Pain in the present is experienced as hurt.
Pain in the past is remembered as anger.
Pain in the future is perceived as anxiety.
Unexpressed anger, redirected against yourself and held within, is called guilt.
The depletion of energy that occurs when anger is redirected inward creates depression.
(From psychiatrist David Viscott).
What this cycle tells us is that stored hurt is responsible for a wide range of psychological distress. Buried hurt disguises itself as anger, anxiety, guilt and depression. The only way to deal with these layers of pain is to find out what hurts as the pain occurs, deal with it [use EFT], and move on. Living in the present means being honest enough to avoid the easy emotion, which is anger, and expose the hurt, which is harder to confront. When hurt is not resolved in the present, the vicious buildup of anger, anxiety, guilt, and depression can only grow worse.
The exercise is to learn the steps of how to feel in the present:
1. Realise that hurt is the most basic negative feeling. You cannot be in the present without willingness to feel hurt.
2. Be with your sensations. Resist the impulse either to deny what you feel or turn it into anger.
3. Say what you feel to the person who caused the hurt. [This does not have to be face to face, there are many different exercises you can use, writing, role playing etc]
4. Resolve your emotion [use EFT] and move on.
This may seem like an exercise in suffering, but in fact it is an exercise in freedom. [Emotional Freedom] Being hurt isn't pleasant, but it is real. It puts you in the present, whereas conditioned responses of anger, anxiety, guilt, and depression put you out of the present. Once you are in the present, you can follow the trail of your emotions back to their source, [EFT is excellent for this] which is not pain but love, compassion, truth- the real you.
There is no purpose in suffering except as a guide to your truth. In and of itself, pain has no worth except as a signal that will pull you out of pain. When an infant is hurt, it cries, gets the hurt out of its system, and then relaxes. It rejoins the body's basic state, which is pleasure, ease, and comfort. If you want to feel these things, all you have to do is be yourself [use EFT on tailenders that may come up here], but being yourself means getting past the tendency to repress or divert your emotions, which all of us learned in early childhood.
Coming to the moment by putting your attention on the pain allows you to release the pain as soon as it occurs. [The observer affect] This release occurs naturally- it is what the body wants to do- and attention is the healing power that triggers it. Putting attention on your feelings gets you closer to the state of witnessing; you observe the pain without getting wrapped up in all the secondary blame, avoidance, and denial that usually follows. In the act of witnessing, insight becomes possible. It takes detachment [use EFT] to bring understanding, and if you get caught up in your hurt [use EFT], you won't see the reason behind it. No one can hurt you today without triggering a hurt in your past. You have to see that in order to find yourself.
As you learn to say, "I feel hurt", and really be with that feeling, more openness will develop. the emotions that frighten us are the complex ones, because they overwhelm the natural release mechanism. You cannot simply release guilt or depression. They are secondary formations that arose once you forgot how to release hurt. [Which is why a bit of detective work and/or persistence is usually needed with EFT to get to the bottom of these more complex emotions]
The more hurt you honestly feel, the more comfortable you will be with pain, because the ability to release it will grow. As this happens, you will feel easier about all your other emotions. (To a blocked mind, feeling 'positive' emotions such as love and trust is often just as difficult as feeling 'negative' emotions such as hate and distrust. Both are elauded by old unresolved hurts). [use EFT to resolve old hurts] Feeling easy with your emotions means that you won't get entangled in other people's. Instead of blaming the ones who hurt you, you will be able to forgive. [which is a state of mind, not an act in my opinion]
The lessons of this exercise are very profound:
- Everyone is acting from his own level of consciousness. This is all we can ask of ourselves or anyone else. However hurtful someone is, he is doing the best he can, given the limits of his consciousness [again EFT may be needed here!]
- Forgiveness of others comes only when you can release your own hurt. the more complete your release, the more sincere the forgiveness. [This is very true, don't give yourself a hard time if you 'can't forgive', use EFT instead to clear your hurt]
- No one can really hurt you unless you give them the power to do so. This power lies in your own unresolved pain. You can take control of the old pain and reclaim power over your emotions. [with EFT] Until you do that, your feelings will continue to be tossed around at the whim of others.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
This is an excerpt from the book Ageless Body Timeless Mind by Deepak Chopra. My comments are in bold in square brackets. It's a long post but well worth the read!