Peaceful Parts with EFT

Peaceful Parts with EFT

November 2010

 

It’s Saturday morning and my husband, Andrew, and me have been having a fascinating conversation. I wish I’d recorded it because I don’t think I can remember it all…. But let me try to remember the most important points.

 
First, some important background…
 

I am an EFT Practitioner and Trainer. Together with my awesome partner, Laurie, run The EFT Academy of Southern Africa.  We’ve had an incredibly busy year setting up this new business. I took on the role of ‘technology person’ and developed the website, did the accounting and payments and managed bookings amongst others – my background as a computer programmer really came in handy. We both worked ourselves to a standstill and realised things will have to be different in future – this is not sustainable.

 

About a month ago, I decided to take off 4 weeks over the December period, from 10 December to 10 January. There are a few projects I didn’t get a chance for during the busy working year. I planned to get them done over December. There’s a web project I wanted to work on from 1 to 15 December, that is now already out of the question. At the time I put this intention into my diary, I thought that clients would start to drop off in December, where in fact the opposite has happened. That project now already has to move out 10 days. We’re also going to visit my parents for 10 days over Christmas.

 

Also, in the beginning of the year, my life coach Berdine and I did a review of 2009. Through a series of useful questions, I realised that the whole of 2009 centred around pleasing other people. We each chose a new theme for 2010, so that we now had an underlying ‘learning’ for every action and interaction during 2010. My intention turned out to be that at the end of 2010, I would be “a person who is clear on my boundaries, wants and needs, and who can ask for it”.

Whose needs to meet?

 

Going back into my own history, that’s not what normally happens! The usual is that I make a decision about something I want or need. Someone else might come with a request that pushes against my need …. and time and time again, I would negate my own need and accommodate the other person’s PERCEIVED bigger need. There’s a part of me that believes that other people’s needs are very important, and in the light of that, my own needs pale. It’s of course something I learnt in childhood. My mom always took care of others ahead of herself, and I guess a little girl models herself on the only Mom she had!

 

Back to November 2010.  A week ago, a new prospective client requested a meeting to ascertain whether I would see my way forward to work with her son. She is a very forward thinking Mom, having worked with her 3 children with EFT. Her oldest son is experiencing quite serious challenges, and she wants EFT sessions in conjunction with the psychologist he’s already been seeing for 6 months. She mentioned that she thinks he would need at least 10-15 sessions.

 

That is indeed the kind of client I prefer to work with! A person who understands that miracles sometimes take time and that healing is a journey, not an event. I was delighted to meet with them.

Decisions

 

After the meeting last week, I am now a bit concerned. The need for support is quite serious in my opinion. Is EFT appropriate in this case? Can I really work with this? Am I qualified enough? Do I have enough knowledge?  Gary Craig’s words “Don’t go where you don’t belong” rings in my ears quite loudly in this case. AND since the need is so serious, I have started considering altering my decision to close my practice on 10 December, so that I can continue seeing /helping/ supporting this person in dire need.

 

This is where the conversation started off this sunny Saturday morning… I asked Andrew to help me sort through some stuff racing around in my mind. I guess I’ve learned by now that when there’s stuff racing around in my head, there’s normally a conflict of some sort. There’s more than one “part” that has an opinion about this, and that’s where the discomfort lies. If there was only once voice, the decision would be simple!

 

So, there’s one part of me that’s asking,

  • “How can I justify taking off a full month, when this person needs sessions so much?”
  • “What will his parents think of me, when I place my own needs ahead of theirs?”
  • “Should I maybe just be a bit flexible on this decision?”
  • “Is this fair? If I want to be a practitioner/therapist helping others, should I not make sure to be available when they need me?”

Then, another part of me counters impatiently,

  • “Are you crazy? There you go again – putting others’ needs ahead of your own!”
  • “Don’t be mad! When do you think you’ll get all those things done you wanted to do over December? That’ll mean you either don’t get them done and disappoint yourself, or you’ll need more time in January again.”
  • “You’ve pushed out your project already – STOP now!”
  • “Hey! You know if you cancel your 10 December date, you’ll get all resentful again. Don’t do it!”

