I stood in the kitchen, my phone in hand, ready to get my gripe on. Fortunately, my sister wasn’t answering. Inside I whined, “but who’s gonna listen to my problems?” So I just continued to stand there doing nothing.
Until it dawned on me.
“If I can’t spend 5 minutes dealing with my feelings, I don’t deserve to have anyone listen to me complain.”
Like an angsty teen, I exhaled deeply in frustration (with myself and that smart, parenty voice,) put my phone down and dropped my hiney on the couch in our quiet room no one really goes into.
I began tapping. EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) tapping is a combination of Eastern acupuncture/pressure point use and Western psychology. There isn’t anything hocus-pocus about it, in fact, some dear friends of mine have used Christian EFT tapping material that has helped them tremendously. For me, it helps combine the physical, mental and spiritual elements into processing emotions and getting to the root of issues at lightening speed. I was introduced to this technique by a counselor, Celia Fox, this summer and I cannot begin to tell you the phenomenal results I got by integrating tapping into processing issues. It’s the difference between years in therapy and 1 session using this technique. Sounds too good to be true, but -trust me- it ain’t.
As I began tapping on the frustration, anxiety, fear and sadness resulting from the situation, I immediately began feeling a sense of peace and control. I realized the root issues that were causing me to feel so powerless and angry and see the truth of the situation. After several minutes of processing the emotions -allowing myself to feel those feelings and then release them, choosing new emotions and claiming truth- I went from desperate to calm. Yeah, I still wanted to call my sister, but this time it wasn’t out of feeling lost and helpless, it was just to have be an empathetic listener as I dealt with my problem.
Sometimes we need an empathetic listener. Sometimes we need a kick in the pants. In general, women are wired to listen, men are wired to solve problems. That’s why our spouses are often not so patient when we just want to (let’s be honest) gripe. “Meh-meh-meh, so and so hurt my feelings. I’m frustrated with this situation. I feel gross about yada-yada…” They want to jump in and solve it, but we just want someone to nod with a furrowed brow, pat our back and say, “man, that stinks.” The temptation for us who feel the need to vent is to stay in our kiddie pool of self-pity (or The Pity Pool) and party on, Wayne, party on, Garth. Instead, we need to do something about it -and that something is to look at our situation and our hearts with honesty and respond from there.
That’s how tapping has helped me, even more so than journalling, to get to the heart of an issue and help me move from sulking to personal sovereignty.
If you have a rock in your shoe, the quickest thing to do is shake your foot around and try to get the rock to lodge itself in the seam and out of the way. You resume your activity and hope it doesn’t pop out again. But the most effective thing would be….take off your shoe and remove the rock, right?
I don’t always do that. Instead I keep wiggling my foot around, whine to my neighbor about how uncomfortable I am -poor me and this darn rock- wiggle some more, complain some more, etc. I’m not doing anything to help solve my problem or issue, just shuffling around.
The discomfort you feel from the rock is a symptom of having a pebble in your shoe -the discomfort is not the issue. The rock is. So doing things that alleviate your discomfort (hello, chocolate, my old friend) are only temporary fixes. If you want real results, find and attack the source. That means taking a few minutes to honestly evaluate your situation. Take the shoe off your foot and look inside.
And if we can’t spare a few minutes for honest evaluation (as scary as that is at times,) then we certainly don’t deserve to bend a friend’s ear and dump our negativity on them.
Another EFT Tapping Resource
EFT tapping is used for emotional issues, performance, physical healing and more. I actually tapped through the beginning of my labor to open my body up and had the shortest labor of 4. It’s truly amazing how the body responds!