Recently, I had an interaction with a person whom I trusted and at the end of the contact, I felt disregarded. At first, I noticed how enraged I was …. which is unusual for me. I tend to sit on my anger and suppress it.
While speaking through my reaction with two friends, I was like a spewing demon, using words I never use…wow! Talk about over-reaction!
When I notice something, I begin my inner work…. In this case, I tapped and tapped and I still felt angry. And I wondered why this person had provoked such intense anger in me.
Some of the possibilities were:
One week later, I was still stewing. Granted, the anger was less intense, but still there… So, I tapped and tapped, but still could not release it.
I went for a walk this morning and I tapped while I walked and contemplated. I realised that what was irritating me was the disregard of my needs. I had not been given an opportunity to explain why I was only responding now to his communication. To me, it felt like his needs were more important (I understand that this is my experience of the situation; his would be different).
I asked myself why we find it necessary to be harsh and hard with others – and yes, there are a myriad of reasons; some of which can be traced back to early childhood experiences and learnings, but I realised that, often, we are harsh and tend to look after our own needs while disregarding the needs of others when we feel that we need to protect ourselves.
I recognised that my inner bitch appears when I feel threatened or attacked…. In such circumstances, I can be scathing in order to protect myself.
I also recognised that beneath my anger was a deeper feeling of “not being valued”. Underneath was a cesspool of feelings which included feeling less than, less worthy and disregarded. Needless to say, I tapped... on this specific incident and on “all experiences that have ever caused me to feel undervalued, not valued, not worthy, less important, not as good as etc.”
And while tapping, I realised that I would like to expand the circle of regard in the world… regard for others as well as ourselves. I wondered what it would take for us to regard others’ needs as just as important as our own. I imagined a world, where, instead of being harsh, cruel and dismissive of one another, we can sit together in a circle of regard and acknowledge each other’s worthiness simply because we are human and alive. I imagined a world where we can talk to each other about what we need and then about how we can find ways of taking the needs of all into account, negotiating solutions that meet our needs in innovative and respectful ways.
Through this one incident, I have recognised how important having true regard for others is. And I am grateful for the lesson.
Carol Cooper-Steyn is a social worker who has worked in the fields of child protection, child and adolescent sexual abuse and paediatric palliative care. She qualified as a craniosacral therapist in 2002 and is a certified non-medical hypnotherapist and an emotional freedom techniques (EFT) and matrix reimprinting practitioner. Her clients view her as an incredible ‘soul coach’.