Breaking Away from Your Own Mind

  • I want to tell you about my friend, “Jon.” Jon hated his father for years because he abandoned his family when Jon was only five years old.

    Jon resented how his mother was almost never home, and when she was home, she was too exhausted to be a “proper” mother to him and his younger siblings. Jon thought it was unfair that she had had to work so hard, and that he had to take care of his younger brothers. He hated the poverty in which he grew up, and he blamed it all on his absent father. He carried this anger towards his father for almost 60 years.

    Jon also had crippling pain in his right knuckles. It was so bad that he had to learn how to function left-handed. On bad days, no amount of pain medication helped.

    He told me he was “unendingly and unforgivingly” angry at his father. I asked him how he knew he was angry at his father. He was surprised by the question.

    “I just am!” he retorted, “I just know I am!”

    “Well, how do you know it? What signs in your mind and body let you know what you are feeling?”

    I told him that what we never learned as children is that the sensations we feel in our bodies are each messages to us. A pain, a tightness, a rush of chills, a rash, sudden heat-each sensation is a message. When you pay attention to these sensations, you can find deeper meaning than you thought possible.

    When I asked him how he knew he was angry at his father, he practically jumped out of his chair, got into a fighting stance, his face turned bright red and swelled up like a boxer dog, and he clenched his fists and said, “I know I’m angry because I want to slug the b*stard!”

    I asked him to freeze in that position. Despite his rage, when he realized how threatening that position might seem to me, he started to apologize.

    “No, stay like that, I’m alright,” I said, “and it’s really OK, because you’ve just shown me exactly where you store your rage about your father. Here. I’ll show you something.”

    I stood at his side and softly pushed my hands against his lower back and his chest, helping him slowly straighten up. I gently unclenched his fists, and asked him to take three deep breaths.

    I asked him, “Now are you angry?”

    He checked within himself, and exclaimed, “why no! I don’t feel it at all like I did before! I know intellectually that I’m angry at him, but I don’t feel it right now!”

    So I had him resume that anger position, and asked him again if he felt angry.

    “Yes, but not as much as before.”

    I had him think about all of it, the years of hunger, the pain, and the cold, the abandonment, and see how he felt. Ah! There it was again! His face was even red again.

    He could now see how his thoughts brought on the feelings, and then sensations and pain in his body. He wanted to know how to escape from this pattern that he had been living with for over 60 years.

    So I asked: “When you stand there in fighter’s stance with your fists ready to fight, what is the first thought you have?”

    I watched as he considered, and could see that he’d had a thought and then tried to cover it up by saying, “I don’t know.”

    After working with so many people, you get to see that there are certain similarities we all experience. This was one of them: your first thought is the truth of the situation for you.

    But, because there are lots of us, and society demands for us to live somewhat peaceably together, we have been trained to be “nice,” and “get along.”

    Thus we’ve been trained to cover that first thought with a “nice” one: if you can’t think of a nice thought, your social conditioning is to cover that one with something like, “I don’t know!”

    So I asked him again: “tell me the real truth now: what was your first thought?’

    Jon blurted, “I want to kill him! I’ve wanted to kill him since I was five and he left. I want to punch his stupid face!” And he swung his right hand out with such force that it would surely have been a lethal punch if it had landed on someone’s face. And he couldn’t figure out why his knuckles hurt? I didn’t say anything yet, though, as it hadn’t come home to him yet.

    We sat back down on the couch, and I asked him to climb into his father’s body as if it was a suit he could wear. He looked at me like I was insane, but closed his eyes and imagined it. As Jon was feeling being in his father’s body, I asked him how old he was (as father). He said, “24.”

    “Oh,” I said, casually, “then he must have been really world-wise and totally able to support a wife and three sons during the worst part of the depression.”

    Jon’s body did a jolt. His eyes opened he looked at me, and his face opened with realization: he’d never imagined his father as a young man, he’d imagined him as an older man-older than himself by 21 years.

    “Oh!” he cried. “My god! 24 with a wife and three kids! It must have been so hard!” He didn’t say a word. I let him sit and gaze into his past. He started to weep.

