We are connected to many people in our lives, some very closely, others less so. When we make choices we don’t make them in a vacuum as we know that they impact other people, either affecting them directly or simply in the way they see us. Because we consider how our choices influence how others think about us we sometimes hesitate to act because we are unsure of their reaction, or we fear that they will react negatively. Our subconscious may restrain us from taking action unless we feel we have the permission of those around us to go after our dreams. It seems a little odd to ask someone permission to chase our dreams, but it is important to be aware of the areas in which we are holding ourselves back.
[Note: From time to time some of the resources on this site come from a more personal world-view. I do not claim to have a monopoly on truth. This is just a point of view. If this does not serve you I hope you are able to find other resources on the site that speak to you.]
Here is a quote from one of the many newsletters I am subscribed to:
- In order to let suffering transform us, we must let it take us to the edge of our own inner resources where alone we can “fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31), even against our will. We must pray for the profound grace of this second stage of softening and opening in the presence of suffering.
My personal opinion is that this is the very meaning of the phrase “deliver us from evil” in the Our Father (the Lord’s Prayer). We aren’t asking to avoid all suffering. It is more that we pray, “when the big trials come, God, hold onto me, and don’t let me turn bitter or blaming—an evil that leads to so many other evils. When I am led to the edge of my own resources may I fall into YOU, who are my true and lasting Source.”
Excerpted and adapted from “Opening the Door: Great Suffering and Great Love”
from “The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics See”
by Fr. Richard Rohr
Which leads me to tap:
I know that through out this day I am going to face trails and struggles…some will be created by the situation…while others will be created by my choices…some will be big and some will be small…the emotions I feel in these moments will be real…but I know that they will not all reflect the truth…I pray that I am able to recognize in every trail and struggle that I face…that I am able to see this as another moment of healing…I am not seeking out struggle for the sake of growth…but know that in these moments of struggle I will be given the opportunity to heal and grow…help me on this day not to give way to bitterness…hopelessness…and…disconnection from the love of God…give me vision to see God’s presents in all moments…help me to know that God’s love is not something I need to seek…but that it is full here…and I need to simply accept it…I know that struggle can make me jaded and bitter…preventing me form not only miss God’s love in this moment, but the next as well…struggle is not the enemy…bitterness is…I can make loving choices in the middle of struggle…it is hard for me to make loving choices in the midst of my own bitterness…help me not to dismiss struggle…but to see it for what it truly is
photo by Let Ideas Compete
Recently I have been working with a number first time clients. Many of them are very experienced with Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT/EvEFT) and have come to work with me because they are dealing with something that is much larger than the normal day to day issues they use tapping for.
Even when I receive detailed information before the session I like to start by asking them what they would like work on. As they share what is going on in their life there is often a whole list of emotions based on the single circumstance for which they are seeking guidance.
As they share the details of what is going on I quickly make notes. When they are done I will state back everything they have shared to make sure we are on the same page. “It sounds like you are struggling with…”
We know that tapping is most effective the more specific we are, but it can be difficult to be specific when there are so many emotions all at once. It is hard to tell where the frustration starts and anger ends.
In these cases I have started using something I call “Clearing The Deck”.
All of the emotions we feel are nothing more than information. These emotions are letting us know that something in our life is not congruent with our truth or that there is something we need to look out for. Many times the system continues to hold these emotions we beyond the usefulness of this signal.
The process of clearing the deck allows us to release these emotions to see our way clear to the deeper roots of what is going on. It allows the body to hold onto the excess emotion that many times we aren’t even aware we are carrying. The simple release of all this excess lightens our mood, relaxes the body, and helps us to see ourselves more clearly.
It is a great way to start session or a great way to end the day.
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Sometimes the hardest word to say is “no”. We want to be helpful. We want to give. We don’t want to be seen as selfish. We want to be asked again in the future. There are so many reasons to say “yes”. But there are also many good reasons to say “no”.
We have too much on our plate. We need to spend some time on ourselves. We are being asked to do something we can’t do. We are being asked to do something we just don’t want to do.
We need to be ok with saying “no” so we can say “yes” when the time is right. If you have a hard time saying no, here is a tapping patter that will help. If you have real trouble saying no, you might want to revisit this patter from time to time.
