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Posted on 30 Nov, 2015 | 6 comments

Bad Things Are Good Things In Disguise

Good as Bad

I’m so excited about the unpleasant, painful wake-up I had when I lost it at my poor precious child the other day. I do wish he could have been spared that experience and I really do prefer gentler lessons for myself but still, the result of it for me – and in the long run for him – is such a gift.

You see the thing is that, after years of deliberately clearing away the emotional and psychological  debris from my earlier years, I walk around feeling pretty good most of the time. People who meet me generally see me as outgoing, confident and happy – and it’s true. I mostly am. I’m not constantly anguished by the deeper wounds that lurk below and drive me unconsciously. Most of the time I can’t easily access the fear-based motives that drive me towards or away from certain options in my life.

Why would I want access to them? Well, because if they are fear-based they are almost always preventing me from going for stuff that is likely to be wonderful. For example maybe I wish I could do something but some part of me resists it or gets scared – even though I can see I really want it or that it’ll be so good for me.

We have hidden agendas that form when we are little and they are based on fears that were true then – if she doesn’t love me I might die – but they are not true now. They are installed there, running those programmes, unchallenged and untouchable – unless they are triggered.

That’s when magic begins.

Scientific research into psychological and emotional change shows us that in order for proper change to occur the emotional event needs to be strongly elicited. Following that there is a five-hour window during which that pattern can be changed completely and permanently. We change it by offering our brain a contradictory alternative to the current belief and feeling and then repeating the process a few times – the one you don’t want, the one you do want, the one you don’t want, the one you do want…

There are a number of techniques that are using this science now with jaw-dropping effects – NLP, EMDR, BWRT, EFT… a whole lotta acronyms, a whole lotta power to change. They all use this premise; strongly activate the problematic programming, bring awareness to it, then bring in a preferred alternative and repeatedly activate the sequence. Each of these techniques can resolve even long-standing post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, anger etc sometimes in a matter of minutes, sometimes over a few sessions.

Are you getting this? We can only change the deeply buried stuff when it is triggered. It may be guiding us to self-sabotage, avoiding real intimacy, fear of success, explosive anger while driving, freaking out at our child, depression, low self-esteem….but we can’t access it in the usual course of events when we are well-defended and getting along well enough.

When we are triggered we have a five-hour window to change those patterns FOR EVER! ‘Bad’ things trigger us. The stuff that hurts or makes us scared or angry or hopeless – and all that other stuff we avoid – is coming along TO HELP US. Loss, trauma, our child driving us nuts, those events are helping us make the changes we say we long for. In fact, in my practice I often see those things coming IN RESPONSE to pleas for help.

“I wish I could change” someone tells me and WHAM along comes a helper in the form of some event that cracks open the surface and exposes the underflow. Usually the response is a desperate, “I’m doing my best. Why did this have to happen now?!” A more appropriate response would be, “Thank you.”

The bad things are good things. They are help on the way. What you do with that help is up to you.

Is there any help going on in your life right now? Are you fighting it or welcoming its gifts?

6 Comments

  1. This also via email:

    Do you mean that one can use that technique oneself – trigger, alternative, repeat – whenever an opportune trigger comes along? I’d be terrified to. Or do you have to go to someone reliable who specializes in one of those acronyms?

    Also, please be nice to us grammar nazis and take that apostrophe out of the 2nd last word, there’s a luv.

    • Hi.

      Thanks for your comment. It is something you can do yourself actually. Please see my response to the comment below yours?

      If you feel terrified to then definitely do it with someone trustworthy who can ease your fear and help you learn to do it for yourself. Of course, the bigger traumas are better done with someone experienced and safe.

      And I will now remove the comma Herr Grammar. Danke.

  2. I received this comment via email:

    Lovely to meet you every Monday morning. I always enjoy it even if you don’t hear it all the time. Something triggered my lazy brains this week so I thought I’ll write. (can’t you be triggered for good things begs the question? I know. )

    One, is ,what do you mean by 5 hours gap?

    Second, although the techniques you mentioned can be really effective, it might be useful coming with a warning that straight eliciting might sometimes develop to re-traumatising, if not handled with the right professional.

    Am I breaking into an open door ?

    p.s. you could put some of it in responses if you want to flesh it out………

    • Thanks for your comment. It’s an important one.
      1) The 5-hour gap is that it seems after our brain has strongly fired along a particular neural pathway it remains more easily triggered for a little while. Like you know how if you have a big fright then for quite a while afterwards you are more jumpy? It’s like your body is ready to interpret fright again even from little things like a door banging. Your brain seems more ready to recognise that pattern which signalled danger and generalise it to other things. So it seems to be more easy to access that neural pathway which is triggered by a particular pattern that your brain recognises. That’s why it’s a golden opportunity to disconnect that pattern and response.

      2) It is a good idea to do this with someone who is experienced in holding the process. That is especially true if what you are working with started with a big trauma of some kind. If you do this sort of inner processing work often though, or you have done it with a professional before, you can probably do it for yourself at home. I teach my clients to do it themselves or give them a recorded version to use at home so they can be empowered in the moments they are triggered like that.

      There are a lot of EFT techniques (otherwise known as ‘tapping’) on YouTube where someone takes you through the process. Worth trying out.
      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/27/tapping-for-anxiety-gabrielle-bernstein_n_6044082.html

  3. I really enjoyed this post – and I really needed to read it right now.
    Many thanks,
    Sean.

    • Hi Sean. I’m so glad it was what you needed right now. I love it when that happens for someone – gives me a warm fuzzy feeling – so many thanks for leaving a comment to let me know. I hope you soon see the light behind whatever is pretending to be bad in your life right now.

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