About a year ago, I found myself where I am most Saturday mornings, smashing a blue ball against a wall really hard with a racquet. Racquetball is one of the most exhilarating sports, especially when you are surrounded by guys that you really enjoy playing with. We laugh, joke around, sweat and really enjoy this awesome game. It is much like finely tuned choreography, especially when playing doubles. Four people seamlessly dance around the court moving, turning, twisting, sliding, jumping and occasionally diving, all without getting hit while the ball travels around the court at times in excess of 140 miles per hour. This day was ordinary good fun like all the rest and then things took a turn for the not so fun, at least for me.
Have you ever played sports with the guy who argues about everything? This same guy always has to win, no matter what, even if the calls are blatantly wrong and three out of four disagree with him. He is the guy who just can’t be wrong, and who can’t admit to being wrong because this would be a crushing blow to his pride. This is the guy who plays so hard, not really to have fun or to really enjoy a sport, but to prove something to himself or to others; to prove something out of insecurity (fear). This insecurity then is a continual fight for inner worth and value and that value is fought for and earned only when the game is won. This is the person who also gets abnormally upset and angry when he or his teammates perform poorly, often times verbally berating them or himself and sending over vicious scowls, expletives and darts through their eyes after missed shots. Often this anger stems from deep seated fears within that one is not good enough, lovable enough or is shameful (or something along those lines). Winning temporarily camouflages over these emotions that one carries deep within. Losing for this person pulls out these deep fears, anger and apparent shame, which is then sadly projected onto others.
We have all seen this guy. We all know this guy.
This day four of us entered onto the court and began play. About half way into the game a shot was hit by either me or my partner, and it was clear that it hit the front wall, particularly because of the way it bounced. The ball then bounced two times after hitting the front wall, which ended the rally. Three of us began to move to new positions based upon what happened, but we were interrupted from doing so because of a disagreement about the validity of the shot. The guy that frequently argues was on the opposing team and he disagreed with the three of us about the call including the person on his own team. Since this is a common occurrence with this person and all of us are acutely aware of it, we knew that arguing with him is generally a huge waste of time and can escalate into outright hostility. Since this day, I have learned to let things go with him, even at the expense of losing, because most of us are there just to have fun. However, on this day, I couldn’t let it go. At all.
After this point, I wasn’t present in the game any longer. I couldn’t let it go. I was angry at him and often times in the past and including today, it would bring out some very powerful emotions in me. One of those emotions is the feeling of powerlessness. The other is a powerful sense of injustice. I couldn’t shake off these emotions. On the court I tried all the things I normally teach others – EFT, Mental Field Therapy, Meditative Breathing, The Sedona Method, prayer, etc… I couldn’t play well after that point either. My body was hitting the ball, but my mind was somewhere else completely. The only thing I could think of and experience were the feelings of anger, powerlessness and injustice. I was even getting frustrated about experiencing these feelings without being able to let them go. I didn’t play well the rest of the day or say much to anyone. I was consumed with the frustration I had over not being able to let this go. Even showering and driving home, I found myself tapping, doing more deep breathing and other things, but to no avail. I couldn’t let it go. I couldn’t let him go. I couldn’t let the powerlessness and injustice go.
I was determined to find out and let this stuff go.
After arriving home and showering, I sat down on the couch with the intention of sitting there as long as it took to let this go. I took a couple of very deep breaths, entered into a state of semi meditative awareness and with open intention; I began asking God: “Why am I having trouble letting this go? Where is this coming from? Please help me.”
Within 15 seconds after sitting down and asking these two questions, a flash of intuitive insight downloaded into the brain. In the spiritual world, the use of such intuition is the fruit of the gift from God that is described as the supernatural gift of knowledge. Answers to tough questions have been known to answer themselves effortlessly when such things occur. The insight was to a memory that I hadn’t thought of in more than 30 years. As frequently happens with such flashes of intuition, the energy behind the question almost instantly felt answered, at least partially, and a lightness, a knowingness entered in that confirmed why I wasn’t able to let it go immediately.
It was almost as if a knowingness entered the mind that this very event occurred on the racquetball court so that the emotion pattern could be more clearly seen and its root memory exposed so that with God’s help I could forgive myself for things I had held onto for the past 30 years. God was bringing to the light something that I needed to see internally that was full of darkness within me. The purpose was to expose it, so that it could be surrendered and let go of. Feelings of powerlessness and injustice are just positionalities and judgments that the ego (flesh) takes, which can be released so that the world can be experienced from a different perspective within consciousness. On the higher levels of consciousness, powerlessness, anger and injustice don’t exist. The sole purpose of this event occurring for me was so that my soul could continue growing and evolving.
Not My Transformer!
