This post is about a 20 minute EFT session I did with myself about 6 months ago while reading the book, A New Earth: Awakening to your life’s purpose by spiritual teacher, author and speaker Eckhart Tolle for the third time. Many people know about this book because Tolle did a podcast series with Oprah Winfrey about the book in 2008. Often when I am resisting something or feel like I can’t open up to something new I tend to use EFT to move through it as I did in the short unplanned session I describe in this article.
Before starting the tapping session I was reading in chapter four in A New Earth about how the ego (that false, mentally created, limited sense of self) operates. The following passage from this chapter sparked something in me and lead to a short but very fruitful self-led tapping session…
“Any conceptual sense of self – seeing myself as this or that – is ego, whether predominately positive (I am the greatest) or negative (I am no good)…Whenever you feel superior or inferior to anyone, that’s the ego in you.” -Tolle
This egoic way of relating to oneself and life (and how untrue it is) is obvious to most people in the case of possessions such as, “I am better than that person because I drive a nicer car.” But this tendency is often overlooked in ourselves when the comparison is more subtle or not physical. For example a person’s ego may say, “I am more spiritual, and therefore better, than that person because I meditate more or I am superior to other people because I give money to charity”. The underlying structure and false identification with the thing, concept, or action as ones identity, is the same in both cases. However, according to Tolle the only difference is in the content of the comparison.
As I read this passage I saw and felt the truth of his statements in the workings of my own mind as I have done in the past when reading about the ego, but this time I decided to really investigate it. As I did this I could feel my mind wanting to compare myself to other people and find myself superior in an effort to get attention and value in the hopes of feeling complete and important in the future. I also could feel that my mind had done this my whole life as a basic part of its functioning. At the same time I could feel in my Being that this had never really worked to make me feel deeply happy or complete. Any good I felt from these judgments never really lasted and I noticed that as a result I would always have a strong feeling of separation and fear ultimately creating suffering in my life. I also noticed that part of me (my ego) didn’t want to stop doing this. It felt that it couldn’t stop without being annihilated or becoming nothingness which triggered fear in me. As I know from EFT, “All negative emotion (such as the fear I was experiencing) is caused by a disruption in the body’s energy system.” So I had the idea of using EFT on the fear of letting go of this mental/egoic pattern of wanting to feel superior in general instead of tapping on the specific judgments which is what I have done in the past. Here are the phrases I started with:
Even though I feel the need to make myself superior to other people to have value and add something to myself to feel important, lovable and admired I deeply and completely love and accept myself.
Even though I am afraid that if I don’t keep trying to accomplish things to add something to myself in the future I will be nothingness I deeply and completely love and accept myself.
Even though I see that this hasn’t worked to get me what I really want, but I don’t think I can stop because this is part of the structure of the human ego and I don’t know how to let it go, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.
After a few rounds of tapping the fear started to clear and a deep sadness came. The sadness came from realizing that trying to feel superior was really a yucky feeling and has separated me from other people, keeping me from seeing the vitality and beauty of each person. I began remembering times when I was with people and didn’t judge them in my mind and instead was able to be present and enjoy the Life in them. I was flooded with joy remembering how deeply satisfying, real and true those times were. It then became clear that my Being really wanted to show up for that kind of experience much more than living out this old need to label other people and create a mental image of myself as superior or inferior to them.
I then began to feel some remorse and self-judgment for judging other people and causing myself so much pain because of this compulsion. I then tapped on the regret, sadness and self-judgment and did some crying as I tapped.
Even though I have judged a lot of people instead of seeing their beauty and the spark of their being I deeply and completely love and accept myself.
Even though I have missed out on a lot by doing this and created a lot of suffering for myself and other people and it feels really sad I deeply and completely love and accept myself.
Even though the separation I felt was created by my own mind and I suffered the consequences and am blaming myself and feeling sad I deeply and completely love and accept myself.
During this tapping round another concept from Tolle’s book came to mind. According to Tolle the ego structure is not personal. It is part of every human ego and hence a person does not need to judge themselves for it. They will pay the consequences of it however, but it isn’t a personal problem, or anything that the person did “wrong”. After remembering this I then tapped on forgiving myself for the pain I had caused myself from living this ego pattern. I also used “the choices method” to let this pattern go, now that I could feel how useless it was.
Even though I have been judging people as superior or inferior for my whole life, I recognize this is part of the pattern of the human ego and not a personal problem. I have been suffering the consequences of doing this but I see that it is part of every human ego and I forgive myself deeply and completely.
I choose to release this pattern from every level of my mind, body and spirit. I choose to open to being present with each person in the moment and allowing myself to see the beauty and Life that is there.
After these last tapping rounds I came to a feeling of great peace and calm. The idea of giving up needing to feel superior to other people did not feel frightening anymore, nor did I feel sad or judgmental towards myself about what I had done in the past. I am not going to expect that I will never again have a thought of comparing myself to another, or that I will never think that I am superior or inferior, but it feels very possible that when I do, I can recognize it and let it go rather than cling to the judgment. This tendency also feels weaker, like a lot of the energy has been taken out of it. It also feels very true that I do not need this ego pattern to keep my identity from being annihilated. It feels much more true to me that being Life and a part of humanity, created from Source, and enjoying each person in the moment is more satisfying than any thought I could have in my mind about being superior or inferior to anyone.
After the tapping session I remembered this quote from earlier in A New Earth that expresses the place I came to at the end of the session.
“Everything, a bird, a tree, even a simple stone, and certainly a human being, is ultimately unknowable. This is because it has unfathomable depth. All we can perceive, experience, think about, is the surface layer of reality, less than the tip of an iceberg. Underneath the surface appearance, everything is not only connected with everything else, but also with the Source of all life out of which it came…When you look at it [the thing or person] or hold it and let it be without imposing a word or mental label on it, a sense of awe, of wonder, arises within you. Its essence silently communicates itself to you and reflects your own essence back to you.” – Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth p. 25-26
I very much recommend for serious students of EFT to use it as a tool in conjunction with any spiritual teaching that speaks to and resonates with you. I find that a lot of people do not live what they know in terms of spiritual beliefs because of emotional blocks similar to the fear I had about letting go of the mental pattern I described above. In my experience it is very possible to use EFT in clearing the blocks to opening more deeply to the Truth within us. Any time a “negative” emotion is keeping you from moving forward or letting go of the past in any capacity, including spiritually, you know that there is a disruption in your energy system – there is nothing wrong with you! If you are comfortable using EFT it is very possible to use EFT to move through the emotion to the other side where you can more fully open to and embrace the concepts of any true spiritual teaching. I am very excited about the possibilities in using EFT this way as in my experience there is a lot more intellectual knowledge of spiritual truths than there is embodiment of them. I have used EFT this way for myself and several clients and it works quite elegantly. Good luck and remember to take complete responsibility for your own use of EFT. I would love to hear any comments that you have! -Fraeda