The single biggest thing that’s prevents us from dealing with the painful circumstances in our lives, and growing from them, and healing from them, is a lack of acceptance.
This lack of acceptance impacts us in two main ways:
For as long as we keep buying in to the ideas that our parents are ‘perfect’, or that our family life was ‘wonderful’, or that we somehow ‘deserved’ all the slaps, insults, manipulation and emotional neglect that were doled out in our childhood, that keeps us away from accepting ourselves, our true selves, that has an alternative view of things.
Inside each of us, there’s a small child that still can’t understand what they did that was so wrong that they had to go through whatever they had to go through. Young children idolize their parents as a defence mechanism, but when the parent is the source of pain instead of the source of comfort, denial of what’s really going on, and what was really experienced, becomes the adult child’s biggest emotional obstacle to living a happy, healthy life.
This is for two reasons:
It’s also true that parents can’t always supply what’s required. Accepting the limitations of parents, many of whom are also still trapped in the ‘fantasy world’ view of what they actually experienced as children, is also a big part of acceptance.
But the one doesn’t cancel out the other: Kids deserve all those things, and parents are frequently unable to provide them. Accepting both parts of this equation leads to true inner peace and healing, (especially for us parents.)
There’s another, deeper, degree of acceptance too, and that’s accepting that whatever horrible things occurred, whatever bad experiences we had, it was all part of God’s plan for our life. When this spiritual acceptance is absent, people can get sucked into a vortex of bitterness and anger that can be very difficult to exit. Spiritual acceptance teaches that whatever is broken can be fixed. Whatever is lacking can be filled - but only if God is in the picture.
Without this spiritual acceptance, it can also be very difficult to accept ourselves, especially when we hit our own faults and flaws. When a person can’t accept and acknowledge their own flaws and issues, that’s when they expect others to ‘overlook’ the problem and act as though everything is fine.
And we’re back into that pattern of not accepting reality again, except this time we’re the one asking others to put our need to see ourselves as ‘perfect’ ahead of their own need to recognize the very flawed reality they're experiencing.
Acceptance of reality is the key to getting everything to change. And that’s only truly possible when God is in the picture.
I think like many of us in 2016, I’ve struggled for years trying to figure out how to properly deal with many of the disturbed people out there. My struggles have ranged from dealing with flat-out bullies and plainly abusive individuals, to the more covertly messed-up personalities that can strangely do even more damage than the obvious nut-jobs, because you spend 15 years blaming yourself for their problems.
It’s your fault they’re not treating you nicely, that they don’t have any empathy for your problems, and that the relationship with them is so upsetting and draining and challenging.
Recently, God sent me an AMAZING dream which has helped me clean a lot of these loose ends up really nicely, which I’ve now turned into a visualization - but it’s probably the least PC thing I’ve ever written from a spiritual self-help perspective, so before I share it with you, I wanted to tell you about a point of Jewish law that was decided by Rabbi Akiva.
The scenario was this: You and your friend are wandering around the desert, and you have a flask of water that is just enough to help you to complete the journey, while your friend has run out of water.
If you share your water with your friend, that will mean that you’ll both die before you complete your journey. So what should you do, share or not share?
There was a whole big discussion in the Gemara amongst the Jewish sages of 2,000 years ago, but then Rabbi Akiva came along and said the following: Your life comes first.
If sharing your water with your friend means that you’ll die as a result, you’re not allowed to share it. YOUR LIFE COMES FIRST.
People with narcissistic-type traits (which covers A LOT of people in 2016…) are sometimes compared to a balloon that constantly needs to suck energy, time and attention out of other people to stay pumped up. This is the infamous ‘narcissistic supply’, which sees these disturbed people making your life into a big drama, throwing tizzy fits all of the place, pulling guilt trips and other manipulative moves on you, and generally trying to make their problems your problems.
They act like this, and suck you into the crazy vortex that is their life, because they are running out of juice and energy big time. They lack the self-love, self-soothing and self-control to handle their own inner chaos, so they try to make their problem your problem, as much as possible. If you can handle that without it having an adverse effect on you - then by all means carry on sharing. If you can’t, and they are literally draining the life, joy and energy out of you each time you think about them, or speak to them, or have to deal with them, then remember that your life comes first.
And this isn’t just a nice idea, it’s a principle of Jewish law.
So with that intro out the way, welcome to the most un-PC visualization I’ll probably ever put together. This is excellent for all those people who you can’t get closure with in real life, as they’re too crazy to accept or admit they’re doing anything wrong or they need to change, regardless of how much they hurt you.
THE MOST UN-PC VISUALISATION EVER:
Close your eyes, and breathe deeply three times.
Imagine that you’re in a light, airy comfortable room somewhere, with large, open windows and a lot of sunlight streaming in. Imagine, you see the person who has caused you a lot of heartache and pain walking past.
Open the window and call out in your loudest voice:
“You are a piece of ****!!!!”
Keep yelling this out as many times as you need to, until you start smiling again.
It’s SO simple, but SO effective. I was in such a good mood after I did this.
One more thing to note: Whether or not the person you’re yelling at really is a ‘piece of ****’ is a completely moot point. The idea is to let go of the negative emotion, and the sense of helplessness you’ve accumulated as quickly and easily as possible.
Once you do this visualization, you’ll actually feel far less antagonistic towards the problematic person in real life, and probably even more forgiving. Why? Because now you’ve clearly stated who the problem is in the relationship (at least, to yourself), and permitted yourself to acknowledge that (at least to yourself), you’ll feel far less threatened by that person now, and you’ll be able to move on and put it all behind you much easier.