The memory that flashed into mind occurred when I was around seven years old (1985). At that time, transformer toys were all the rage. I got a brand new transformer toy and remembered feeling so excited about having it. A neighborhood kid, who was about 4-5 years older than me found out that I had received this toy and the next time we were together he asked if we could “trade” toys for a day or two. Like most at the tender age of seven, I wanted to be liked and because my own desire for approval was strong I conceded and let him have my brand new transformer to play with. In exchange, he gave me one of his transformers to play with.
What I soon found out was that before giving me his toy, he had glued it together because he had already broken it. Upon beginning to play with it, it quickly broke again, arms and legs falling off and was in pieces before me. I desperately tried to piece it back together, but it didn’t happen. I remember feeling absolutely POWERLESS to do anything about putting the toy back together. It soon dawned on me that he had given me this toy on purpose in its broken state. Upon telling my mother what happened, she made me keep the broken transformer because I “broke” it and it was only fair that I should give him my brand new transformer as compensation. I remember trying desperately to convince her over and over again that I had not broken the toy. My words fell on deaf ears; she completely brushed me off and told me that I would not be given my new toy back from my neighbor.
There was nothing I could do. Nothing. I was completely powerless.
As a result, I remember feeling such hostility (a form of anger) towards both my mother and the neighbor boy because of the grave injustice that had occurred this day. To a seven year old, I was very attached to this toy and when I didn’t get it back I suffered emotionally. This was an injustice to me. It was unfair. In anger, I threw the broken transformer in the trash, never wanting to see the reminder of the injustice that was done to me this day.
Ironically, the very same emotions that I felt on the racquetball court that day were the exact same emotions that I felt in this memory so very long ago. The emotions we experience, especially those that we repeatedly experience over and over again in life, always have a context or connection to our past. Normally, there is a root memory or two where we took on emotions and consequent meaning (programming) as a result of experiencing a traumatic memory. On the racquetball court, the emotions I experienced were powerlessness, hostility and injustice. The original context of these emotions may very well have been in this event that happened when I was seven. It definitely resonated this way.
Why is it so important to pay attention to our negative emotions? Because they offer us a glimpse of the energy that is inside of us that is need of healing. The event in the present moment literally allows them to be pulled out of us, so that we can see a reflection of them and do something about them. Beyond the event happening in the present moment is often a link to the past, some memory or experience where the same emotions we are experiencing now were experienced then. It is an opportunity to let them go, so we can be healed of them, to continue evolving and growing. Negative emotions are a reflection of our ego, the part of us that wants to be independent of and separate from God and one another.
Unfortunately, what frequently happens with many is that we blame or project onto others the experience of OUR own emotions. No one causes of to feel anything. We choose our own feelings based upon the totality of the context of those emotions (our level of consciousness) within us. Even if we are aware and take responsibility for our emotions, many still do not know what to do with their emotions. We don’t know how to let them go. Therefore, the emotions go back inside of us from whence they came. This serves only to strengthen these negative emotions within us over time. Clinically, since people are not consciously aware of many of their feelings, they think they have let them go. This is rarely the case in my clinical experience. Simply because we are not consciously aware of emotions, memories and events that happened to us doesn’t mean we truly have let them go.
This certainly was the case in this memory for me. This memory was not on my MEMORY LIST. Using a combination of applied kinesiology (muscle testing) to determine the emotions present in the memory, meditation (which in this case is simply paying attention to something and how you experience it through the senses) and Emotional Freedom Techniques or Tapping, I was able to identify the negative emotions and cognitions, step into the memory, feel the full weight of each emotion and why I experienced it and was able to let them go one by one. My notes below indicate each one of the emotions that were still present in this memory, the present intensity of each emotion on a scale from 1 to 10 even after 30 years and why I experienced them.
- Dislike – 10 /10 – This was an overall intensity about the whole memory that occurred.
- Instability – 10/10 – No one supported me, everything felt unstable.
- Rapid speech (a heart emotion) – 9/10 – I was so worked up, so I was talking fast to defend myself. It is a sort of frightful excitement.
- Brushed off – 10/10 – My parents didn’t listen to me, they simply brushed my opinion to the side.
- Powerless – 10/10 – I couldn’t do or say anything to change my parent’s decision.
- Hostility – 10/10 – I felt hostility and anger towards Tim and towards my mom for not defending me. This was a major injustice in my mind at the time.
- Grief – 10/10 – Sadness over having lost my brand new toy unfairly.
Next, I identified what the negative cognitions were in the memory. Negative cognitions come from a modern energy psychology modality called EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing). A negative cognition is the meaning that we extract from the events, memories and experiences that happen to us. It is the programming that takes place as a result of having experienced something. Once these negative cognitions embed within our subconscious as programming, they generally tend to get reinforced over time until we consciously process through our memories and let go of them. This programming happens to all of us.
