Sunday, July 27, has been designated National Parents’ Day in the United States. Of all the roles we assume in our lives, the parenting role comes with the highest degree of importance, and, in this country at least, the lowest degree of support when we are in need. Parents are vilified when our children misbehave, praised when our children conform, and shamed when we need guidance in handling the day-to-day stresses of family life. Often times when we become parents we are expected to renounce other aspects of ourselves to such a degree that we lose sight of vital personal dreams and goals. Perhaps some parents have an easy time juggling the many expectations and requirements of what is considered to be “good” parenting in our western culture, but many of us find our parenting responsibilities overwhelming, at least some part of every day. Thankfully, Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) can help to release the overwhelm of parenting in the moment and after crises happen.
When my mother died in April of 2006, I had already discovered tapping. In fact, it was because I knew she was dying that I sought out EFT Master Betty Moore-Hafter. Although everything was right about my mother’s death, I felt I needed support to allow my mother to die without my needs interfering with her process. I chose Betty, not because of EFT which I hadn’t yet heard of, but because she was both a hypnosis and age regression therapist. I was curious to see if her approach would help me to resolve the last few energetic ties to a medical trauma my mother and I shared when she was thirty and I was two. This surprise EFT session was magical – gentle and loving – and I left Betty’s office feeling this challenging early event had been transformed. I have tapped ever since. One of the earliest consequences of that session was an ability to be fully present to what my mother needed. On my own, I could tune into my own need to celebrate her life in my own unique way. Somehow, without writing about it directly, I wanted to express the essence of my mother’s approach to living in and leaving the world. Awash in Love is that essence.
Inevitably when we do our deepest work, we come to what may be our greatest cultural taboo: Death. Even at funerals we tend to focus on death’s antidotes – the flowers, the embalmed bodies that “look better than ever”, and the religious belief that the dead are in a “better place.” The truth is, we can’t know with certainty what lies beyond this life. What we can know is that nothing in life is permanent and this impermanence often makes us anxious. As we approach death psychologically and emotionally, admitting its reality and reflecting on its meaning for us, tapping can help us to explore the fears we have absorbed from our family, friends, and culture.
Recently a good friend loaned me her copy of Two Old Women written by Velma Wallis. The book’s subtitle says it all: An Alaska Legend of Betrayal, Courage, and Survival. Briefly, it is about elders of the Gwich’in Band, one of “eleven distinct Athabaskan groups . . . found in the western interior of the state along the Yukon, Porcupine, and Tanana rivers.” Sometimes, a story from a different culture can best hold up a mirror to our own cultural practices regarding aging. So it is with Two Old Women.