    “Now I see,” he whispered. “It never fixed anything, and made things worse at home, but I see how he might have wanted to go out drinking instead of feeling so bad about himself and his life. But what a jerk! Drinking instead of working?”

    “What if there were no jobs, and no visible source of hope, Jon? What if he wasn’t as intelligent or as resourceful as you are? What if he had a really low opinion of himself and his abilities? What if your mother screamed at him and nagged him on top of it? Or what if he knew she was suffering silently? Do you see how he might have run out of courage and ran away instead of sticking around where he felt so useless and powerless?”

    Jon didn’t like it, but was able to see how that might have been true. “But what a wimp!” he said.

    Now I had Jon recap all the physical sensations he had when he thought of how angry he was at his father:

    • Tight fists
    • Angry stance
    • Red face
    • Tight chest
    • Fast-beating heart
    • Tight belly
    • Clenched jaws

    And the thoughts he had:

    • I’m going to kill him
    • I want to punch his face
    • How could he do that?
    • He’s a jerk!
    • How come he left my poor ma?
    • I had to be the “man of the family”
    • I was way too young
    • I hate him!
    • I’ll never forgive him!
    • I missed out on so much because of him!
    • So did my poor ma
    • She was always too tired to read to us
    • She never had anything nice until we grew up
    • What a wimp!

    I now had Jon tap lightly on his collarbone tips under his neck. Why? I remember our first TV-hitting it hard on its side once in a while seemed to help. I never knew why, but the horizontal lines would stop and we’d get a clear image on the set. I was told to do that because “the wiring was off.”

    Your body has an electrical system, too. It gets clogged, snagged and tangled up. When it does, it causes pain-emotional, mental or physical-or any combination, and intensity of any level.

    When you tap on and stimulate certain spots on your body called acupuncture points, the energy in your electrical system settles out and flows freely again.

    Sounds silly, but tapping on your collarbone helps you calm down by stimulating those acupuncture points at the base of your neck. Try it right now and see how relaxed you feel in a very short amount of time. You’ve already probably taken a deep, sigh-kind of breath.

    As Jon tapped on his collarbone points, I had him imagine his dad. He’d seen pictures of him so it wasn’t difficult. His mother said Jon and his dad looked almost identical, so he could even have looked in a mirror.

    Now I had him tap on the side of his hand where he’d smack a board hard if he was a karate champion, and repeat after me:

    Even though I have these:

    • Tight fists
    • An Angry stance
    • My face is beet-red
    • This Tight chest
    • My heart feels like it will burst
    • This Tight belly and
    • Clenched jaws

    I’m willing to see another viewpoint and maybe even let this go because I’m a good person at heart, and I’m choosing to like myself as I am.

    Then I had him tap on his collarbone points again as he said:

    • I’m going to kill him
    • I want to punch his face
    • How could he do that?
    • He’s a jerk!
    • How come he left my poor ma?
    • How could he abandon us?
    • I had to be the “man of the family”
    • I was way too young
    • I hate him!
    • I’ll never forgive him!
    • I missed out on so much because of him!
    • So did my poor ma
    • She was always too tired to read to us
    • She never had anything nice until we grew up
    • What a wimp!

    We started to tap that segment again, but he stopped. Jon looked at me and said, “It’s gone!”

    I asked him what was gone?

    His anger! He didn’t feel any at all! He frowned and looked at me like I had tricked him.

    “No, I didn’t trick you. You just chose to let go of all the charge on all those thoughts and beliefs about your father that held you to the pain. It wouldn’t let you go until you could acknowledge your understanding of him and where he was at as a very troubled and desperate young man.”

    I was frankly surprised that only one round had got rid of the anger. I had expected it to take longer.

    His right hand still hurt. So we had a little conversation with it. This is something I encourage everyone to do when you have pain in your body and can’t seem to get free of it. Ask it directly what it wants.

    Jon thought it was silly, but encouraged by the anger disappearing so fast, he was willing to accommodate.

