Dave offered himself as a tapping volunteer for the weekly EFT Circle teleclass. He began with a belief that is probably familiar to all of us: "EFT doesn’t work for me." Dave acknowledged that he had been able to help lots of other people, but was help-less when it came to "fixing" himself.
This is what he had written to me before the class:
I have only been practicing as a recent EFT-ADV for a few weeks, but to my wonder and immense gratification have had a dozen or so clients all of whom have had dramatic, lasting results. 30 years of clinical depression lifted; 3+ year chronic sides-of-the-head pain to zero in one round, etc.
Then there’s me. Using the very same protocols, procedures, “detective work”, etc., I am FAR from a one-minute wonder. It is not just disappointing, it is frustrating. DRAT! Why doesn’t it work for me? It sometimes makes me wonder “what’s wrong with me”? and I get discouraged. Even though I know that the driving issues for problems I want to ease are subconscious, and that my conscious flashlight won’t penetrate the basement door of the unconscious, so is everyone else’s, yet THEY get results.
I understand from Rue and other EFT practitioners that I’m not alone with this phenomenon—it is pretty typical. But still it’s frustrating.
A particular issue I’ve tried to “connect” on (with zero results) centers on my eyes closing to a mere slit on occasion, and going “blurry”. Yesterday the blurriness lasted 10 or 15 minutes after my eyes returned to normal open, and it frightened me. I had thoughts of losing my sight.
When the squinting occurs I try to notice what was going on just before, and I have “looked” hard during the squinting for associations, reminders, etc. It surely seems like there must be something I don’t want to see – perhaps (symbolically) something I don’t want to acknowledge, but aside from the fact that it typically (but not always) occurs while reading something on the computer monitor, I have found no common threads, and I can’t think of anything that the problem reminds me of. At least nothing comes up. So I am frustrated and a little scared. I’ve tapped on the frustration and the fright. Nothing.
My self-talk on it gravitates to my being hopelessly broken (I know how pathetic
that sounds, but emotions are that way sometimes; I’m confident that my subconscious could care less about logic or how things sound "out there").
That must be part of why I’m practicing EFT now, but in the perverse way of, um, well I don’t have to feel guilty because I AM fixing some things for/with other people in pain. Or at least facilitating some fixing.
In response to my questions, Dave said that he had not had his vision tested, but his vision was generally clear except, interestingly, when he was reading something, "especially about EFT issues."
This was an interesting situation for me as a practitioner. All we had to work with was Dave’s belief, and this symptom that appeared to have no explanation. There were clues though.
I actually like exploring uncharted territory like this, where I am kind of feeling my way through the dark, using all my senses to pick up clues about the direction to take. A good EFT practitioner is like the Polynesian sailors who guided their boats across vast oceans by paying attention to the stars, the smell of the wind, and the feel of the waves through the thin skin of the canoe on their own naked sensitive skin, alive to changes in the currents.
I always trust the inner mind of the person I am working with to be in a creative partnership with me. It is always offering clues. It doesn’t usually come right out and tell the whole story, though. It is a treasure hunt! We put the story together as we go, paying attention to body responses, feelings that take us by surprise, metaphorical images. We are literally creating new neural pathways, connecting information in new ways.
Dave and I started tapping like this (tap along and borrow benefits for your own issues):
Even though I have this issue with my eyes, they close and my vision blurs when I am reading EFT material, and I don’t know why that is, I love and accept my eyes anyway, and I am open to learning more.
Even though I can’t seem to solve this problem with my eyes by myself, and that makes me think I must be broken… what’s wrong with me? I am an EFT practitioner, why would people come to me if I can’t fix myself? (Dave laughs ) I accept that I have this issue with my eyes. I also accept that there might be a message for me here…. I am open to learning more.
