I have a few Negative Beliefs . . .
I did some dumb things in my teens. I backed the family car out of the driveway, into our neighbor’s car (which had exited his driveway a second ahead of mine). I waited tables at a church banquet and spilled iced tea down the back of a well-dressed Sunday school teacher. I sat at the piano in complete paralysis, unable to remember an entire section of my Chopin Polonaise as the audience waited . . .
When I think of this chain of horrors, I want to hide and disintegrate into the soil, never to be seen again. I feel like . . . I’m a failure; I’m a disappointment.
Those two beliefs, until pretty recently, dominated my life. I never fully relaxed for fear I might bomb another important event, thus reinforcing my status as a disappointer.
Negative Beliefs sound like . . .
I’m not (good) enough.
It’s my fault.
I’m a bad person.
I can’t trust.
These beliefs come from adverse experiences, especially repeated ones that happened when we were very young. The traumatized brain grabs these explanations – unless someone helps us understand and talk about what happened. So maybe your logical, adult self knows that these are false . . . but the emotional or child part of you FEELS they are true anyway.
Maybe you have old Negative Beliefs that could be interfering with your life now.
So, when you think of your worst problem . . . the thing that causes you the most grief and heartache and anxiety:
- What does it look like?
- How does it feel when you think of it?
- Where do you notice that emotion in your body?
- What does it mean about you? . . .
There it is.
EMDR targets those old ways of viewing and experiencing our selves. It causes us to reprocess, or metabolize, old information that once got stuck in traumatic form in our bodies and it lets new information replace it.
I do the best I can.
I did the best I could.
I’m okay now.
I’m good enough.
I’m enough as I am.
I’m a good person.
I’m beautiful and I deserve love.
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