- I am in danger – 9/10
- I don’t deserve love – 8/10
- I’m unlovable – 7/10
- Life is unjust and unfair – 9/10
- I can’t trust others because they are out to get me – 6/10
- People don’t listen to me and my opinion – I don’t matter – 10/10
For the next hour, I worked through each one of the emotions and then the negative cognitions using EFT/Tapping. Feeling the pain of old emotions that have been buried in your subconscious for 30 years is not the most pleasant thing in the whole world. However, when you let them go, there is almost always a very subtle feeling of being lighter, a feeling of peace. You literally do feel lighter, like a weight just was lifted off of you. This is especially true when letting go of the most traumatic things we have been through. This is something I see and hear in the clinic all the time. You have a subtle knowingness that you no longer carry the negative emotions and negative meaning that was within the memory. It’s a great feeling, a very positive one!
Applied kinesiology or muscle testing can also be used to determine if the emotions in question have really released from the body or not. Through testing, all of the above emotions and cognitions in the memory are now at 0/10. The great thing is that they never come back either. Over ninety percent of the time, one’s perception of letting them go is confirmed simply by not feeling them anymore. Nothing else is really needed most of the time. Certain situations occur in which this is not the case, but for most, you just know that you have let them go and have worked through them.
As a result of letting things go from deep inside you, there is an exchange of energy. This is what spiritual growth is by modern definition, an exchange of energy. By letting go of the negativity inside of you, positive, life giving energy takes the place of once was there. You literally become more filled with love, joy and peace as a result of continuing to surrender these memories and feelings to God. This memory and the feelings that I felt on the racquetball court that day were an opportunity to see darkness inside of me, expose it to the light, so that God could continue to grow and work on me. The work continues.
The real confirmation of change or how you know that you are different happens in the same context with the same people in future moments. How do you handle the “injustice” when it occurs again? This will be the true test that something has shifted inside of you and has evolved. When the injustice occurs, you don’t have to passively stand by and not do anything. But what is different now is that you can speak up without the anger, powerless and feelings of injustice. You can now speak up more out of a heart of love, because more love is expressing itself through your being. The “charge” within you is different and instead of bringing negativity (or not nearly as much) into the situation, you know are able to handle it with more compassion, wisdom and understanding because the negative emotions coming out of you are not in the way any longer (or at least are less intense).
From that moment until the present, opportunities have come again, playing doubles racquetball with the same person. The same things continue to occur; the arguing, bickering, fighting over calls and desperation to win that only happens with this person. What has changed is the amount of anger, hostility, powerlessness and sense of injustice that I have on the inside. I’m different; I know I’m different because I don’t experience these emotions to the same extent (intensity) as they once were experienced before I processed through this memory. Im not sure about his internal context, but my context has changed. Therefore, most days, a dawning realization occurs that the arguing and fighting over things has virtually nothing to do with me (unless emotion is evoked in me) and has everything to do with the context of what is happening within his heart every time this occurs. The projection of his deep seated fears, anger and pride will continue to manifest because he most likely hasn’t changed. From the victim’s perspective, everyone else is still the problem and as long as this continues to occur, he will be unable to take responsibility for his context and reality, which will perpetuate the arguments for him that happen on the court. Argumentation comes from fear and anger, discussion doesn’t. Even if you disagree, you can still discuss it peacefully and find a win-win for everyone.
I can’t change him, no one can. Only God is able to do this through the change that must be experienced within him. The only thing I can do is deal with the emotions that arise within me as a result of experiencing him, and as I let go of them and become a better version of me, I can have compassion for the struggles that he has inside of him. We all have these struggles on some level. Letting go of my negative emotions helps me to have more compassion, empathy and love for what happens inside other people emotionally, knowing that they are simply doing their best with the resources they have or don’t have at that moment. I no longer will filter the experience (as much) through my negative emotions, but will be able to experience something positive, understanding and seeing what others are experiencing. Therefore, I can simply stand up for truth as I understand it, rather that fighting to defend the powerless child inside me. It is also humbling to remembering that Truth needs no defense, it is always self evident to those that really seek it and not to justify their opinion. I’m grateful to have seen the truth of what was really inside of me that day and to surrender those feelings to God.
EFT/Tapping is based upon Chinese medicine and is a remarkable tool that can be used to help you transform your life. It can be used for all types of problems: health, diet, weight loss, relationship, goals, work, finances and a deeper spiritual life. If you would like to find out more or would like a consultation to get you started, please stop by the clinic in Orlando, FL or contact me by phone – 407-255-0314. Sessions can be done in person or over the phone.