Breaking up can be one of the most painful things we go through in this life. Many people carry deep scars from their divorce that never seem to heal. And some go through breakup after breakup. This is one problem area where EFT can radically improve someone’s life in an amazingly short time.
I’ve come to see “divorce recovery” as a three-part process (and by divorce I really mean any painful breakup). Of course these parts will overlap a bit, but for most of my clients they’ve resolved more or less sequentially.
The aftermath of a break-up often involves tremendous emotional distress. There may be deep hurt and anger, resentment, feelings of betrayal, bitterness, grief and sadness. For the person who broke off the relationship, there can be terrible guilt and self-doubt. These feelings can be incapacitating in their intensity at first. Even years later they may lie right under the surface, unresolved.
Phase One: Tapping Through the Storm
Dealing with this morass is what I call “Phase One." Happily, even very straightforward EFT tends to dramatically reduce the intensity of these feelings. A single session can make all the difference here, and because the client feels so much better, it may be tempting to stop at this point. But now, with the heaviest emotions out of the way, a more subtle opportunity has arrived, to discover old patterns and make real changes.
As the storm passes, my clients often find themselves obsessing on their “ex” and on all the circumstances leading to the break up. This tends to be a very unpleasant process. The mind gets stuck on various scenes, imagining what might have been said or done differently. It also goes through endless contortions, trying to make sense of events and put itself in the right.
The feelings here may not be so raw and urgent, but the compulsive nature of this rehashing of events can be crazy making. Applying EFT to this emotional minefield is our “Phase Two."
Phase Two: Tapping on Each Obsessive Thought
This usually doesn’t need much detective work. It’s more just working down the list, tapping on each obsessive thought in turn. This can be very productive! Often we find that problems in this most recent relationship are not new. These are recurring themes or patterns. Tapping on the most recent iteration often ends up releasing the original distress, even if it that was a childhood trauma.
Letting go of the past this way is very liberating and can have profound effects on the quality of life. Our “Phase Three” involves extending this emotional freedom into our vision of the future.
Phase Three: Looking Down the Road
After a painful break up, looking down the road can be downright terrifying. Somehow that “ex” got in under our radar. Somehow we attracted this person, trusted them and let them in to hurt us so badly. How can we trust ourselves to do better next time? Some clients want to swear off all relationships forever. Others are so desperately lonely they’ll rebound with the first person who smiles at them, often with disastrous results.
Some clients are paralyzed by the fear of seeing their ex again. They imagine seeing them arm in arm with a new lover. Sometimes there is a kind of irrational hopelessness: “This was my last chance, I’m too old to start again, I’ll never find another love like my ex." Practical financial concerns can often add a note of panic: “I need to get a job immediately! What am I going to do?”
Once again, EFT to the rescue. All of these are tappable issues. Even getting back into the job market becomes more manageable once the anxiety is tapped away. Releasing these future fears can really open the door to a new and much better life.
Watching clients transform their very real emotional anguish into actual gratitude for this new start in life, I feel profound gratitude to Gary Craig for the gift of EFT, and to everyone sharing this gift with the world.
Santa Rosa, California, US
Originally published on October 16, 2010.