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EFT Essentials

Using EFT For ...

When You Avoid Tapping

Dear Readers,

Rue Hass, EFT Master writes with a detailed article on the benefits of tapping when experiencing stressful, anxious, or angering events. She includes a case study of a client who had used EFT successfully but avoided doing it on her own time because she was “afraid to hear what she was saying to herself”

-Will M.

 By Rue Hass, M.A., EFT Master

Recently a client said to me, “Do I have to say things out loud while I am tapping on them?”

I started to explain that no, you can always do EFT silently, in your head, or even just tap without words on the feelings you feel, and it is still as effective.

But then I got to wondering why she was asking that.

We had been talking about her resistance to doing tapping on her own at home, and I realized that there was something niggling at my awareness about this. So I asked her to say more.

What made her want to avoid doing EFT “out loud?”

“Well, I don’t want to hear what I am saying,” she said with a sad, sheepish smile. “I am afraid to hear what I am saying to myself. I am afraid it will make me so sad I will go into depression again, or so angry that I will explode. Most of the time I feel like a hot volcano.”

I described a little bit about the limbic system in the brain. The job of the limbic system is to register stimuli from the environment that are out of our conscious awareness. If it becomes aware of something that was scary or an outrage for us in the past, the limbic system kicks into an emotional response.

The limbic system always links to memories of similar experiences in the past, along with the meaning that we coded them with: “When he looks at me that way and talks in that tone of voice it means that he thinks I am bad and worthless, and that makes me feel sad and mad.”

We think that keeping those thoughts locked up inside us is keeping us safe from hurt. But in reality, being unwilling to say them out loud or even let them into our conscious awareness generates a kind of drill sergeant barking terrible announcements into our inner mind, out of our conscious awareness: “You! You are worthless! You are a bad person! You can’t do anything right! Nobody cares about you!”

The sub-conscious mind, being the best possible faithful servant, takes its orders without protest, and immediately sets about creating conditions in the life that reflect the inner state of being. This is what it does, this is what its job is: to make the world and our experiences look and sound and feel the way we tell it that the world looks, sounds and feels to us.

I asked this woman to consider this thought: the overwhelming emotions that she feels when she hears those negative thoughts in her self talk, all the shame and fear and anger… could those emotions actually be a reaction from a part of herself against those thoughts?

Could this part, hearing that inner critical voice, be so angry or so sad because in fact it knows that those messages are NOT THE TRUTH about her? The anger and the sadness that we feel is our body’s way of letting us know that there is a terrible conflict going on inside.

Noticing these emotions, speaking that apparent criticism out loud, or writing these thoughts down, can bring them into the light of conscious awareness.

When we become consciously aware of the critical voices, instead of stuffing and stifling it, we can evaluate their truth. Now we can CHOOSE whether we want to keep them or not.

Stream of consciousness writing or speaking out loud (record it!) helps to make a pathway into the conscious mind, letting us eavesdrop on what we have been telling ourselves all these years. Julia Cameron’s very effective journaling technique in her book The Artist’s Way is a good way to do this.

Now you can take what you have written or spoken, and lift out phrase after phrase to tap on.

I told my client that speaking her inner thoughts out loud or even speaking them “out loud inside her head” as she tapped can be very effective. It is certainly more effective than not tapping because you can’t bear to know what you are thinking. That is like a sentence you are handing yourself to go on being sad and mad.

This woman had come in saying that she “probably shouldn’t be here today because I am SO MAD about what happened today I am about to explode!”

I responded, “No, this is a PERFECT time for you to be here! Good for you, to come in anyway!”

I invited her to speak or whisper (or shout!) some of the things that had gone on in her mind that day.

At first she was reluctant, afraid she would be overwhelmed by her feelings. But as she got going, the emotions began to flow. We tapped and tapped.

I periodically reassured her that she wasn’t doing this wrong, saying “You can’t do this wrong, just keep tapping and talking, saying what comes to you. Let one thought lead naturally to the next.

We don’t necessarily need to stop to do the set-up phrases when there is a lot of emotion and intuitive flow happening. The important thing is to let those thoughts out, so that you hear them consciously. Now you can defuse them with the tapping.

I am afraid to say what I think
I am afraid to know what I think about myself
I don’t want to know
I am afraid I will lose control
This hot volcano on my tongue
This pressure in my chest
When she said that I felt like a victim
I felt powerless
I felt left out
These tears
I hate to cry!
I never cry!
I am always very in control!!
They will never know how much they hurt me!

After a time she said, “Well, I guess this wasn’t really such a big deal. She probably didn’t mean what I thought she meant when she said those things to me. I feel a lot better now.”

Now was a good time to consider going back to those parts of her that were sad and mad, and asking them what they really wanted her to know about herself.

She could ask, “If my sadness had a voice, what would it be saying?”

She began to think, “I am sad, and I am angry too, because some part of me deep down inside knows I deserve to be praised, not criticized. I know I need to start by praising myself. What I think about me is more important than anything!”

She might tap something like this:

Even though I don’t want to hear what I am saying, I accept myself anyway. I am doing the best I can.

Even though I was afraid to hear what I am saying to myself, I want to accept myself, and I wonder if there is another, deeper way to think about this.

Even though all that happened back then, and I still get echoes of it now, I accept myself anyway, and I am willing to consider finding my true voice.

This old anger and sadness, letting it go now…
This self criticism, letting it go now…
I can’t let it go — it has shaped who I am!
It is all I know!
But that old identity is smothering me, squashing me, choking me.
It has kept me from standing up for myself
It has kept me from feeling grounded in my body
It has kept me from knowing what I want!
I was making decisions to make other people happy.
But I am no longer powerless, I have choice now.
I can remember what it feels like to be the child full of life, energy, strength, strong opinions and excitement.
That is who I really am!
It is OK to be me. It is really OK to be me!
It is not only OK, it is a miracle and a blessing to be me!

Now, her inner mind can begin to create conditions in her life that reflect this new inner state of being.

As we noted above, the job of our inner minds is to make the world and our experiences look and sound and feel the way we tell it that the world looks, sounds and feels to us. EFT can help us it do this, with wonderful results!

by Rue Hass, M.A.www.IntuitiveMentoring.com