I have a very hard time saying “no”…I want to be helpful…I want the people in my life to know I care…I want to not be selfish…because I have so much…I want others to know that I have something to offer…I want to be there for others…I want to be asked again and I feel if I say “no” now I won’t be asked again…
I am allowed to say “no”…I can say “no” because I can’t do something… I can say “no” because I don’t want to do something… I can say “no” for no other reason than it is my choice…the only way I am going to be healthy is if I take care of myself…the only way I can take care of myself is by not always taking care of everyone else…by taking care of myself I can better care for important others in my life…I can say “no” even if people are thinking I am being selfish by saying “no”…it is much more important for me to take care of myself than it is to worry about what others think about me…when I say “no” I am also saying “yes” to many other possibilities and opportunities…therefore “no” is not a negative…it is a choice to allow the other…I give myself permission to make the choices that are best for me…”yes” or “no”…I give myself a chance to make the choices that are going to allow me to flourish and grow…I must take care of myself before I can take care of others…this doesn’t mean I ignore other’s needs…but I must also consider my needs when making choices…that is what is best for me…that is what is best for others…
I give myself permission to be easy with myself for all the times that I have said “yes” when I should have said “no”…there are times I have made my life harder because I’ve said “yes” when I should have said “no”…I‘ve said “yes” to things I could not do…I have said “yes” to things I shouldn’t have…I have made my life harder…I forgive myself for the times I should have said “no” but didn’t…it is ok that I have done this in the past…I choose to know I’ve learned from these moments…I choose to know I can make better choices in the future…I can change this pattern…and I will change this pattern…I will start by saying “no” to holding on to this regret…
I also let go the resentment I hold towards others who have taken advantage of my always saying “yes”…I am taking responsibility for my response….just because someone has asked doesn’t mean that I have to say “yes”…I take responsibility for the times I have said “yes” even when I didn’t want to…by taking responsibility for the times I have said “yes”, I am giving myself permission to take responsibilities for my choices in the future…by taking responsibility for my past…I get to have control over my future…I therefore let go of blame to others whom I have said “yes” to…I am now in control…I can and will make the choice that is right for me…be it “yes” or “no”.
Everyone in my life says that I am “way too sensitive” and it’s frustrating. I love the fact that I feel so deeply, but I don’t like everyone thinking I am overreacting. Is there something wrong with me?
There are lots of people in the world who are very aware of and in tune with their own emotions and the emotions of others. EFT Master Rue Hass describes this as having a “sensitive temperament”. People with sensitive temperaments feel very deeply their own emotions and the emotions of those in their lives.
There is nothing wrong with having a sensitive temperament, but it can be hard having a sensitive temperament because you can feel that your emotions are out of control and that others don’t understand what you are experiencing.
When I interviewed Rue for Pod #7 – Sensitive Temperaments she talked about how we can use EFT to feel more comfortable as a person who has a sensitive temperament.
During the interview she talked about ways in which we can use EFT in this process.
Below is a number of thoughts and resources that Rue (Intuitive Mentoring) provided me after the interview on how to understand sensitive temperaments and how to work with that point of view.
Blessings of Sensitive Temperaments
The essence of the sensitive temperament is the spirit of:
- Imagination (Flow, Movement, Flexibility, Growth, Change, and Expansion)
The intention of the person with a sensitive temperament is to foster:
- Profound awareness of sensations
- Loving goodness
- Mission to bring peace
- Deep sense of connection
- Vision of possibilities/Idealism
- High standards
- Intuitive, empathic, perceptive
- Sense of unity, oneness
- Deep sense of joy, beauty
- Love of nature
Struggles of Sensitive Temperaments
Common worries, struggles, and questions of people with sensitive temperaments are:
- What is wrong with me?
- Told I am too energetic, too smart, too talkative, too emotional
- I am not good enough
- I can’t express who I am
- Let me out , I’m trapped
- I am all alone, no one understands
- I have to tough it out and soldier on
- I have to save the world before I can tend to myself
- I have to make the world a better, safer place, so that I can be here
- Only death will bring me peace
- Compulsive helping, boundary issues
- Low self worth
- Fear, anger, shame, grief
- Chronic emotional/physical pain, illness
A profound tool that can be used with EvEFT is to reframe our point of view. A reframe is nothing more than looking at something in a new way. Some common ways to reframe the characteristics of people with sensitive temperaments are to:
- See Too Sensitive/Overwhelm as Profound awareness of sensations
- See Compulsive Helping as Mission to bring peace
- See Boundary Issues as Deep sense of connection
- See Perfectionism as Vision of possibilities
Tapping Phrases if You Have a Sensitive Temperament
Here are a number tapping phrases that sensitive temperaments can use as a jumping off point:
- Especially because I LOVE THAT I AM SO SENSITIVE…
- I CHOOSE to deepen and expand my sensitivity in even more powerful wonderful ways.
- I hunger for deep and meaningful relationships. I make creating and maintaining a good and satisfying relationship with myself my first priority.
