By Steve Wells
My Dad, Peter Henry Wells
On Christmas Day in 2005 my father had a heart attack and passed away. At the time I used tapping a huge amount to help me to deal with the shock and grief and to manage the emotional overwhelm of this life-changing event. At first, I had to use it on a black, heavy feeling which hung over me, a hopelessness that threatened to send me into a deep pit of depression and despair. Surprisingly, that feeling lifted quite quickly as a result of tapping, and I was spared the collapse which I'd feared was imminent. The second thing I used tapping on was an overwhelming sadness that came up over having to do the eulogy at my Dad's funeral.
As it was the holiday season, my Dad's funeral had to be delayed by about a week, which turned out to be a good thing for me, as it gave me plenty of time to tap on the emotional turmoil I felt over giving the eulogy. Every time I thought about what I wanted to say, I started to cry. As I'd been tapping for quite a few years at this point, I wasn't scared of experiencing or showing my emotions. I didn’t mind if others saw me cry. However, I did want to be able to say what I wanted to say, and pay tribute to my father’s life and achievements in a fitting manner. However, due to the intensity of the emotions that even thinking of doing the eulogy provoked in me, I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to do much more than stand there and blubber the whole time.
Each day, when I went for my morning walk, I thought through what I might say in the eulogy and instantly, my eyes would fill with tears. I tapped continually on the EFT/SET points while I walked down the street, sobbing away, tears streaming down my cheeks. In the main I was oblivious to anyone who may or may not be passing by, and remained focused on my own thoughts and feelings. I was well and truly “tuned in” to my sad, intense feelings the whole time and I simply tapped continuously on the points as I walked. For a few days that's all it was, tap, walk, and blubber.
Then one day, as I walked along tapping, I felt a massive amount of grief and sadness start to move through my body like a wave. As it passed through me some incredible memories and insights came into my mind, and I was hit with an intense rush of many different feelings simultaneously. Along with the grief and sadness, came joy, and pride, and wonder, even excitement.
The best I can describe it is, the best and the worst, together. I suddenly realized in that moment that my grief was a gift, and that as the tapping was helping the grief wave to move through my body, the emotional energy wave or whatever it was, was informing me, helping me to come to terms with who I was, where I was and where I had came from. As my mind moved easily through various memories from my life which were suddenly accessible to me again I had some incredible new insights into my father’s relationship to me, my role in our relationship, my father’s life, and our life together as father and son and members of a family. I began to see him and myself and us in a whole new light. In a way when I look back now I realize that I finally started to grow up in that moment. Incredible that it took my Dad’s passing to help me to do this.
As I walked and tapped, and in the same instant as this multiple emotional insight-filled mixture hit me all at once, I had another realization: I was going to be alright when I did the eulogy. I realized that if I allowed it to, and didn’t try to stop it, any grief wave that came would just pass through me like this one was doing. All I had to do was stay there and allow it to pass through, and then I could continue with my tribute. And that is exactly what happened.
Over the next few days of walking and tapping I put together a very fitting tribute to my father’s life. And when it came time to deliver that tribute I was able to do just as I had wished, and acknowledge my father’s wonderful life and contribution. I know he would have been proud of what I said and who I was while saying it. On the day I stood at the podium and faced the emotion and the situation that was, allowed it to wash over me and through me, and I was not afraid. I felt more than ever that my father was with me that day, and we were finally in accord.
Since that time I have had other similar experiences (almost all resulting from a period of tapping) which have taught me the true value of our negative emotions. In fact, I now believe this is one of the real meanings of emotional freedom. Not freedom from emotion, but freedom of emotion - freedom to be moved by emotion and to allow emotion to move through you and inform you - and not to have to try to prevent it from doing so.
Emotion might be seen in some ways as information we need to process in order to deal with situations that happen to us and containing what we need to allow us to move on in our lives. When the emotional energy wave moves through us and we process it successfully through our body-mind, we are informed and enlightened and empowered to deal with what is, our life and our understanding expands to incorporate these new learnings. When it gets stuck or we refuse to accept it, face it or deal with it, then our perspectives and awareness freeze too, and we are locked into an emotional energy loop, re-experiencing the negative emotions and unable to access any positive emotions, memories, or perspectives.
By refusing to go through the emotional doorway we consign ourselves to the level of being fearful of our own experiencing. The great power of wonderful Energy Techniques like tapping is that they can help to facilitate this emotional processing, and lead us to new levels of insight, growth, compassion, and peace.
Note from Steve Wells: I wrote the original version of this article 9 years ago for Gary Craig's EFT Newsletter. Since then I've become more convinced than ever that true emotional freedom is freedom of emotion and one of the greatest things that tapping offers us is to restore the flow of our energy and emotions. When emotion is allowed to flow, our minds and bodies can flow too. Movement is life and allowing life to move you is what it is all about.