words that I have said, but my emotions of it being hopeless.
In both cases I am tapping on the same issue even though I said opposite phrases.
The same can be true with the phrase “I love and accept myself”. When I say this phrase out loud and focus on the emotions that follow I am going to be doing useful work towards my healing by tapping. This is especially true when I don’t believe the phrase.
3) There might be a reason that you don’t like the “love and accept myself” vocabulary while tapping and doing EFT
I find it very interesting when people have a very visceral emotional reaction to something. When there is an emotional reaction it means there is a nerve being struck.
For example, you call me too obsessive about sports. I might disagree with you on this point, but you are not going to get an emotional response from me because I don’t worry about this in my own life.
On the other hand, if you were to call me self absorbed you would get an emotional response from me. I would feel attacked, hurt, and offended. Not because this is not true, but because I struggle with this part of my personality. I would feel attacked because there is a wound around this area of my life and you just bumped into that wound.
I believe one of the main reasons people don’t like “the love and accept myself” vocabulary is because it hits so close to home as something a part of them can’t believe. We don’t like saying these words because they are reminding us of our own failings.
This brings us back to point number two. By saying something we don’t believe it gives us a chance to emotionally tune into the part of our personality that doesn’t believe the phrase. If there is a very strong “I don’t like saying I love and accept myself” reaction then this is a great area to investigate when we are tapping on our own or with a practitioner.
4) Other phrases to try while tapping and doing EFT
Sometimes somethings can be so emotional it is not useful or safe for us to tune into it. One of the reasons I love Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) and tapping is it allows us to slowly creep up on a problem without having to dive in to the most painful part of the issue.
It is possible for the phrase “I completely love and accept myself” to be too emotionally changed to be useful. It might simply cause enough emotional pain that it set us off for the rest of the day or, as in point 3, that we don’t do the work because it is so uncomfortable to think about “loving and accepting” ourselves.
If the phrase “I love and accept myself” is too much to use you can try these alternatives instead.
- I give myself permission to love and accept myself
- I might not believe that I love and accept myself, but someday I know it will be possible to love and accept myself
- I am worthy of loving and accepting myself if it don’t right now
- I give myself permission to one day love and accept myself
- I give myself permission to believe that is it is possible to love and accept myself
- It is safe for me to love and accept myself
- There is a part of me that fully love and accepts me even if I don’t have access to that part at this moment.
- Even if I don’t love and accept myself, God does love and accept me.
- Even thought I am not perfect I love and accept myself
- This work is helping me to love and accept myself