Releasing Grief: An EFT journey from general grief to specific core issues and release
This is a session Therese did as a case study to qualify as a practitioner for AAMET and I asked her if I could share it with you because it shows so beautifully that if you just start tapping, EFT can take you on that deeper journey where all can be revealed and released in a very gentle way.
Whether you are a practitioner or doing EFT for yourself only, this case study will most probably have something for you.
When working with Maggie in class for an ongoing pain in my left shoulder we identified that I was holding onto a lot of grief. On returning home, I spent some time working through several unresolved grief events from my past.
The overall pain level in my shoulder when I started this session was a 5 – 6
First Grief Issue
Since the issue seemed to be linked to grief, I began tapping using the set up phrase “Even though I have all this grief held in my shoulder, I deeply and completely love and accept myself” with “All this grief as the reminder”.
(Note from Maggie: Saying “completely love and accept myself” is not for everyone. If it is distracting, if you can’t imagine loving yourself, simply say “I deeply and completely accept myself”.)
During the second round of this tapping, I began to cry, and realised just how sad I still was over my grandmother’s death in 1994. This was the first time someone very close to me had died, and I was completely unprepared for the grief and sadness, so without realising it, I just pushed it inside so I wouldn’t have to feel it. The SUDs I was feeling at this point was a 9.
(Note from Maggie: Most of us are taught to push grief away as children and it ends up stuck inside us having access to us and most of the time we have no idea why we feel so vulnerable, angry, sad, or whatever other heavy emotion we have. With EFT, starting with the general statement “have all this grief held in my shoulder” quickly breaks down into where the grief comes from and continuing to do EFT, it can be released.)
I began tapping using the set up phrase “Even though I never wanted Nan to die and I’m still holding on to all this grief over her, I deeply and completely love and accept myself”. For reminder statements, I began with “I never wanted Nan to go” and then started going with a stream of consciousness around all my feelings about losing Nan. When the tears stopped and sadness was no longer there, I just tapped a round as I breathed deeply with no words. I then continued tapping using a stream of consciousness dialogue along the lines that I no longer need this grief, it doesn’t serve in any positive way, and Nan would only want the best for me. I finished off with my willingness to let go of all the grief and sadness at Nan’s passing.
(Note from Maggie: Please note that Therese’s sadness went to a zero before she used a positive statement around not needing the grief anymore………. This is important. It is very positive to release the negative and as long as you have negative emotions/thoughts, EFT is more powerful if you release all that before moving to a positive statement.)
(Note from Maggie: Stream of Consciousness tapping means simply saying out loud while tapping through all the points, anything that comes through the mind. You might be surprised at what is in there. If you want more information on how and when to use this, let me know.)
When I had finished tapping, I thought about all the events of Nan’s death and the funeral and how I felt at the time, and there was no grief or sadness there. The SUDs was a 0
Second Grief Issue
I then asked myself what other grief might be in my shoulder. I was surprised to find that I was still very sad about my cat dying about 7 years ago. At first I thought that this was a trivial issue, but then I realised that at the time I had considered it foolish to get too carried away with being sad over a cat and so once again, I had pushed it down inside and not allowed myself to properly process it.
Thinking about Winnie (my cat) I decided that the SUDs level was about a 7.
I began tapping using the set up phrase “Even though I was really sad when Winnie died, and I never really grieved properly, I deeply and completely love and accept myself”. For reminder statements, I began with “So sad that Winnie died” and “I loved my little cat”. As I was tapping, I began to really cry so I started using a stream of consciousness as I tapped through the points. In doing this, I came up with the realisation that I felt really guilty because, even though I knew she really was not well, I had put Winnie in her box in the garage the night she died. I felt guilty that I had left her alone and she died by herself. The SUDS level around this was a 9.
Still crying, I immediately began tapping on “Even though I left Winnie all by herself when she died, I deeply and completely love and accept myself”. For reminder statements, I said “I left her by herself”. After several rounds of tapping as I calmed down and I started using forgiveness phrases like “I didn’t know she would die” and “I did the best I knew how”. After several more rounds of tapping, I changed the reminders to “It’s time to let go of the sadness and guilt” and “I’m ready to let go of the sadness and guilt”. On the final round of tapping, I alternated between “Winnie’s gone” and “The sadness and guilt are gone” as I went through the tapping points.
I then thought about Winnie how unwell she was, and the fact that she was in the garage by herself and remembered what she looked like when I found her in the morning. Now the SUDs was a 0.
(Note from Maggie: This is brilliant EFT. Therese continued to tap and deeper issues continued to come up until there were no more issues. She was persistent and received an outcome of zero on the Intensity Meter as her reward.)
Third Grief Issue
The next grief that came up was how heart-broken I felt when we helped our 15 year old son pack up his things when he decided he wouldn’t come back home and work things out after running away a second time. I particularly remembered how empty and like a lost little boy he looked standing in the middle of his room while everything he had known was packed into a cardboard box. (This happened 20 years ago)
I rated the SUDs around this event at a 10 as I become very upset when I think about this. (Consequently I don’t think about it often)
I began tapping using the set up phrase “Even though I was heart-broken when I saw Chris standing there lost and empty as he packed up his room, I deeply and completely love and accept myself”. For reminder statements, I started with “My poor little boy” and then moved on with a stream of consciousness. I was very upset and crying as I did this tapping. After quite a few rounds when I had stopped crying and was calm again, I thought about the event again and the grief was down to a 2. I then did another couple of rounds of tapping on “Even though I have this remaining grief, I deeply and completely love and accept myself”. The reminder was “This last remaining grief.”
As I thought about Chris and I pictured him as I had seen him standing, in front of the cardboard box, there was no grief. The SUDs was at a 0. This was the first time in 20 years I have remembered this event, let alone thought about it intently when I haven’t cried over that incident.
After doing this tapping, I checked again on the pain in my shoulder and it had gone down to a 2.
I was not able to identify any other grief issues, however what I realised had come up in the stream of consciousness in all 3 of these issues was the fact that as much as I wanted to, I wasn’t able to “make it better” or “fix it up” for either my nan, my cat or my son. I have had this phrase come up as well when I have been tapping on the relationship issues that are presently happening in my husband’s family with one of his sisters. While I consciously know that it isn’t my responsibility, or even in my ability, to fix every situation that comes my way, there is obviously some sub-conscious beliefs or desires around this that need to be addressed. I will do further tapping on this as it may also be influencing the pain in my shoulder.
Maggie: Not only did Therese clear immense old grief issues, this EFT session allowed her to see a common thread, that of not being able to “fix it up.” Going back to wanting or needing to make things better or fix it up will further Therese’s healing journey and allow her much more freedom and joy in her life.
If you have any questions about this session, please feel free to email me.
Maggie Adkins, EFT Founding Master