Even though my eyes close…I think they are trying to keep me from seeing something—maybe it means that a part of me trying to protect me from something, (I insert here that I am making that up, it just came to me so I said it—is it true for him, I ask?). I am grateful, I accept that there must be a part of me feeling and thinking this way, somehow operating my eyes, and I honor myself for how hard this is. I want to be able to see more deeply into this.
Tapping through the points now:
Some part of me protecting me
Some part of me keeping my eyes from reading something that might change me
I can hear his sharp intake of breath here. This indicates to me that this is a new idea and it opened something in him. I say to Dave that this just came to me—feel free to change, delete, embroider anything that I say. The magic of EFT is not in my words, it is in his own responses, I remind him. We continue tapping:
Am I resisting change?
I think change is good for other people (he laughs)
There are parts of me that want me to change
There must be a part that doesn’t want me to change
I wonder if it is trying to keep me safe from something it thinks will harm me
I really appreciate this part trying to keep me safe, and I wonder if there are other more effective ways of feeling safe
There must be something I don’t want to see about myself, my life
I honor my eyes for bringing this to my attention
I have a pretty good intuition, and a really smart unconscious mind
There is something it really wants me to know. It’s got my attention now
We had been tapping through all the points with all those phrases. Here I suggested that we stop and do the 9 Gamut procedure, which I like to call the Brain Balancer. It actually does balance the right and left hemispheres of the brain. All that tapping and eye rolling accesses and balances the different ways that the brain processes information. In Dave’s case, which involved the eyes anyway, I particularly wanted to bring balance to his inner vision. We don’t really know what is happening here, but metaphorically it feels to me like we are creating a pathway from the unconscious mind to the conscious mind, in a way that opens to new understanding, and brings the possibility of new choices.
As we tapped on the 9 Gamut point I spoke about these eye accessing cues, suggesting that what we were doing was sending a message inside to all the parts of him, all the ways he processes information, sending message about feeling safe now…. you are telling all these different parts of your being that it’s OK now to flow here, it is OK to invite an expansiveness in all the ways you process information….even though there is something I don’t want to see…. and maybe that’s been more true in the past than it is now, maybe this is an old strategy I don’t have to hold onto anymore….
I am open to changing and being safe at the same time.
I hear Dave take another deep breath.
I ask him to test how true it felt to say now: I must be broken. He sounds surprised to say it was only a 4. "I’m wide eyed, I have a feeling of safety inside."
"How do you experience ‘feeling safe’ in your body?" I asked. He responded: "I am all relaxed, my eyes are not tense. I want to hug myself! All the ‘touch’ places on my body—lips, finger-tips, bottoms of my feet—are buzzing. My breathing is quiet."
I asked him what was keeping the remaining bits of the "I must be broken" belief in place still?
Dave says, "There is a mystery black hole there. I can’t enter it."
Even though there is pain that I am being protected from seeing, and it somehow connects with the EFT work I do for other people….somehow this pain helps me to help other people, and I wonder if there is a connection between helping other people and not being able to help myself.
Remembering what Dave had said about guilt in his email, I asked if "guilt" was a theme in his family, and got an instant and overwhelming "Oh yes!"
Some part of me resonated with the thought of releasing guilt
I want that for myself
I don’t know what I feel guilty for
Maybe I don’t have to feel guilty?
Maybe it’s not even my guilt (that was a new thought for him)
Maybe there is some connection here with my ancestral family spirit
On behalf of myself and all ancestors I acknowledge that everything that led to this guilt…all that is in the past, and it is over now
All those things in my life I was told I should feel guilty about, may be sentiments that came from somewhere else
What if it isn’t about me, and I misunderstood? (new idea )
"’Shame on you David Charles!’" he suddenly exclaimed loudly.
"My mother told me that all the time ‘You should be ashamed of yourself!’"
