By Christina Artuphel
I recently worked with a single mum. Susan works hard and has little money, and three kids. She was frustrated at not being able to save enough money, which made her feel sad and embarrassed. She also felt sad and embarrassed when spending money on things for herself.
I asked her how that had showed up most recently in her daily life. She gave the example of when she had bought a bottle of wine for a good dinner Friday night.
The event was “feeling bad about buying a good bottle of wine” and her SUD level was 8.
The significant aspects of the event were:
- Ashamed (emotional) SUD 8
- Embarrassed (emotional) SUD 8
- Guilty (emotional) with SUD 7 that gave her a heavy feeling in solar plexus (somatic) SUD 6
We started with quick heart coherence, scanning the body for tightness, and letting anything come to mind that needed to.
We then did the Basic Recipe, tapping on:
Even though I feel guilt as a heavy feeling in my solar plexus because I bought that bottle of wine, I deeply and completely accept myself anyway.
Even though I feel ashamed spending money on something I like but is a luxury, I deeply and completely accept those feelings and myself.
Even though I get embarrassed spending money on luxury for myself, when I don’t even have a good saving, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.
We used these Reminder Phrases:
I feel so guilty buying that bottle of wine
Like a heavy feeling in my solar plexus
I shouldn’t spend that money
It is a luxury I cannot afford
I feel embarrassed spending that money
I can’t even save enough
I feel so guilty
After three rounds, Susan felt a cognitive shift. The heavy feeling in the solar plexus went to SUD 2, but was replaced by a feeling of nausea (somatic, SUD 7) as she remembered that her mum had used her savings on keeping up her alcoholic habits–a big embarrassment over her mum, as everybody knew they had no money and still the mother drank. She also felt judged by people, which made her feel angry (emotional, SUD 8). The feeling of being ashamed had gone down to a SUD 3.
We then proceeded with the Full Basic Recipe with the 9 gamut, tapping on:
Even though I feel nauseous when I think about my mother spending our money on alcohol instead of food and clothes, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.
Even though I was embarrassed because people knew we had no money, and my mother drank, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.
Even though I felt angry when I could see how people were judging us, I deeply and completely love and accept myself and how I feel.
And the reminder phrases:
I feel nauseous
I don’t like people to feel sorry for me
And embarrassed, when judged by people
No one understands
My mother was drinking
I feel nauseous
And we did not have much money
Who are they to judge?
I don’t like when people judge
Are they perfect perhaps
It makes me angry
They have no idea
Who are they to judge?
No one understands
They don’t understand
How dare they?
After four rounds, Susan had another cognitive shift:
She told me that the anger, nausea, and embarrassment had gone but given way to a deep sadness (emotional, SUD 8) and a sense of loss that was stuck in her chest (emotional and somatic, SUD 9). She said her mother’s life was so pathetic; it was such a sad waste of life. She had died way too young. She had wanted so much more for her children, she had had so many dreams about a perfect life. She felt so sorry for her, for her mother’s loss, and for her own loss of childhood.
We used the Basic Recipe and the unfinished conversation technique, making sure to stop, pause, and breathe between rounds.
Even though I feel so sad about how pathetic my mother’s life was, I deeply and completely accept myself and my feelings about this.
Even though I feel a big loss, and it is stuck in my chest, for the childhood I never had, I deeply and completely love and accept myself, and I have compassion for how I feel.
Even though I feel so sorry for my mother for not living the life she had hoped, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.
I feel this loss stuck in my chest
So much not said
Such a loss
It is so sad
such a loss
She did not deserve that
I miss her so much
We did not deserve that
It is stuck in my chest
I wish I had been able to talk more to her
All the things I did not tell her
Such a loss
She died with so many dreams
For her and for us children
She wanted so much for me, for us children
After three rounds, I decided to use unfinished conversations, and let Susan “go back” to the last time she saw her mother. She cried and hugged her, told her she was so sorry for all the things they never got to talk about, that she loved her so much regardless of everything. That she would not change a thing because it was what made her who she is today. She forgave her mother for everything. She told her that she knew she had done the best she could.
Susan’s mother then said she was so proud of her, that she knew she had screwed up a lot of things, and that she had so many regrets, but also that she had come to accept that, – that that was her journey, and maybe she would get another chance in another life. That she loved Susan so very much and wanted her to always follow her dreams, follow her heart, and always be good to herself. She said it meant so much for her to be forgiven. She thanked Susan for all she had told her, and they hugged for a while before saying goodbye.
After this, Susan told me that her feelings of sadness and the loss that before felt trapped in her chest had disappeared.
She no longer felt sorry for her mum, she had a new acceptance of the life she had. She said that she felt she could always go back to talk to her mum, that she felt her presence and also now a new determination to make sure to follow her dreams, listen to her body and look after herself. She will always miss her mother, but she feels that she owes herself a better life than her mother had; she owes herself to follow her dreams and to never give up.
We did a few more rounds on more positive statements to make sure that her new acceptance and determination would “settle in her body.”
Even though I will always miss my mother deeply, I now have an acceptance and better understanding, and I deeply and completely love and accept myself
Even though I did not have the childhood I wanted, I accept what I went through, and I am grateful for all I have learned and who I have become. And I deeply and completely love and accept myself.
Even though my mother did not have the life she wanted, and did not give us what she had hoped for, I now accept and feel an inner peace about it. It is what it is, and I deeply love and accept myself.
I now release the sadness I am proud to be who I am
And the loss I accept all I had to go through
To give place for acceptance I understand this is my journey
I am grateful to have had my mother And my mother’s journey is not mine
I am grateful for what she taught me I have my own journey
About life I decide what I do with my life
About dreams I can choose to follow my dreams
And I promise to be good to me I can choose to be good to me
After three rounds, the SUD levels had dropped to 2-3. Susan was amazed by the difference in how she felt.
When we checked back on Susan’s presenting issue, her SUD levels were down to 1. She felt a determination to be better at saving, and she would permit herself to buy a good wine for a good meal now and again–without feeling guilty. Because she deserves it.
She still had SUD 2-3 on sadness at the loss of her mother but felt she would be able to use the “unfinished conversation” and go back to talk to her when needed.
We ended the session with a quick heart coherence–just to relax and feel good in her body, to allow herself to feel grateful for her life.
Final Cognitive Shifts: Susan felt excited to feel appreciation for what she had, and also felt relaxed, as the acceptance of it all had taken over from those heavy and dark feelings.
I have since talked to Susan. She is using tapping now and again, when she feels overwhelmed by daily problems but finds it hard to find the time sometimes. She has also used the unfinished conversation a couple of times. She said it gives her a sense of peace to “talk” to her mother that way.