A few years' ago, we moved house a month before hayfever season, to a new neighbourhood in Israel. A few weeks' later, my eldest daughter woke up wheezing and struggling to breathe. We panicked, and like all good, responsible parents, we rushed her off to the emergency clinic (where else?). A couple of hours' later, she came back with a whole breathing machine, a face mask, a few packets of various drugs, and an official diagnosis of 'asthma'.
The doctor who diagnosed her was a genuinely caring, sweet, lovely religious man, which only underscores some of the enormous problems with modern medicine, because he was clearly trying to help us, and my daughter.
Yet no-one told us that asthma is often connected to stress, or emotional issues. No-one suggested that maybe, the asthma wasn't even really asthma, and maybe was just an allergic hayfever reaction, given the time of year (my daughter already had multiple food allergies, at that point).
We were just given a very fast diagnosis, a blue and a brown inhaler, and at the tender age of 6, my daughter turned into an 'asthmatic' overnight.
My daughter is very sensitive. Now she knew she was officially an 'asthmatic' with breathing problems, her stress shot through the roof, and her asthma worsened accordingly. She got stressed when she thought about exercising with asthma; stressed about school outings with asthma; stressed about doing exams with asthma - and as soon as she got stressed, on cue, the asthma would appear.
In all the years I've been refilling the prescription for the Ventolin, not one doctor ever explained to me that the same inhaler that was helping my daughter to breathe better in the middle of a crisis was actually also worsening the fundamental problem. It's scientifically proven that the more you use inhalers, the more asthma attacks you get. Why didn't anyone tell me that?
Why didn't anyone mention that people have died from over-using certain brands of asthma inhalers? I had no idea that inhalers were even remotely dangerous until a year ago when my daughter came back from a school trip with blue lips, and severe breathing issues, from using her puff 8 times in a row.
That's when I started to really research this amazing, safe, solution to my daughters' asthma, and I was shocked to see all the potential issues, side-effects and long-term problems associated with using inhalers (some of which have already been withdrawn from the market, as the stats on deaths from using 'beta agonists' are starting to stack up).
For example, a lot of the 'regular' (ie, not considered to be serious) side affects from inhalers show up in tachycardia, heart palpitations and tremors.
Three years' after my daughter's 'asthma' diagnosis, she went through a very stressful time in school, and was using her puff 4-5 times a day (well within prescribed limits). Within a couple of weeks of that episode, she was at the doctor with a bad case of flu when he listened to her heart, and told me I should go and take her for an EKG…
Baruch Hashem, nothing came of that. But only recently did I realise that what was causing the 'heart problem', whatever it was, was her asthma inhaler. How come the doctor didn't make that connection?
Last year, we started to make a concerted effort to get her off the puff, and thank G-d, her use is now way, way down. All this happened before I learnt energy medicine, so it took a lot of praying, a lot of essential oils and Su Jok, and a lot of massage - in that order.
We still have the inhaler (I got given four on my last visit to the doctor…) - but it's strictly for emergencies, now that we know that it's actually a dangerous drug. But as I said, the less we're using the puff, the less asthma my daughter actually has - and life's still been pretty stressful.
With hindsight, I don't think she had asthma in the first place. I think she had severe hayfever (she gets hayfever every year). By being so quick to diagnose asthma, that kind, caring doctor set my daughter on a path where she was scared to exercise (exacerbating the problem…); stressed about being away from her puff (exacerbating the problem…); and starting to get unexplained heart palpitations from her prescription medicine (exacerbating the problem…)
There has to be a better way, don't you think?
So, you’ll recall that for the last few weeks, I’ve been experiencing quite a bit of inner stress, without knowing exactly why that’s occurring.
In this post, I set out some of the insights I got about why certain aches and pains were coming up, and what to do about them. But the aches and pains related to my head - which I felt was connected to the general craziness going on in the world - haven’t really improved so much.
After pondering on what was going on, and talking to God about what was going on over a number of different occasions, last week things started to move. I got some insight that they were related to anger, and anger is the gallbladder meridian, that runs all over the top of the head before going down the sides of the body to the fourth toe.
After sedating the gallbladder meridian a couple of days in a row, the tension in my head (and in my body generally) started to abate noticeably - and that’s when the dreams started up.
The last few days, I’ve been having some very traumatic and disturbing dreams. For two nights, I was dreaming about huge fires burning down cities. The next night, I had a dream about a massive earthquake. Just now, I had a dream that was kind of an up-to-date verion of a holocaust-era round-up of people.
I am waking up from these dreams completely terrified.
On the one hand, I know they’re just dreams. On the other, I can see that on some level, I have some immense fear of what’s to come going on. In the meantime, a lot of my physical symptoms are ameliorating, or morphing into more noticeable and normal symptoms of anxiety.
Instead of having a continues pain and pressure up the back of my neck and going into my head, now, I’m having stomach issues and I’m consciously feeling very nervous. This is actually progress, as the ‘issue’ is moving out of the deepest reaches of my subconscious, and more into my conscious mind where I can really start to work on it and acknowledge what I’m truly feeling.
Which brings me to the fear tap.
I’ve got into the habit of adding in an extra ‘energy exercise’ to my five minute morning routine, which I let God pick for me. (If this sounds a bit weird, it simply means that I open the book randomly and I ask God to help me land on the right energy exercise for me, today.)
Today I came up with the fear tap.
The fear tap takes two minutes to do, and it’s super easy. It’s benefits include:
Man, I need all of those at the moment!
Here’s how you do it:
On the back of your hand, locate the indentation between the ring and pinky fingers. Tap the area with 2-3 fingers with your other hand, for up to a minute. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth.
This is a standard part of the EFT tapping routine, btw, illustrated in the diagram above, but it can also be used alone when you just need a quick something to help your body calm down and your mind to stop feeling so anxious about ‘what will be’.
Something tells me, we could all be using it, this week.
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