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The things we get passed, but not over

A dear FB friend noticed I hadn’t been posting much on social media, (always nice to be missed), and wondered if everything was copacetic. Indeed it is, and let me allay any other fears out there – I am doing quite well.

Starting last September I became involved in some very intense advocacy work, which has since resolved, and it pushed everything else to the back burner – writing, blogging, and yes, I’m ashamed to admit, self-care. When tests revealed my stomach condition had not improved since last time, I gave my head a shake and resolved to find a way back. A series of dreams encouraged me and I made self-care, especially time for meditation, a priority. And I rediscovered EFT.

Emotional Freedom Technique involves tapping on various meridian lines at the brow line, the temple, under the eye, under the nose, on the chin, the collarbone, under the arms and on the head. It is a way of revisiting past unresolved trauma, honestly acknowledging our emotions, and releasing them. I used it in the past, but never really felt it did me any good. But a few months ago, when I was looking around for ways to manage my stress, EFT kept popping up everywhere I turned. What could it hurt to try it again?

I used it every day except Sunday since I figured that is a day filled with so much grace EFT would just be redundant. :-) I started tapping on small things – I’m nervous about this appointment coming up, I’m angry over this situation, I’m upset over that driver who cut me off and must have got his license out of a box of CrakerJacks! And it felt good to release these emotions instead of letting them fester.

But soon, old memories started to surface, things I thought I’d dealt with, grown out of, whatever. Someone said there are things in life you might get passed but you don’t get over. All that unaddressed baggage ended up back on my doorstep and I knew the choice was deal with it, or stay sick.

OK. The Big Stuff then. Things I said and did to others. Things said and done to me. Deeper and deeper inside. Get it all out. Lance the poison.

One day, I decided to tap on the bullying that followed me for years in elementary and highschool from teachers and classmates alike. To begin an EFT session, you say a set-up statement three times while tapping on the side of your hand. That day, I said something like, “Even though I’m still hurt and angry over the abuse I suffered in school, I deeply and completely accept myself.” That last bit, the “deeply and completely” part, is said in every set-up statement. You voice the problem, and then affirm your self-acceptance. Next I moved on to tap on the meridians.

Within seconds, and to my astonishment, great heaving sobs were wrenching from my throat. The memories came in a torrent – the teachers who terrorized me, the boys who punched me nearly every day. One memory in particular – one of my more frequent tormentors bet me he could pull out a hair and I wouldn’t even feel it. Uh, no thanks. No, really, you won’t even feel it. Painless, huh? Trust me. He gently took a strand of my hair between his forefinger and thumb, then brought his other fist crashing down on my head as he yanked it out.

Son of a bitch was right. I never felt the hair leave my scalp.

I laughed afterwards. Because I was a good sport, you see? I was a good sport. Which put my own name on the list of people I hated.

I roared out my indignation, my hatred, my self-disgust, my confusion. What did I ever do to you? How did I end up a target for your violence for so long? Why could I never tell anyone what was happening? I let it all out using words a lot of people would be surprised I even know. Nothing, NOTHING went unsaid. I called them names and cursed them. “Take a good look you bastards! This is the last time you’ll see me cry over the likes of you!” I wept and swore until I was done, (and tapping the whole time, mind you!)

Then I felt it. The Shift. I heard myself say, “How broken did you have to be to treat me like that?” I’d crossed over to a place where there was a little room between me and the storm of grief I’d just experienced. I caught my breath and told them I had carried them long enough and for the sake of my physical and emotional health I was ready to let them go. I made it clear that in no way did my forgiveness condone one particle of their actions. But I needed to free myself from their burden and this was the only way I knew. I cancelled the debt of each one in turn, wished them well (I have a little prayer for that) and then told them this is as far as you go with me. I’m going on into my future without you.

These memories (and others like them), that I used to quickly push away out of my consciousness, I can look at now without pain. They can’t hurt me any more. And it’s so good to be free of the chains of yesterday. I’m not using EFT as much now that some of the Big Stuff has been dealt with, and when I do it’s sometimes to acknowledge elation or positive emotions. And daily, well, six days a week, I check in with myself to see if there’s anything I need to tap on to make sure nothing’s building up.

If you’re interested in trying EFT, there’s lots of web sites and videos to get you started. And if you’re not, no problem. You’ll know if and when you’re ready.

My wish for you and everyone – peace.

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5 Comments

  1. Joan Jolin
    Posted June 3, 2017 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

    Thank you Penny-Anne for this blog on EFT. My massage therapist/aromatherapist believes very much in this as does Susan Meretsky who offered to work on me – over the telephone! I’ve tried it, but largely ignored it. Your blog will be before me if/when I feel the need to use EFT again. I think what I admire most about you Penny-Anne is your incredible honesty. Love, Joannie

    • Penny-Anne
      Posted June 4, 2017 at 12:06 am | Permalink

      Thanks, Joannie. I realize EFT is not for everyone, and there are other techniques that work just as well. But I do believe we are all guided to whatever is for our deepest healing and highest good. It’s all good, my dear! :-)

  2. Valerie Hess
    Posted June 4, 2017 at 3:20 am | Permalink

    Powerful! I had never heard of this. I plan to investigate it more. Thanks for sharing.

    • Penny-Anne
      Posted June 22, 2017 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

      My pleasure, Valerie. You may find it useful.

  3. Karen Rockwell
    Posted July 1, 2017 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    I love it! I’ve learned EFT and also don’t practice it enough. I’m sorry for what you went through Penny-Anne! Bullying can leave such scars ?. So glad you found your way through. You are such an amazing person, an inspiration to many . Love you, dear sister, karen

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