    He mentally asked his hand, and, looking smug, said his hand wanted revenge.

    “Are you sure?” I asked. I could almost see a tight-balled fist with its arms crossed and a big frown on its face as it declared vengeance.

    Jon laughed at that and said, “yeah, that’s what it’s like.”

    “OK, then why does it want that?” I asked him.

    “Because it will keep anyone else from hurting me or my family!” he said.

    “Are you sure?”

    “Well,” Jon said, “that doesn’t make much sense, does it?” He asked again.

    “Ah,” Jon said. “It says it never got to do what it wanted when I was young and it’s mad and wants to hurt who did it.”

    “OK,” I said. “Tap on your collarbone. It was just trying to help, wasn’t it?” Jon nodded.

    I asked him, “What if your hand was able to take that same mad-revenge energy and use it for something more fun or more creative–would it do that for you instead of focusing on revenge?”

    Jon closed his eyes and considered, and then said yes. He looked confused for a second, and then excited: “It’s saying it wants to play the guitar! I never even thought about playing an instrument when I was younger–we never had the money for it!”

    He looked at me and said, “This is nuts–am I really talking to my fist?”

    We laughed hard at that, and I said yes, we really are and it’s OK to be a little nuts now and then–especially if it can get you out of pain, right?

    Then I pushed it a bit further, and asked him if he would consider getting an inexpensive guitar and taking basic lessons. I knew the pain in his hand was gone because I didn’t feel it, myself. I wanted him to discover it first, though, so I said nothing.

    “Close your eyes again and see yourself strumming the strings slowly. Can you hear it?” Jon nodded. I asked, “How does it feel?”

    He was so quiet for a long time. I saw a big tear start to come out of the corner of his eye and fall into his lap. “All those years!” he whispered. “Such a waste!”

    I put my hand on his and said, “You can look at it like that, or you can just say, “that’s how it was and I can’t change it, but I can certainly use this grief energy for my guitar lessons,” can’t you? Which would you prefer-slumping into grief, or using that same energy to play and have fun? It’s just energy. It’s your energy. What will you choose to do with it?”

    Jon’s no dummy. He got it right off. “Ohhhh. That’s what you do!” he said. “It’s just energy. So every time I feel bad, or ill or in pain, I can just say, yeah, I feel bad about this, this or this and it’s only energy, it’s MY energy and I have choice, and I can use it for what I want instead of the old stuck stuff. Right?”

    He looked at me as if he had just emerged from a dark cave, with eyes that weren’t quite used to the light. He got it. It’s just energy and he gets to choose.

    “My knuckles don’t hurt.” He said.

    He said it so quietly I almost didn’t hear him. Then he focused right on my eyes and said, quite loud, “My knuckles don’t hurt! I don’t believe it!”

    You can do this, too, for your own fear, anger, upset, pain or limiting thoughts. And you can do it in a very short time.

    Are you going to miss out on today’s chance to make your life everything you always dreamed it should be? Or are you going to notice each moment and choose what you want within each one?

    It’s entirely up to you. Only by breaking away from what your minds tells you can you get free and produce a reality for yourself that feels free and delightful.

    Allow yourself the ease, and allow yourself the opportunity to add more love and light into your life than you ever had before. Tell the truth about how you feel, then tap on it. Do it today–and every day.

    ©; Angela Treat Lyon 2008
    IDareYouRadio.com and EFTBooks.com

    Angela Treat Lyon

    Angela Treat Lyon is the author of too many books to list: see amazon.com, AngelaTreatLyonBOOKS.com and TwistedOldTales.com. She trains people in using EFT, the Emotional Freedom Techniques, holding EFT seminars internationally. EFTBooks.com (get your free book there). Angela's internet radio show, Daring Dreamer Radio at IDareYouRadio.com inspires, supports and offers uncommon resources to you Daring Dreamers (free book there, too).  Angela is also an award-winning, internationally recognized professional illustrator, painter and sculptor, living and working in Hawaii. Her work is in private collections worldwide. See AngelaTreatLyonART.com.

    View all posts by Angela Treat Lyon.

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