I want to share here a way of unpacking and exploring a difficult experience in order to find the different aspects to tap on.
Much of my work has been about how to use EFT to heal the wounds of the highly sensitive temperament, so that sensitive people can be empowered to use their gifts in the service of themselves, their families, their communities and the world itself. Keep in mind that everything for a sensitive person can be more vivid, more intense, a deeper experience of pain or maybe even a richer experience of joy.
However, the questions below will be evocative no matter what the issue is, or how sensitive the individual!
The underlying presupposition in tapping for this issue is this:
Even though I don’t see how I could reframe this event positively, I am open to seeing it differently, and I’m open to seeing purpose and wisdom in the event and in my own and others’ response, and I deeply and completely love and accept myself, no matter what.
Holding the event in mind, answer these questions:
1. How did you respond to the event itself? (tap)
2. What were your emotions, thoughts and/or your body’s response? (tap)
3. How did other people respond to the event ? (tap)
4. How do you feel/think about your (and others’) response? (tap)
5. What regrets, sorrow or other feelings do you have about the event and its effect on you and your life?
(e.g., If only I had known about being sensitive, I wouldn’t have suffered, wasted my life, limited myself, etc.) (tap)
6. Would things have gone differently if you (and others) had known you are highly sensitive?
Now that you understand that you are highly sensitive, what would you (and others) do differently in response to the event? (tap)
7. From the perspective of an objective advisor to yourself, what wisdom can you see in your (and others’) response? (tap)
8. What does the event and your response mean about you and your capacity to respond to life now?
9. What was the positive intention of your (and others’) response at the time? What were you trying to get for yourself? (tap)
Here are some of the answers that one person, now in her 50's, gave to the above questions, as she considered the effect on her life of having been raped in her senior year of high-school.
We created EFT tapping set-up phrases out of each of her answers to the questions.
How did you respond to the event? What were your emotions and thoughts?
I felt traumatized, in shock, alone, afraid, confused, stupid, tricked.
The dreams of my life were shattered.
I identified with the upset feelings of my parents more than my own feelings.
All I wanted to do was protect my father, his reputation.
No one knew how to deal with it...
My mother was in shock and couldn't respond...
My father wanted to deal with the situation but keep it quiet because of the effect it would have on his career...
My parents did the best they could...
If I had known I was sensitive
I come from a family of warriors that has had to hide their identity...
I would pay attention to the real me, not the story about me...
I could say - stop - I am the one who was hurt here...
I am not as invincible as I seem...
My mother would have been able to be there for me...
I could not ask to be held…
I thought I had to—and could—protect everyone...
I didn't know that I didn't know how to be safe...
I would not have been tricked into the situation to begin with...
I would have found help in healing the trauma at the time, rather than allowing it to shape my whole subsequent life...
Wise Advisor perspective
You can love and accept yourself, and:
You were so aware of your father's stresses, and you so wanted to help.
You were not meant to be here to sacrifice for others.
You can treat yourself as worthy.
You are worth being protected.
You can still care for others.
You can live from that knowing of your own worth.
You can be empathic, continue to feel deeply, but your first priority is to protect yourself.
Wiser Self perspective
I love and accept myself, and:
This experience taught me to stand up for myself.
When I speak up for others, I am really wanting to speak up for myself.
I know how to walk away now.
That experience blasted me out of the shell that had been holding me in place.
The blessing is in understanding my sensitivity trait instead of going to blame, shame, or "I have wasted my life."
EFT is the perfect tool for a sensitive person to learn how to "deeply and completely love and accept myself." I'm not "introverted," I am reserved, self contained, independent. I am not "shy," I intend to create deep and meaningful interaction.
It is remarkable that when we change our perception of ourselves we automatically change our perception of the the world. And then the world changes!
Even though I don’t see how I could reframe this event positively, I’m open to seeing it differently, and I’m open to seeing purpose and wisdom in the event, and in my own and others’ response, and I deeply and completely love and accept myself, no matter what.
EFT International Certified Advanced Practitioner and one of the EFT Founding Masters
From the EFTfree Archives, which are now a part of EFT International .
Originally published on May 2, 2010.