This is a plea for paying more attention to the complexities of the healing process.
Recently I consulted a boy aged 10, who came with his mother and father. The boy was “not sleeping”. After a detailed assessment, and a session of teaching SET continual tapping for all, on review, two weeks later the problem had resolved completely. I was struck by the father’s phrase then that his son had “achieved his goal of sleeping”. As I gently pointed out to him that sleeping well was not really a goal, but a normal process (the ‘default’ position)—and that the sleep disturbance was the issue—I realized once again that personal problems are too easily medicalised or socialized (given labels or categories) when often they are a reflection of that person’s dealing with a life event, a transition in life, trouble in a social or work context, family tensions, or the clash of a particular personality with reality. This is termed the struggle between ‘what should be’ and ‘what is’! It is the cause of all stress and most problems in relationship. .
There are always good reasons for people to get ‘stuck’ in life and this happens regularly. We are not hypocrites. Nobody wakes up in the morning wanting to have troubles. But they exist, or life will provide some for you. I have faith in the process of working through such troubles with the help and support of others, with helping yourself, with a good therapeutic technique to facilitate matters, and sometimes luck, and the passage of time. We are the ones who have to deal with our own reactions .
Above all this process requires personal acceptance of what is. It cannot be achieved by willpower or a decision. .
In the boy’s case his parents had helped him by providing a safe environment for him to regain his confidence. He had several excellent reasons for not sleeping well but the main issue was his persistent worrying and highly sensitive nature. The continual SET tapping gave him some relief. He was able to feel more neutral about the issues generally. Then he got back into his normal balance. His parents were fascinated in the treatment session that I spoke frankly about all the difficulties and hurts the boy was facing, by way of helping him accept the ‘dark side’ of his life at that time. What they did not see initially was that doing this, with good rapport, was enormously relieving for their son. When you accept the negative you don’t have to agree with, or approve of it; it does, however, seem counter-intuitive that talking about it and focusing on it, while tapping, can help. Of course, tapping only ‘works’ on the negative so it’s best to find a way to have the problem come alive in the beginning, so that the healing process can really begin.
I often say to patients that if it were a matter of intellect, reason or logic they would not be sitting in front of me; in other words, if they could have solved their problem by thinking it through then it would have been solved. The feeling dimension is what ‘hurts’ and that cannot be simply sorted out by a decision of will or applying any technique. Humans have not changed inside for thousands of years and we all need what we need: to be heard, affirmed and validated. Suffering is necessary only to get our attention. It is what we do next that counts. This is often a relational effort—getting help. Sometimes this can lead to acceptance (and forgiveness), sometimes not. But the process is very necessary.
Steve Wells repeats the quote (from Mark Victor Hansen and Robert Allen) in his Values workshop that “a failure to live according to your values is a real failure”. It is very instructive to give your mind a job to do by sorting out your values and driving beliefs; this will help it fulfill its function as a faithful servant (thanks, Larry Nims), and bring more satisfaction and self-confidence on that intellectual level. But the modern push in the world of therapy to ‘achieve happiness’ seems bizarre to me. In the world of tapping there is a parallel false belief about personal success, where you are supposed to cure all your own problems by tapping and, ideally, to do it quickly.
Cheerfulness, contentment and happiness I regard as a birthright. Equally, our own negative thoughts and beliefs are our biggest block to just being who we are. We exist in a matrix of friends, family and community, like it or not. This is where the process of “walking the walk” (being authentic) takes place. This “being presence” (see Bob Adamson) is what you bring to the party when you help another, or help yourself.
And remember the tapping…
What do you think?
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