When was the last time you had a ‘good cry’? I went for years without one. If I caught myself in the beginnings of what could have actually been a productive, beneficial cry, I immediately stifled it. Because, why? Boys don’t cry, right?! At least that’s what my parents taught me, that men don’t cry.
At least that’s what my parents taught me, that men don’t cry, unless they are weak or have some other ghastly character flaw.
(Note to the ladies: This article is for YOU too!)
I don’t blame them for teaching me this. They knew what society thought about men crying, either publicly or privately, and they didn’t want me to unduly suffer from the misgivings of society.
“We fear violence less than our own feelings. Personal, private, solitary pain is more terrifying than what anyone else can inflict.” Jim Morrison
And I do agree on the most part about keeping one’s composure in public. But what’s wrong with a ‘good cry’ in private? Or with someone you trust and confide in?
Nothing, of course. But it was still hard for me to cry even in private because I had really internalized the notion that I shouldn’t cry, that it would make matters worse, when the opposite is actually true…
Crying is actually a gift from Mother Nature, just like sweating or pooping, to rid yourself of the things you no longer need which would become quite toxic if you held onto them.
Think about it, what would happen to you if you stopped sweating or pooping? You would most likely die an untimely death.
When you stop allowing yourself to cry, you build up negative energy that eats you alive like cancer, both literally and figuratively.
“Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.” Khalil Gibran
Many men – and women too! – need to re-learn how to cry, releasing emotional pain and negative energy in a healthy and positive way.
I found out how to do this in something called the Emotional Freedom Technique, EFT for short, or “Tapping”.
EFT with Sonya Sophia and The World Tapping Circle
I actually heard about the Emotional Freedom Technique a few years ago but at the time, it was just a little too far out for me. I mean, how is tapping all over your body with your index and forefinger supposed to solve any of life’s problems?
There’s actually a bit more to it than tapping your fingers on your body but this was my former perception of EFT.
Anyway, there’s this podcast I listen to frequently called ‘The Positive Head’, run by this super spiritually expansive guy named Brandon Beechum. He had Sonya Sophia of The World Tapping Circle on one of his podcasts who piqued my interest by describing EFT as more than just ancient Chinese medicine, but also incorporating elements of science and modern psychology.
Since Sonya offers four online tapping sessions for free, and since I respect Brandon’s opinion, I figured “why not give it a try?”
EFT Session 1: Overcoming Fear of Failure
“Doubt is a pain too lonely to know that faith is his twin brother.” Kalil Jibran
When you do EFT, you pick one issue to work on during that session. For my first session, I decided to work on ‘fear of failure’.
By the way, other people are joining in on the session, that’s why they call it the ‘World Tapping Circle’, but you still maintain complete privacy and no one knows exactly what issue you are working on unless you want them to.
So at the beginning of the session I’m following Sonya’s instructions and I begin laughing. At first, I think I’m laughing because the whole thing just seems absurd but then I begin to realize my laughter is a much deeper emotional response. Yep, I’m one of those annoying people who laughs in uncomfortable situations.
Then I begin yawning and I figure it’s just because I’m tired but Sonya explains that this is a typical response to tapping.
I keep following along with Sonya, focusing on my issue, I laugh a bit more, yawn a bit more and then I burst out crying!
What? Beyond getting a little misty eyed at a sentimental thought here and there, I hadn’t cried in months, maybe even years, but here I am, a grown man, balling my eyes out like a big baby trying to keep up with the tapping session.
I get my focus back and then started having childhood memories, buried deep in the recesses of my mind, that were absolutely at the root of my fear of failure. I then began to cry some more, then laugh some more, then cry some more.
I was beginning to understand, and with understanding, comes relief.
Then I experienced flashes of profound insight on things that seemed totally unrelated to my fear of failure. I began understanding and forgiving people, even people who I blamed, rightly or wrongly, for causing me great consternation and grief.
