Recently someone new to EFT asked me questions about tapping for others vs. for ourselves. If someone has really hurt us, and forgiveness is our highest aim, can't we use tapping to forgive that person? Or do we need to use it for our own emotional response to the person and their actions? And does tapping on these painful emotions actually keep us from forgiveness?
My answer was unequivocal: tap on yourself. Because when we have painful emotions, and we relate them to the actions of others, we need to clear our feelings before being able to love and forgive the other. Once we've cleared out the pain, the forgiveness often emerges on its own.
But the question led me deep into thinking about tapping, emotions, forgiveness and self-awareness.
Frequently people come to me for help in managing their emotions. Their emotional responses to certain situations are causing them a problem. These people are convinced that their emotions ARE the problem. Other people have worked hard to be disconnected from their emotions, and they see their emotions as a problem as well. The emotions are there, knocking on the door, sometimes knocking down the door, and suddenly they're no longer able to stay disconnected.
In either case the result is the same: people feel their emotions are to blame.
But the emotions aren't the problem. They are not separate from our essential Truth, any more than the waves are separate from the ocean. Waves pass through the ocean; they aren't in conflict with the ocean. Emotions pass through our Truth; they aren't in conflict with it.
Emotions are not the Truth--but they carry information about the Truth.
I've been studying Dr. Dan Siegel's chock-full-o-wisdom book Mindsight. Dr. Siegel explains that our human brains have a "Resonance Circuit." It's the function of our mind/brain that connects our rational, thinking brain with our sensing, feeling body, allowing information to pass up and down the line. This information is encoded in our emotions and bodily sensations.
When our emotions overwhelm us, when we're "too sensitive", we are unable to perceive the information they are bringing us from our body's reactions. When we disconnect from them and are "too cerebral", we're unable to receive the information. Either state robs us of our chance to make positive change.
The beauty of tapping is its ability to allow us to stay with our emotions, even the painful ones, until the noise subsides and the information reveals itself. When this happens, it's a breathtaking moment for both practitioner and tapper.
This is why we keep tapping on the "negative", and keep tapping through the waves of emotion that acknowledging the negative can evoke.
Here's a quick script you can use on your overall beliefs about "problematic" emotions. You can use it whether your emotions are overwhelming you, or are rudely refusing to stay in the disconnected place you've assigned them. You can also use it to end a tapping session in which you feel you didn't make much progress on an issue.
For this script, I recommend starting with the eyebrow point and ending with the top of the head.
Even though my emotions are a problem, I accept that they are here.
(tapping through the points)
I can't stop them
I can't stand them
I want some control over them!
It makes me feel ______ (say your feeling) when these emotions take over
I've got to fix these emotions
They're not helping me at all.
Repeat these phrases and any variations that come to mind until you feel a shift: such as a sigh, yawn, feeling of relaxation or even boredom with what you're saying. When you've felt a perceptible shift, move to the next set-up.
Even though my emotions don't seem to be doing me any good at all, I accept myself--and I accept they may be here for some reason.
(tapping through the points)
Maybe these emotions have a purpose
I can't imagine what they could help me with
It seems logical they might be here for a reason
But the payoff doesn't feel worth the pain!
Maybe these emotions have something useful for me
If I could just get past the hard parts
Instead of hurting me
Maybe these emotions can help me
I might be willing to know what they're telling me
Not promising anything though
I might be ready to hear the message
But I don't have to if I don't want to
Even if this is "good" for me
There's probably a catch
I know better than to
Since this is for working on patterns rather than on a specific issue, you may not feel profound shifts or insights from this tapping immediately. Let it simmer for a while. You might jot down thoughts that come up either right after, or within two to three days, of using this script. Notice if new ways of seeing things are emerging.
Ange Dickson Finn is an AAMET Accredited Certified EFT Advanced Practitioner. She is based in Houston, Texas, USA, and works with clients over the phone and via Skype. Ange has helped clients with issues including physical pain, health and well-being, work-related stress, equestrian sports and relationships. Visit her on the web at www.TapIntoYourself.com or www.RideWithoutFear.com.
From the EFTfree Archives, which are now a part of AAMET International.
Originally published on Sep 28, 2013.