Tweaking Healing : reluctance to heal vs. effortless joy

Two lines stay with me from the movie “Crash.” You probably didn’t see it. Overall, it was a downer, with painful scenes and a non-Hollywood ending, offering worthy observations of the malaise of modern life.

The lines I remember were
“The only way we meet people these days is to crash into them” (the character was reflecting on her recent fender bender).
“I’m angry all the time” (not associated with the fender bender).

When I notice the reluctance some people have even to consider emotional healing of their personal version of that malaise du temps, I see also how many are driven by anger. It’s not often the kind of anger that can be named and faced, but more an underlying sense of urgency or mild irritation. For them, the idea of healing the sources of their anger borders on offensive. They ask, “Why would I want to work on healing? There’s nothing to heal. It’s the way I am.”

The answer to their reluctance came one day as I was training a group of people in EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques, aka tapping) some years ago. I spoke of observing people fuelled by anger, what lies under the anger (it’s often fear), and its long-term corrosive effects on health and relationships. One of the participants said, “But if I got rid of my anger, where would I get the energy to live my life?”

My heart sank when I heard that question, but the answer came instantly: “Imagine being able to live your life from a place of effortless joy.”

Effortless joy is available to all of us.

There is a level of woundedness or pain in everyone I have met, including the guy I look at in the mirror every day. Those who come to me as clients for healing work do so because the pain interferes with their lives. They know this and they want to be healthier. When they experience healing of the most severe of their pain, life is indeed much better. But for some people, rather than continue with the healing by facing deeper sources of pain (aka “peeling the onion”), they stop the work and sometimes I don’t see them again.

This inclination to stop pursuing their healing happens even when it is obvious (to both of us) that there is great benefit to be gained from additional healing.

This puzzled me for months, even more so when I heard the same observation from other EFT practitioners. Eventually I arrived at the understanding that these clients felt so much better than before that even in the face of other hurts, life was now “good enough.” Their attitude was something like “Life is better now, so why dig up more pain?” I saw this in clients whose healing was far from complete, whose lives were still dominated by other issues. Some even seemed to lose the gains we had made. My answer to the question, again, was, “Would you like to live in effortless joy?”

But how could I address the reluctance, the “good enough” offramp from the healing journey? The solution was insightful and brilliant. It wasn’t my idea, so I can say that as a compliment to the person who discovered it. He realized that people who stop pursuing their healing find their new, partially healed state unfamiliar and uncomfortable. Their response to this new form of discomfort explained both the offramp phenomenon and the reversion to old ways of being.

He tried tapping with the phrase “This new state is unfamiliar and uncomfortable,” and it worked. I tried it. It worked.

I believe that there’s a solution to every block — it’s up to us to be persistent and creative in finding that solution. Effortless joy is waiting to be discovered and claimed.

June 2023

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