I want to use EFT to work on a major issue in my life, but somehow I always find an excuse not to do it. I know it will help me. I do want to get over this, but it just doesn’t happen. What can I do?
photo by (Erik)
I’ve noticed an interesting pattern when it comes to tapping on big issues. Certain people learn to use EFT, see the benefit of it in their lives, and yet still decide it’s not for them.
I was given new insight into this type of avoidance when I was tapping with a close friend “Sandy” recently.
Someone in Sandy’s life, who lived hundreds of miles away, had been hurt in a very violent physical attack.
Sandy was disappointed in herself for not being able to stop the attack from happening, she was sad about the attack, she was scared that her loved one wouldn’t seek the attention she needed out of fear, she felt helpless from such a great distance, and she worried that it would happen again. These were just a few of the emotions racing through her mind.
We agreed that I would come over to her place so that we could tap together. When I arrived at her home we talked about everything in the world… except what I had come for. This continued for almost an hour. Finally I asked, “Do you want to tap or not?”
I wasn’t frustrated or angry; I was giving her an out. Sometimes people feel safer having this type of conversation with a paid professional rather than a close friend.
She hemmed and hawed as she tried not to answer.
So I asked, “Why are you afraid to do the work?”
“Because it’s going to hurt. I know how raw my emotions are right now. I feel like I’ve let my loved one down. I don’t want to wander into that pain.”
All of that was fair. I asked her, “How large are all the emotions you’re feeling?” (This was for the emotions around her loved one plus the emotions around her fear of having to wade into the problem.)
With her hands she showed something about the size of a beach ball.
We did some work on her fear of what we might uncover and how much it would hurt to dive into the emotions around this incident. I then asked her how much emotion was left (in all areas). She indicated something about 30% of the size of the original.
This was a useful insight for me. She was more emotional about her reaction to the incident than she was about the incident itself.
Later, as I reflected on this, it brought to mind all of the people — me included — who avoid doing work in some area of our lives because we are afraid of what we’d uncover about ourselves.
The belief is, “The crap I know right now is better than the crap around the corner. Sure, my life isn’t perfect right now, but I can manage my present pain and disappointment. If I go looking to change my life, who knows what I’ll stir up.”
This is not an indictment for not wanting to look under the bed to see what’s really under there. The beauty of free will is that we choose who we want to be. There are outcomes and consequences to those choices. Our decision is to face or not face the ideas we have about ourselves and the world, that hold us back and determine whether or not our lives change.
In my own life I have found that in the long run it’s better to get out the flashlight and face whatever is hiding under the bed, no matter how scary it feels at the time.
When you are facing something that feels too big to tap on try tapping like this:
Right now I have a really big issue to tap on…I know the tapping for the issue will be helpful in the long term…but I am worried that if I tap for this issue it will be too much…I will uncover things I don’t want to experience…I will find painful past memories…I will have to relive it all over again…and I don’t want to do that…It is good that I am trying to take care of myself…It is good that I am trying to avoid the pain of reliving this…And I know that with tapping I don’t have to dive all the way into an issue to make a difference…I can spend a little time tapping on how I feel right now…without having to go all the way to the root…It might be better to go all the way to the root…but that can wait…Sometimes it is healthier for me to just do a little at a time…so that when I am ready to do the deep work I will already have cleared a path…I give myself permission to be easy with myself…I give myself permission to be easy with the healing process…Knowing I don’t have to do it all at once…Knowing that if I do a little at a time I can feel safe and still make progress.