- I have a mission of bringing peace into the world, I CHOOSE a mission of bringing peace into my own life. I deserve this!
- I CHOOSE TO STAND UP FOR MYSELF, and express who I am with love and a light heart.
- I CHOOSE to love and appreciate and honor this world-changing soul quality that I embody. The world needs what I have to offer. I am ready to be more!
I know EFT can be a very powerful tool to help with getting my emotions under control. My daughter was just diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum and I am just a ball of emotions. I don’t know where to start. What can I tap on?
Over the last few years I have been blessed to work with a number of special needs parents in my practice. Often the first time they approach me to have me do work with their children. I love that type of work, but in most cases I will insist that the parent first work on themselves for their own emotions.
It is very important that we are emotionally clear when we are going to help or support someone else in any setting. The more emotionally clear we are, the more present we are going to be to those we are serving.
I have created a list of truth-statements that I use to help parent focus on the areas that need the most attention.
The list is very easy to use. Read the statement out loud and see how true it rings. Not feeling true at all would rate a 0. Completely true would rate a 10. Go through the whole list writing your rating down for each statement. After you have done the whole list, start with the areas that ring the most true.
- This is never going to change
- I am always going to carry this burden
- If my child gets any better it is only going to be for a short time
- Things are only going to get worse
- I want a normal life
- This is my fault
- I did something wrong, and this is God’s way of punishing me
- I don’t deserve this burden
- I deserve a normal life
- I did something wrong to deserve this
- I am missing out on many things because of the special attention my child needs
- I never have time for myself
- I am constantly overwhelmed
- I think I am a bad parent
- There are things I could have done to prevent this
- I feel alone in this struggle
- No one really knows what I am going through
- I feel bad that I think my child is a burden
- I feel bad that I think my child’s condition is a burden
- I can’t be present to my spouse because I give so much attention to my child
- I don’t get any support from my family
- I don’t get any support from my friends
- My family thinks I am a bad parent
- My friends thinks I am a bad parent
- My child’s teacher thinks I am a bad parent
- My child’s principal thinks I am a bad parent
- My child’s school counselor thinks I am a bad parent
- The school system thinks I am a bad parent
- Strangers in public think I am a bad parent
- This is putting a strain on my relationship with my spouse
- This is going to end my marriage
- I am depriving my other children by giving the one so much attention
- My other children are missing out on the attention they need
- I can’t try any new treatments because I am going to get my hopes up, have it fail and be let down again.
- I am overwhelmed by all the treatment options
- I am not smart enough to understand what is going on in my child
- I am not smart enough to understand all the treatment options
- I am afraid I am going to make a poor choice about my child’s treatment options
[Note: Please note most of the articles at EFT Q & A are written from a very general point of view so they are accessible to the largest audience possible. This article is a little different. The topic came up while e-mailing back and forth with a Christian. The theology contained in the article about God’s unconditional love comes from my (limited) understanding of God. I offer it, like everything on this site, as a point of view that is mine and mine alone, not as dogma. If these phrases work for you, great! If they don’t, feel free to click away. They are offered as one more possible approach to healing.]
There are times when we feel like we have messed up to the point that not only have we let ourselves down, but we have also let God down. In these times I have found Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT/EvEFT) as a very helpful tool.
I understand God’s love to be unconditional. We don’t earn it, and we can’t lose it. The most difficult times in my own life are the times in which I choose to believe I’m not worthy of or I’m not willing to accept the love God offers.
When I have found it difficult to believe that God still loves me I tap on something like this:
Right now I am having a very hard time…I am struggling…but I choose to know that God loves me no matter what…His love is unconditional…There is nothing I can do to earn his love…Or lose his love…there are times like right now when I don’t believe I deserve God’s love…There are times when I beat myself up because I am letting God down…I choose to know that God wants nothing more than my healing to happen…God wants me to see myself with the same love that he has for me…I give myself permission to know God still loves me…I give myself permission to believe I deserve God’s love, even when I have a hard time loving myself…
[How to use these tapping phrases]
Sadness can be one of the hardest emotions to use Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT/EvEFT) for. It just doesn’t do it justice to tap on the phrase, “I feel sad.”1
Somehow the word sad doesn’t encompass all that goes along with our feelings because there are many different flavors of sadness.
When I am faced with sadness the first thing I do is tap on the sadness without any words. I close my eyes and simply let the sadness grow in my heart. I am not running from it. I am not running to it. I am just being present to the feeling of the sadness. I feel it and let it pass. The whole time I am just moving from tapping point to tapping point.
