Louise Hay, one of the original self-help pioneers just passed away, aged 90. Even though I knew of her bestselling books such as You Can Heal Your Life, I didn’t really know much about Louise or her background. Today, however, I found out a powerful piece of her biography courtesy of a video tribute by my friend Jessica Ortner, bestselling author of Tapping World Summit fame.
Through Jessica, I found out Louise Hay was teaching the power of self-love and forgiveness to people with HIV / AIDS way back in the very early days when the world was shunning people who had this, when everyone thought not only that what they had was dangerous but that THEY were dangerous.
Wow. That takes courage, to go against the tide of society’s ignorance and focus on helping the person behind the diagnosis. To help people who were suffering rejection from others who ended up rejecting themselves because of that to be free.
In Jessica’s beautiful words today, in honour of Louise’s passing:
“Louise Hay taught the power to love, and the courage to love: the courage to love people that are different to ourselves, the courage to love those who are having a hard time, and the courage, most importantly, to love ourselves, even when we’re struggling.”
How hard is it to love and accept yourself when you are struggling? It’s damn difficult, actually!
In fact, the FIRST thing we often do when we have a problem is to look for someone to blame and that person is usually ourselves. I’m not talking about taking responsibility here, I’m talking about assigning blame. Those two things are not the same. Because taking responsibility (for change anyway) can lead to power whereas assigning blame inevitably leads to punishment.
And that’s what comes next.
So we beat ourselves up for what we are not doing that we should be doing, for what we shouldn’t be doing that we are doing, and for what we shouldn’t have done that we did to.
The self-blame, self-criticism, self-hatred, self-punishment then leads only in one direction: Draining you of the very thing that you need in order to be able to change things: Your precious life energy and personal power.
In fact, I’ve found that anger at yourself and blaming yourself for having a problem are like putting a lid on the problem that actually makes it harder to change. This is why this should be the FIRST thing you tap on. The good news is that often a bit of tapping on that can really lift the lid and allow you to get results on the original issue.
Often times when working with clients who have been stuck and unable to change, I’ve noticed that the single shift to having them tap first on the self-blame rapidly starts to move things in a positive direction.
This is borne out by research with addictions where the guilt over having binged is actually part of the addictive cycle. It keeps it going. You feel bad so you take some substance to make yourself feel better, then you feel bad over having done that, which leads you to again seek relief … and so on and on in a negative spiral.
Even when you introduce tapping to this scenario if all you do is tap on your negative behaviours or bad feelings but don’t apply it to your non-acceptance of self for having those problems or engaging in those behaviours then you probably won’t get where you want to go.
This is why, when we ran our food cravings groups, we had the participants tapping on their guilt and self-disgust and self-hatred and shame after they binged, and we found that when they were able to binge and feel ok about it, without having to get down on themselves, then things really started to shift and they were able to make the changes they desired.
So here’s something to take away from this: If you have a problem which you haven’t been able to shift, try tapping on your anger at yourself for having the problem, then see what happens. Often-times after a bit of this kind of tapping you’ll then be able to get some leverage on the original issue.
This, however, is just the first step. The reality is that if you really want to change your life you need to look at what is driving you into these negative cycles in the first place. And that is a deep-seated sense of being “not enough”: Not good enough, not rich enough, not skinny enough, not attractive enough, not whatever enough. Not enough of whatever you need to be to be acceptable. Or loved.
Ok, I said it: For most of us, the source of our greatest pain comes from the pain of not being accepted and loved. Not by others, although that may be where we learned it. By ourselves.
And working on that will take courage because it requires you to look at parts of yourself that you don’t really like. That society, your parents, your teachers taught you are wrong. And love them anyway.
Are you up for the challenge?
Self-Love, Self-Acceptance & Success
Online Live Coaching Program with Steve Wells, commencing in October
Use tapping and intention to release the resistance to loving ALL of yourself, and experience the joy and energy and freedom that brings.