I am trying to get rid of the negative thoughts and feelings. Isn’t saying and thinking negative thoughts while Emotional Freedom Techniques(EFT)/tapping just reinforcing the negative situation I am in? Shouldn’t I just be saying positive things?
photo by Christine Vaufrey
This is one of the most common questions that beginner tapper ask. It seem counter intuitive to think of negative thoughts to get better. In the article Why do I have to tap? How is Tapping Different From Just Thinking About The Issue? I explain the whys and hows of negative thoughts while tapping.
In a nut shell when we are tuning into the negative emotion we are tuning into the root of the issue and giving us direct access to the issue we would like to heal. Recently Dr. Kiya Immergluck shared a really interesting thought in her news letter on one of the ways we can use negative thoughts to clear the issues.
What Kiya suggests is that we indulge our mind in revenge fantasies while we are tapping. I think this is helpful for two reasons. First, at least for me, when I am really angry at someone my mind is going to drift some of these thoughts any way so I might as well use them for healing. Second, I think it is health to meet head on the thoughts we have that aren’t for our highest good. Instead of pretending these thoughts aren’t there, we are getting a chance to recognize and heal them.
Here is Kiya’s article in its entirety (reprinted with permission) followed by a few more comments.
Dr. Kiya L. Immergluck, LCPC
I went to hear a very wise woman speak recently, and she answered someone’s question in a very unusual way. A woman I’ll call “Jane” asked: “How can I get over the resentment I feel about being stuck taking care of my abusive mother now that she’s old and there are no other relatives?”
I was sure the wise woman was going to speak about forgiveness, or the possibility of learning valuable lessons, or the “gift” of having time to heal a toxic relationship. But the message was very clear and very controversial. She said:
“Entertain revenge fantasies!”
I was so shocked, I almost fell out of my chair, and then I began to laugh. I realized that it was actually a very good idea. She emphasized that the exercise was about fantasy and not about anything real. Jane began to laugh and said immediately: I just pictured the movie “Misery!”
If you don’t remember, the movie pictured a very crazy woman holding a man captive and causing him great bodily harm. I knew that Jane wouldn’t ever really hurt her mother, but giving herself permission to have violent fantasies was very comforting for her.
I knew that tapping would be an excellent tool so that a person could have unacceptable and inappropriate negative fantasies, and feel totally neutral about them with no guilt or discomfort.
For example, Jane could have tapped:
KC: Even though I am having terrible fantasies about revenge on my mother, I accept myself anyway. (3X)
EB: These “Misery” fantasies…
SE: These “Misery” fantasies…
UE: I feel so guilty…
UN: These “Misery” fantasies…
Ch: I shouldn’t have them…
CB: I am being a “bad daughter.”
UA: These “Misery” fantasies…
UB: I would never REALLY do anything to hurt her…
Wr: But it is so comforting
T of H: I am being a “bad daughter.”
(Karate Chop, Eye Brow, Side of Eye, Under Eye, Under Nose, Chin, Collar Bone, Under Arm, Under Breast, Wrist, Top of Head.)
The idea of giving voice to negative thoughts has often been confusing for some of my students. Once, a retired minister in her 80’s came to one of my tapping workshops, and couldn’t understand why we were saying such “un-Christian” statements about situations, other people, and ourselves. She spent her lifetime teaching people to be kind, patient and loving. Her message to her congregation was always to “be patient,” “show Christian charity,” and work hard to get to a place of “forgiveness” for our enemies.
What I always emphasize is that we are only giving voice to the negative thoughts that already exist within us. I believe that some of our stress-related physical illnesses can be traced back to the “unacceptable” negative emotions that we bury in our psyches.
With the added tool of tapping, we let those emotions out in the open so that the negative emotions are neutralized and really dispersed for good. Remember, revenge tapping is only about fantasy, never about seriously wanting to harm yourself or anyone else.
Like all tapping tools, this isn’t for everyone. If this is something you are not comfortable indulging in, then don’t. Be safe. Know your self. If this is something you are comfortable doing then it is going to take the edge off your rage and anger by moving it from something that is bubbling under the surface and bring it in to the light of day it is going to lose its power and were are going to be able to heal it.