Resetting Barbara’s Emotional Clock
The rapid vibrating of Barbara’s body was her system’s method of resetting her emotional clock and accelerating the energies in her emotional body so that they might catch up to her chronological age. When her body stopped vibrating, one part of her would no longer be in its mid- sixties, while the other part of her stayed stuck in shame at age six. Now her chronological age and her emotional life would be synchronized at the same level of maturity.
Venturing Outside the Box
As a child, she always had to be vigilant and on guard, constantly looking over her shoulder for the criticism that was sure to come her way if she dared to step out of the box into which her circumstances had forced her. She had had no choice but to be what someone else had wanted her to be. Now the compulsion to please, and the fear, shame, need, and rage that had been stuck in her body since early childhood were cleared from her system. She had ventured outside the box of her childhood conditioning and would never be the same again.
The “endure to survive” theme that had dominated her childhood and sabotaged her adult years would no longer control her. She was no longer firmly entrenched on the path of most resistance. Barbara’s healing experience taught her that change could happen at any age and that it was indeed possible to teach an old dog new tricks.
Signs of Transformation
The first outward sign of Barbara’s growth occurred in an interaction with an old friend. For many years, she had considered this particular woman her best friend. Yet this woman consistently irritated and upset her. Until now, Barbara had never really examined the source of that irritation. She had just thought that her feelings were due to a hidden flaw within herself, rather than to a problem with her friend. Instead of being able to look objectively at her friendship, she had internalized her feelings and blamed herself. The shame that her mother had instilled in her as a child had created low self-esteem and led her to blame herself whenever anything went wrong. Now that she was clearer and more confident in herself, she realized that the irritation she experienced whenever she was with this woman occurred because her friend routinely used her and treated her dismissively.
The next time her friend called and said something that upset her, Barbara told her exactly how she felt about being treated in this manner. The woman then became very nasty, berating Barbara and treating her even more contemptuously. Barbara was not about to put up with that kind of treatment ever again. She told the woman that their friendship was over and hung up the phone. When she told me about it a few days later she was still feeling very proud of herself and couldn’t believe that she felt no remorse.
“Why should you?” I asked her. “All you did was tell her the truth.”
“I know,” she said, “but the old Barbara would have felt terrible and scared and done everything under the sun to put it back together. Now I couldn’t care less. I feel terrifically empowered. I never knew I could feel so good about myself.”
“Think about what happened with this woman,” I continued. “There’s more here than meets the eye. This was a very significant moment in your growth. Your friend was very much like your mother. They shared the same essential characteristic. By standing up to her you also symbolically stood up to your mother. Congratulations are in order. You just broke the unconscious governing belief that had ruled your life.”
The same need to stand up for herself began to occur in all of Barbara’s important relationships. A few weeks after telling her former friend the truth, her sons called. They wanted her to come over and watch the Super Bowl with them and their wives and bring some food with her. She told them that she hated sports and wasn’t about to be used for free food. If they wanted to see her, it would have to be something she liked to do, and they could supply the food. After all, they were now grown men.
Their reaction surprised her. She expected them to be very upset, but they were not upset at all. They fully agreed with her position and apologized for their behavior. Since that conversation, their relationship is on an entirely different plane. They now have a mother they respect and are proud of. They even cook her dinner.
When Loss is an Advantage
For Barbara, the lesson in standing up for herself was clear and simple. She lost those people who were not her real friends, made new ones to replace them who were much more positive than the old ones, and gained the respect of those that really mattered to her. In terms of her growth, her losses were really gains. She lost what didn’t matter and was no longer relevant to her growth. By rejecting negative people she affirmed her own self-worth, increased her personal power, and protected her core self.