She made me feel like I was such a shameful person
She made me feel like there was something wrong with me
(I sense him making this new connection, so I continue in this vein)
I was just a kid, just being myself, and she made me feel ashamed of myself for being me
It wasn’t about me and I didn’t know that, but I see that now
I see that it wasn’t about me
My eyes are open to that now
She was speaking from her own misinformation. This is how she was raised. She even thought she was being loving by saying that—because she was raised that way
But I have the opportunity to see things differently
I have the opportunity to open my eyes to an expanded vision of what is possible for me, an expanded vision of myself
Suddenly, Dave gets what he calls "a big chill of shame."
"I hear my mother saying ‘Oh you can’t do that for yourself!’" he says.
Even though she told me you can’t do that for yourself, I love and accept myself anyway. She was saying it with my best interests at heart, and she didn’t know it was dysfunctional to say that.
I am willing to open to the possibility that she she was wrong—I can do that for myself. I can expand my vision of myself.
Dave is surprised by this thought, and finds himself in tears.
"If your tears had a voice," I ask him, "what would they be saying?"
He says, "’The tears are saying, ‘You are OK, and you can still love your mom.’ I wanted to be an obedient son. I wanted her to love me, so I had to be and do what she said. I was not allowed to love and accept myself the way I am. I think now I can be me and still love my mom. I couldn’t see that before!"
I can love myself and love my mom same time
As child I needed to obey her—my survival depended on that
Now my survival depends on my being obedient to my own deeper truth, my love for myself
I can be obedient to something deeper in me
I deeply and completely love and accept my self!
We tap through all the points saying I deeply and completely love and accept my self!
I ask Dave to say again: "I must be broken." How true was it now?
"It is a 1, or a 0. I’m not broken, but my mom was. I was first squinting my eyes when I said that. Now my eyes are watery, but fine. And all those places that are sensitive to touch—they are all calm and ready to be joyous!"
I want to put his statement "My mom was broken" into a healing perspective. I suggest that each of us on the call either tap on a favorite point, or hold the TAT pose (Tapas Acupressure Technique, another energy psychology modality), while I say something like the following as a kind of meditation:
….On behalf of myself and all my ancestors…particularly the mother whom I love, in spite of herself… I am now sending the healing thought of opening to joy back/around/and through time……letting that thought ripple through my entire ancestral lineage…
You can flow this awareness now, Dave, from you to your mother… letting her know in some deep way in herself, what you are opening to… you are OK, you can still love your mom and be OK, and follow your own deeper truth…you can be obedient in a joyful opening flowing willing kind of way and still love the people that taught you some things that you no longer think about or see in the same way….
Invite your ancestors, in this flow, to open to the parts in themselves that have no fears, that are in touch with their bodies and hearts and longings and yearnings and their deepest joy…. Show them the picture of you in your wedding to Lucy (Dave had mentioned this picture as a powerful resource for him)…the strength and happiness and love…. Invite and direct them to become aware of those qualities in themselves…. so that your heritage is joy.
Let this love flow through all the aspects of your ancestral spirit, replacing shame with joy, expanding the space inside to be a container for joy….so that your family’s thread in the tapestry of human history is radiant, inspiring, and guilt-free….
You are all healers in some way, and it has come to you, Dave, in your family lineage, to be the awakener to the beauty and all the potential that your ancestors have to offer…. and to use it, and to be a "fixer" by inviting other people into that holding space that you create….you understand what it means to be safe….you have that now….this is the beauty of your ancestral lineage, especially now that it is freed from shame.
Be the beauty that you are. You weren’t ever broken. You can see that now. What you see now is yourself.
Dave responded: "I see a whole person now. I didn’t know there were parts left out before. I feel all assembled now, together. I’m looking right now at a picture of my mom when she was 19. I see her teeth-clenching determination. I had thought it was anger. Now what comes out of this image of her is compassion. I can see under that expression what she was trying to do. She was trying to teach me to be obedient to what she thought were the rules. She looks full of love and hope to me now. Now I can see the good intentions that were distorted in her behavior, and in mine."
As Dave said later: Here’s to opening for joy!!
With my love and blessings –