The reason we use words when we are tapping is to help us focus in on the issue. Sadness is such a physically visceral emotion that it is very easy to tune into without words. After I have spent a little time tapping without words I will tap on a patter like this:
Right now I feel so sad…sad is such an inadequate word for this emotion…this sadness is cutting me right to my core…as if a part of me is being wrenched out…or slowly burned from the inside out…this sadness is trying to teach me a lesson…it’s worried I am losing or have lost something that is very important…it is afraid I am never going to get it back…it’s afraid that I am going to be without and incomplete…whatever I feel I have lost I am thankful that I did have it in my life…even if it was not for as long as I wanted it…I choose to know I am whole and complete without anything else…I have simply forgotten how I am connected to everything…even when it is not present…I forgive myself for any weakness or failure I feel because I am feeling sad…sadness is natural…it is nothing more than my body’s way of telling me that I fear not being complete…or whole…I am glad there is a part of me that worries about this…I know this sadness will pass…now that I have recognized the lesson this sadness is trying to teach me I thank it and let it pass
[How to use these tapping phrases]
There are times when we know Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT/EvEFT), but we don’t know where to begin. We are either faced with so many issues our mind jumps from one issue to another, or we have so much going on that we can’t seem to get a grip on any one issue.
Almost every EFT/EvEFT resource instructs you to be as specific as possible. (This web site even does it in the basic introduction to EFT.) But sometimes this is just not possible, and then it is okay to deal with everything all at once just to make a little headway and to get some clarity.
The process is very simple. Tune into all the emotions at once as a giant constellation of emotions. Don’t worry about whether you can pull any particular piece off. Tap on a patter like this:
I know EFT is a very powerful tool…I believe it can help me…but right now I am having a very hard time…I can’t quite figure out what I need to tap on…I either can’t find one issue because there is so much…or there is so much that I just jump from issue to issue, never spending enough time on one issue to make a difference…I give myself permission to be easy with myself in this process…I give myself permission to know that I don’t need to do everything today…there is a part of all of this that is most important…I give myself permission to tune into my natural intuition to find the issues I need to be working on right now…I let all the other issues just pass away…like evaporating mist in the morning…I know I have lessons to learn from those issues as well…but I can deal with those another time…I let my natural resources of focus and intuition take me to and keep me on the issues I need to be working on…even if I never land on the issue I need to be working on…the fact that I have taken time to get a few deep breaths and to tap a little will serve me…I know by just taking this moment I am healing in a small way…even if I am not knocking out the issues I want to deal with.
[How to use these tapping phrases]
Often when we do change work we feel like the deeper we dig into an issue the worse it gets. It is almost as if we stir up issues that weren’t there before. This can be frustrating and overwhelming.
We might ask, “If all I do is make this worse, why am I bothering? It’s not worth it! I give up!”
Even though we feel like we are not making progress, in reality we are. It just appears we are backsliding. Here is an analogy I like to use with my clients.
I grew up in Wyoming (one of the western states of the USA). Wyoming is filled with wide-open spaces. There are places in the state where you can see for well over 100 miles. Because you have no point of reference — like man-made structures — it is difficult to know how far you are from something or how big it is. This can create some interesting misperceptions.
For example, you could believe that the mountain that you are looking at is just on the other side of this hill. Once you get to the top of the hill you realize that there are really seven more hills before you get to the mountain. Because you can’t tell how big the mountain is you have no real sense of how far away it is. As you gain a greater perspective of the landscape, you gain a better sense of where you are in relationship to the mountain.
Even though you are moving forward, it feels like the mountain has moved further away because your perception of the mountain’s location has changed.
The same thing can happen when we are working on emotional issues. As we do work on the emotional issue we realize how big it really is (often much bigger than we thought it was in the first place).
As we come to these insights we ARE healing. We ARE moving closer to our goal. We’ve gained a new perspective of the issue at hand. Still, we can feel frustrated at the illusion of having lost ground. Evolving Emotional Freedom Techniques (EvEFT/EFT) can take the edge off the feeling of backsliding to allow us to deal with the issues at hand.
Here is some tapping patter you could use with this issue:
It feels like I am backsliding…every time I do some tapping it feels like it is getting worse…I keep finding more issues than I fix…it is very frustrating…if it is going to be like this I want to quit…why do I want to make things worse…but I choose to know that I really am making progress…not only am I clearing out emotional issues…I am getting a better understanding of what I’m dealing with…this isn’t fun because I’m finding things I didn’t know were there…but by finding these things I now know the areas of my self and my life that can use healing…even though it feels like I am losing ground I know I am gaining ground…with each step forward…no matter how small…I am getting closer to where I want to be…the goal has not moved…it is in the same place…I just have a clearer vision of what that goal is…making it easier for me to get there
[How to use these tapping phrases]