Expecting others to be anyone other than who they are isn’t serving anyone. The expectation only builds resentment when they can’t live up to our illusion of who we think they are supposed to be. We become victim to our own expectations, and we continue to feel unseen and unheard. We not only can’t listen with love while we’re here, we can’t hear the solutions to how we can help OURSELVES feel seen and heard. If they aren’t capable of listening with love in that moment, they are NOT a part of the solutions to feel seen and heard now.
For many, including myself, I’ve been challenged by this. I’ve gone through many different periods where I feel like people don’t understand me at all. I’ve felt disrespected when others try to push their beliefs on me. I’ve held resentments when I didn’t feel like my needs were being met. I’ve taken it personally when my teenagers had no interest in hugging or listening to me. I’ve felt hurt by loved ones when they were incapable of listening and/or hearing me. I’ve also felt infuriated when people aren’t seeing my point.
In all these circumstances, there is nothing I can do to change the other people involved, but I can stop fighting what is. I can walk away or stand up to them if that’s what feels right, and when I say it feels right, it means I’m ABLE to do it from the energy of love for myself and towards them. I can claim my feelings based on the stories I’m playing in my head about the situation. I can also look at things in a way that doesn’t make ME suffer if that is what I CHOOSE. But sometimes none of that stuff works and I’m still left feeling unseen and unheard.
How can I make myself feel seen and heard? How do I listen with love to get my own needs met? Those are the questions I started asking myself. I love how the Universe works when we put out questions and leave ourselves open for the answers to be revealed. But I have to say; I was a little bit stubborn with this one. It took me awhile to actually be open enough to get the AHA-moment where everything in me lit up and said, “YES.”
My literary agent/soul sister will love that I’m sharing this story, LOL. In 2007, she introduced me to a process called Tapping, otherwise known as, Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). She used to say, “You should tap on that” A LOT! I tried it a few times, but I had this fear of doing it wrong and saying the wrong thing as I was tapping on these different points of my head, chest, hand, and fingers. I just could never get into it as a processing tool to help calm down my nervous system when I was having heavier feelings, but I understood the science behind it and could see how effective it would be if I could just get myself to do it.
Over the years, I would try it from time to time and see how it worked, but still never made it one of my own personal go-to tools. Fast forward to being virtually introduced to best-selling author Amy B. Scher a few months back. At the time I met her, someone I loved was dealing with depression. I had seen that Amy had a book called, How to Heal Yourself from Depression When No One Else Can. I was intrigued, so I ordered the audiobook and started listening. She not only brought up EFT, but some other techniques I’d never heard of before. Whether it was because I was open to listen, or her approaches just made it feel so easy, I signed up for one of her live sessions. After I did it, I felt like EFT was going to be playing a much bigger part in my life. I signed-up for an EFT course to really learn and understand more.
After the first day, I realized that this was the ANSWER to the questions I asked the Universe. How can I make myself feel seen and heard? How do I listen with love to get my own needs met? The answer is EFT and/or something similar. I say similar because there are different techniques that can be used to get similar effects, but here is why I specifically love EFT. First, let me just say people have slightly different approaches to it, but here’s why I see it as the way to feeling seen and heard.
EFT starts with a setup. While tapping on what’s called the karate chop point on the side of the hand a person will say something like, “Even though I feeling lost and confused, I completely love and accept myself, or “Even though I have this problem, I deeply and completely accept myself with love and gratitude.” So, right of the bat, we are stating how we feel and telling ourselves that we love and accept ourselves.
When I was in AL-ANON we would talk about the three A’s—Awareness, Acceptance, and Action. First, in order to move past our suffering, we have to SEE our suffering. We can’t run, avoid, numb, or try to control our pain if we REALLY don’t want it to have power over us. All those things do is make the problem worse and we become the example of what it looks like not to listen with love. If we are not going to listen to ourselves with love, we are showing it’s acceptable not to listen to us. Is that what we want? Remember, what we project out is what we will get back.
Once we see the issue, the next step is acceptance. This is why EFT is so wonderful, because we state what we are holding onto first. Then we make a statement to show ourselves the love and acceptance that we deserve. After taking the first two steps, we take action and allow ourselves to move through the energy blockage by tapping the meridian points. When we are tapping along our meridian points affirming the feelings. This means we are attending to our feelings. We are naming them and giving them space to be there. We also say what is bothering us, and again we are showing up to be present to how it is affecting us. We allow feelings, emotions, and stories to move through us the way they are meant to move without creating any drama about how someone else is or isn’t showing up for us, which just ends up amplifying the suffering if they can’t show up the way we want them to. This process also keeps us from shoving the feelings down and creating toxic energy within us that just ends up coming out sideways on the people around us.
The hard truth is that when we depend on others to see and hear us, we will continue to suffer. We will continue to feel hurt, angry, frustrated, and resentful. I know how painful it is. This is why I asked the questions in the first place. I’m tired of not feeling seen and heard. I’m exhausted from feeling resentful when people can’t live up to my expectations. I know that the ONLY real solution is figuring out how to make MYSELF feel seen and heard.
When I do this for myself, I’m more available to show up for others by listening with love. I have the ability to be present with them instead of being lost in my own pain. I become the example of what listening with love looks like, which allows me to appreciate when others show up to the best of their ability for me. I don’t HAVE to take where someone is on their journeys personally—unless I CHOOSE to. That is up to me. I have to take responsibility and accountability for the consequences of what that does inside of me. The beauty of this…I’m the one who can do something about my suffering ANY time I CHOOSE!
Like I’ve said, EFT practitioners can use different techniques, which is why I’m including a few of links to give you some options. Try them out and see if there is one that feels right to you. Does the process make you feel seen and heard? It does for me.
Thank you for being here for another episode of Listening with Love. Next week, I will be talking about feeling safe to feel what we feel. In the meantime, here are some EFT links to keep you busy. If you don’t know who Amy B. Scher is, I highly recommend you check her out.
With Love and Gratitude,