And then the opposition kicks up a fuss  – “YES BUT….” In a hundred different ways. My head hurts!

 

Andrew in his wisdom asked me “What part of you is it that gets angry or resentful about not closing on 10 December?”

Clarity

 

Oh, the answer was there in a flash. “It’s the part that is so fed-up with always being last in the queue – that part that is so sick and tired of not getting it’s needs met! That part is just screaming louder and louder to just STOP putting others needs ahead of my own, because it also needs something!”

 

In the moment of uttering those words, I really received the clarity I needed. Here I am again, unconsciously going into my normal pattern. The old, old tired and familiar way of ignoring my own needs and giving someone else what they need instead. With it the realisation that I’m not going to get a Super-Duper-Achiever-Medal or even a Loyalty-Gold-Watch for this behaviour….

 

I had a clear picture of this old, worn out, tired part that is just screaming for attention, screaming for me to listen. So tired of screaming, exhausted of trying …  I suddenly became aware of the subtle ways it’s tried to get my attention for such a long time.

 

It’s the little voice that used to whisper softly, when I was a computer programmer, “Don’t take on this piece of work as well, you know full well you can’t deliver it without having to work nights…. And you need some sleep too…”. It’s the tiny, tiny resentful feeling that sat in my stomach when I DID say yes to that piece of work.

 

It’s also the little voice that whispers softly, “Why on earth are you offering to help this person do their job? You have a thousand things on your own to-do list… let them do it themselves, or ask someone else to help… you can’t possibly take that on too. You haven’t had a weekend off in months… don’t do it!” And then the slight resentment that sits in my body when I DO take on that extra task….

 

Little whispers, over many years that I have oh, so successfully managed to suppress, ignore, shut-up, beat into submission, squashed flat…. And now this part of me is no longer willing to be flattened. It wants to be heard, and it’s going to scream until it’s heard. Especially since my theme for 2010 is “By the end of 2010, I am a person who is clear on my boundaries, needs and wants and who can ask for it”.

 

Isn’t it just wonderful, actually, how this part of me who made that vision for 2010, is helping me to stick to that intention just weeks before the end of 2010? How it’s trying to give me one last chance to finally be kind to myself, too?

Cool conversations

 

Let’s give these two parts having this raucous, unnerving conversation in my head, some names. Let’s call the part who is screaming for attention, “Mrs I-Have-Needs-Too”. And the other part, that is so quick to shift my boundaries again, let’s call it “Mrs Fix-It”.

 

Let’s have a conversation with these 2 parts.

 

“Mrs I-Have-Needs-Too, please tell me what your intention is?”

 

“Well – you don’t seem to get it, Liesel. You do have needs too! You’re a normal human being, just like the rest of the human race. If I don’t keep shouting, you’ll completely forget that. You think you’re different, you think you can ignore those needs. Well, you cannot! My job is to keep reminding you that you have needs. When you finally listen to me, you’ll get your own approval! My sole purpose is to try to make sure you’re happy!”

 

“Oh. Boy – I haven’t thought of it that way. Thank you!” Pause. Contemplate. Wow…. Let’s give the other side a chance to be heard, too.

 

“Mrs Fix-It, can you tell me what your intention is?”

 

“Oh, thank God for asking. When you help someone out of their misery, with EFT, or by helping them to get their job done, or by delivering another piece of programming work on time, or by fixing their life for them… what do you get? You get their approval, of course. You get to look good. You get to look like the one who rescued the day. That’s quite big, don’t you think? How can you possibly give that up? Getting people’s approval is really important, Liesel. If you feel approved of, you get to feel loved and HAPPY. My job is to make sure you feel happy!”

 

Oh, gee. Two parts, with completely opposing strategies. Both want to bring me the same thing – happiness. And they go about it in such different ways. The one by ignoring my own needs, the other by highlighting them. What now?

 

Aaaahhh…how about a negotiation!