This was my first EFT/Tapping session ever. It lasted an hour and a half, and I was exhausted. But I felt so peaceful and at one with the world, with everyone and everything, for we are all, each and every one of us, magnificent shiny little pieces of the Cosmic Consciousness.
And, oh yeah, my fear of failure has diminished somewhat as well. Maybe not completely, but noticeably.
EFT Session 2: Releasing Resentment
“There is no birth of consciousness without pain.” Carl Jung
Since my first EFT session was such a positive, enlightening experience, I decided to go back for more.
This time, instead of a live session, I decided to try one of Sonya’s pre-recorded sessions. That’s the beauty of The World Tapping Circle. The live sessions are great because they give you a sense of community and connection with other like minded people but if you can’t make a live session, Sonya and her team have recorded a fairly extensive library of sessions addressing just about any need.
In the World Tapping Circle library is a video session on ‘resentment’, a deep dark secret of mine, I don’t like to admit to, and wanted to release forever, because even though I nurtured it, I know that resentment is one of the most unhealthy, self-defeating emotions.
I was still feeling resentment from a job I left nearly two years ago.
Before I go on, let me say that I am extremely grateful that I had this job for as long as I did. Because of that job I paid the bills, saved some money, learned a lot, and met many wonderful people.
Even so, on several occasions I felt like I had been passed over for promotion. I worked really hard, gave it enormous amounts of my life energy, taught many things to people who got promoted ahead of me, went in on my days off, and worked way later than many of my compatriots.
I felt unappreciated, invalidated, and misunderstood.
Right or wrong, these were my feelings toward my employer at the time. As much as I tried to deny it to myself, I harbored ill feelings toward the people who I thought were responsible for treating me unfairly. (In the end, I claim sole responsibility for my circumstances but that’s another story.)
So here I am nearly two years later still bearing a grudge. I’m on a path of spiritual and personal growth but this old injury still rears its ugly head on the most unexpected occasions. I was ready to let go of it once and for all.
I got into the session and started yawning, laughing, and crying in that order, just like I did with the first session. My crying wasn’t as intense this time but I really felt a lot of BLOOD RED ANGER. I let myself feel all of it, which is what you’re supposed to do during EFT.
I cursed these people out, I mean I let them have it. I reminded them of every instance of their maltreatment of me.
And then PEACE.
After about an hour of proving my case against my oppressors, I felt overwhelming PEACE.
And then LOVE.
I pictured every former boss and co-worker in front of me who “did me wrong” and gave them a big hug and showered them with love.
Then I pictured all of them together and gave them one huge, gigantic bear hug. I sat in front of my laptop with my arms outstretched forming the shape of a heart, and all of these people were inside my heart, and we all had a big laugh and cry together.
That was my second experience with EFT.
I have checked myself a few times to see if my old grudge was still there but when I do, I remember that it used to be there, but I no longer feel anything about it, good or bad.
I have made peace with this portion of my past and I am most grateful to Sonya Sofia and the World Tapping Circle for helping me move through it, transforming negative energy into more productive and creative energy.
Due to these first two mind blowing experiences, ‘tapping’ is now part of my personal growth regimen. I do it at least once a week. I don’t cry during every session, but I always feel a sense of relief each time as well as a growing sense of inner peace each and every day.
How to Experience Your Own Free EFT/Tapping Sessions
Now that you’ve heard this EFT skeptic’s story, I encourage you to at least give it a try, if only to prove to yourself it’s a bunch of malarkey like I once thought.
But what if it works? What dreams may come if you can add another powerful tool to your arsenal of personal growth and spiritual awakening?
The Emotional Freedom Technique will help you…
- DECREASE your DISCOMFORT, physically and emotionally
- ACCOMPLISH your PURPOSE by releasing past conditioning
- IMPROVE your RELATIONSHIPS by clearing ‘triggers’
- INCREASE FINANCIAL GAINS by releasing self-sabotage