The little girl was having such a nice day, running and playing in the fields barefoot on the farm. Her mother called her from the house. “Lunch time!” She ran down the path headed for food. A stick was on the path, and being barefoot, she jumped over it. And it MOVED!
Nothing else “bad” happened.
Yet… five decades later, she would not walk along paths in fields and forests. Her snake fear had blossomed to the point where any mention of the “s-word” would make her flush, sweat, and shake. She could not relax playing outside with her grand-daughter. She could not relax when gardening. She felt disconnected from the peaceful beauty of nature, and instead felt that it might attack her any minute.
It was easy for people who did not share her fear to proclaim that she was being ridiculous. She was “overreacting.” She should be able to look at it realistically and Just Get OVER It Already!
That isn’t the way it works. When our primitive brain is triggered, it makes instant and long-lasting decisions. Like: “Nature is unsafe. There are threats on every path. You must not let your guard down EVER!” Or, “I am not good at judging what is in front of me, and I better be vigilant and watch for danger.”
See, when we are exposed to a shock to our system, we have to do something with that energy. But when the event becomes FROZEN, when we don’t discharge this “little trauma” in a healthy way, to find relief our primitive brain can just add Rule after Rule after Rule to somehow… some way… get us SAFE once again.
Our primitive brain plays a crucial role in our learning and our survival. However, it is far more interested in our survival than our THRIVING. For the little girl who was shocked by the stick-turned-snake, her enjoyment of life was significantly impaired by this event. Further, because she had this initial trauma, each future mention or “run in” with a snake–real or imagined!–added layers to the trauma.
And that is where tapping came in…
Right in my kitchen, years ago when I had almost no tapping (EFT) experience, I tapped with her while she remembered that first event. I tapped with her as she remembered a couple more intense snake encounters years later. And when we were done, she felt different when she imagined being in the presence of a snake.
A few weeks later she was walking in the woods… !!! And she came across a snake sunning itself on a rock… !!! And she watched it. She watched and waited with surprising peace and curiosity. The snake woke up, and slithered away. And she knew she had become… more “herself.” Yes, more authentically the woman who could really face what life brought her way. The snake issue was an exception. Now, that exception was gone. Years later, it remains gone.
Once we really understand how trauma affects our inner workings, we become more sensitive and intent on releasing those “little t” (and “Big T”) traumas from where they hide, sapping us of freedom. The reaction the little girl had was NATURAL. Her developed “phobia” was not the result of some lack of willpower or character defect. The shame she felt over her fear simply reinforced the phobia.
The Great News is that with tapping, we can shift these traumas. With awareness we can notice how and where our life feels constrained… and then ask, “Does this scared feeling REMIND ME of something from my past?”
If it does, that is your doorway to do some tapping… maybe some Inner Tapping. Take the SHOCK out of the memory. Bring RELIEF to the Younger You that has been FROZEN in that state for a long time. And when you are done, notice whether you feel more free… I am confident you will.
We know from personal experience how invaluable a helping hand can be when you are dealing with these kinds of issues. We have a group coaching program that is structured to provide such support.
We also offer private sessions (limited availability).