 

“Tell me, Mrs Fix-It and Mrs-I-Have-Needs-Too, would you be willing to negotiate on your strategies? I hear that you’re both trying your best to get me to be happy. Thank you for that – I’m so grateful for all that you’ve done for me, and that you’ve both worked so hard to get me that. I wonder if you’d be willing to figure out a new way that you could work together to get me some happiness and love?”

 

At this point, I’m noticing some hesitation…. There’s silence in my head. They haven’t thought of this possibility before. This needs some serious consideration. Their faces are slightly blank and their eyebrows are raised…. “You want us to do what???? Give up our jobs???”

 

“Oh no – you misunderstood me and sorry I wasn’t clearer. I think this is a perfect time to bring in a stress-relief technique – the emotions are running quite high here. Would you be willing to join me in an interesting way to get all of us to happiness and peace?”

 

So I started on the KC point: “Even though we’re all a bit uncertain here, this is new territory for all of us, I choose to think that we can work this out in a calm, peaceful way that can only lead to happiness for us all”

 

Reminders:

 

This is new territory
We’re all uncertain
This is new
We’re all a little scared to do it differently
We only know our old job descriptions
We don’t know how to do it any other way
The old way is so familiar…
What if we try and it doesn’t work?
What if we fail?

 

As I tapped, I could see these poor guys’ expressions…. Grunting in agreement about “this is new, I’m uncertain” and the fear they were feeling around doing it any other way. After all, a lifetime of doing it one way can’t be erased this easily!

 

“Even though we believe that a lifetime of doing it the old way can’t just be undone in a few minutes, and we like our job descriptions anyway, I choose to believe we can easily find a creative strategy to do things differently”

 

Reminders:

 

A lifetime of doing it one way
Can’t be undone
It’s not possible
It’s unrealistic
What if it could be done?
What if it’s possible?
What if we could find a wonderfully creative way to peace and happiness?
What if a way could come to us easily?
How would it be to feel peaceful again?
What if we could all live us a happy family?
What if it works?
What if we could ALL have our needs met?
What if we could all be happy and not work so hard?

Resolution

 

At the point where I said “What if we could ALL have our needs met”, I felt an almost unreasonable (grin) happiness bubble up from somewhere deep inside. It was the most remarkable feeling! I could see these 2 parts starting with wide grins, then a bit of a laugh, more snorting – and then uncontrollable, happy, wonderful laughter just bursting out! I continued tapping that sentence for a few rounds, saying the same sentence on every EFT point.

 

For a few moments, there was also a deep sadness that arose in my chest. Almost like all the sadness about all the times I negated my needs, had the permission now to show up and show its true feelings. So I tapped a few rounds just for that legitimate sadness.

 

“Even though this deep sadness arose, I choose to believe that things can be different now and all our needs can be met safely and creatively” (The safety was in important aspect because there’s another part that is terrified of disapproval and conflict!)

Now we have Choice!

 

Feeling like most of the objections were dealt with, I did a Choices Trio (Dr Pat Carrington).

 

This deep sadness about the mistakes of the past (2 complete rounds to get the sadness down)
I choose to surprise myself by doing things differently (a full round)
I choose to meet all our needs safely and creatively (a full round)

 

And then an alternate round with each:

 

This sadness about past mistakes, I can do things differently
This sadness about past mistakes, I choose to meet all our needs safely and creatively

 

I kept the plural deliberately because I could still very much see and feel the presence of the two parts that had been in conflict. The fact that I added “meet ALL our needs” was so reassuring… no-one was going to be left out, ignored, flattened. Every one of these parts (including me!) could feel safe and heard… we could all rest now in the knowledge that our needs will be heard and met in the future.

 

After this Choice, a deep sense of calm descended on “all of us”… I sat in it for a while. Bliss, when everyone works towards the same goal in a peaceful way!

 

A short aside: We teach our EFT Workshop participants to work with “parts” in our Level 3 EFT course. EFT 1 and EFT 2 are prerequisites for attending Level 3.

Quotes

"If you want things to be different, perhaps the answer is to become different yourself-- Norman Vincent Peale

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