By Steve Wells
“We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”
- T.S. Eliot
About 17 years ago, I was in a therapy session with Frank Farrelly, the creator of Provocative Therapy. I was agonising over an apparent double bind between family and career. I couldn’t work out how I could be successful in my career AND be there for my family. Either way I felt guilty, because I wasn’t doing enough. It was a real dilemma.
Right in the middle of my searching for answers, I turned to Frank questioningly about how I might resolve the dilemma. He looked me straight in the eye and said, “Why don’t you try a little self-acceptance?” It was as if he had hit me in the face with a wet fish, breaking my problem trance in an instant. “What does that have to do with anything?” was my internal question. Turns out it had everything to do with it…
I had been caught up in the complexity of trying to resolve the apparent either-or dilemma from within the double bind itself, perhaps coming up with a way of doing "enough", or doing "better", or finding the "right" amount of presence. Then along comes Frank crashing through my consciousness with something that seemed to be right out in left field. “Why don’t you try a little self-acceptance?” Now I realise his statement, which I have never forgotten, wasn’t out in left field at all, it was right over the home plate. Self-acceptance is where it’s at.
At that time, I never realised just how pervasive this underlying lack of self-acceptance was, nor how insidious its effects on my energy, performance, and enjoyment of life… Now that I have been freed of much of the weight and pressure of it I see it very clearly.
Back then I lived in a world where I was constantly wrong, beating myself up for what I should have been doing that I wasn't doing and for whatever I was doing or did to which was never good enough. I felt guilty when I was away from my family working and I also felt guilty at times when I was with my family. I never felt like I was doing a good enough job in either area.
Not long after this I found myself sitting in my office feeling frustrated at my lack of "right" action in my business and life. I started tapping and journalling and in a profound moment of realisation I understood that the problems I was upset about weren't the real problem at all, the real problem was my negative self-judgements about myself for having the problem! This was an even bigger problem which was in the background of all my other problems. I resolved then to tap for 30 days on this issue, on my lack of self-acceptance, and active self-rejection. That was to have a profound result.
I still remember back then when I started tapping catching myself in moments of non-acceptance (or active self-rejection) being surprised at how pervasive this was: For goodness sake, I even criticised myself for brushing my teeth wrong! I should have been brushing them for 2 minutes, I wasn't using the right brushing procedure, etc, etc. It was truly exhausting. And this wasn't even one of my real problems, this was just the constant negative mind-chatter that I was saluting emotionally dozens and dozens of times daily. I can't tell you the freedom I felt when I realised that I was not the problem: The problem was the problem.
Nothing I have written has provoked as much response as the 4-part series on Self-Acceptance which I wrote back then that detailed the incredible power that came from this way of using tapping on my own self-acceptance issues. If you haven’t read that series, you can read it here:
I hope you'll take the time to read or to revisit that article series now, many people have found following the same process I used to be positively transfomational.
There are so many different layers and levels to the self-acceptance dilemma, and I don’t have the space to focus on all of them here, so I just want to focus for a moment on one of the key components, and that is the unwillingness to be where we are, to start from where we are, being the person we are now right now (i.e. less than perfect), and to act from that point.
As long as we refuse to accept where we are, and who we are, we cannot come to the point of our power. The point of our power is right here right now, the point from which all future action derives, and from which our power to change things emanates.
I once read that you can go anywhere in the world you want to go as long as you are willing to start from where you are. But we don’t want to be where we are. We want to be somewhere else, the place we should be. And we don’t want to be who we are, we want to be the new improved version of ourselves.
But the only place you can really start from is the place where you are right now with the resources you have right now. And until you are willing to come to that place you cannot go from there to wherever you want to be. And while you are at it, you cannot be where you are and be someone else other than the person you are. Only that person can become what you may be. Starting from who you are and where you are and what you are. Now.
This is one area where yin-yang wording or stating both opposing sides of a dilemma (often used in the set-up statement as used in original EFT) can be valuable: Even though I shouldn’t be where I am, I am here…
Eckhart Tolle says it thus:
“Always say “yes” to the present moment. What could be more futile, more insane, than to create inner resistance to something that already is? What could be more insane than to oppose life itself, which is now and always now? Surrender to what is. Say “yes” to life – and see how life suddenly starts working for you rather than against you.”
When you experience that inner resistance, start tapping.
When you think that where you are is not good enough, start tapping.
When you think that WHO you are is not good enough, start tapping.
Until you come to where you are now, as you are now, no movement, no change is possible.
“Accept – then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it. Make it your friend and ally, not your enemy. This will miraculously transform your whole life.” (Eckhart Tolle)
The above, however, may take a LOT of tapping! We resist being where we are now, we judge where we are now, we think that if we accept where we are then we will become stuck. But the opposite is true.
So start tapping on the fact that you ARE here, in a place where, perhaps, you don’t even want to be. It may not be wonderful, but it is where you are. You may feel bad about it but it is where you are.
The key here is to bring the tapping – and your attention – into the NOW. On what you are doing NOW. On the feelings you are having in your body, and the thoughts you are having NOW. As you continue to tap, you just may start to come to terms with who and what and where you are. And the moment you accept where you are, then you can start to do something about changing…
Accepting what is here and who you are and where you are now is the starting point for all change. You cannot start from where you are not; you can only start from where you are. Now.
Experience the power of self-acceptance:
I've designed a 6-session live Self-Acceptance, Self-Love and Success online group coaching program to support you in using tapping and powerful energy intentions to release your negative beliefs and accept yourself. Earlybird discount still available until October 6th. Find out more here