I came across Karin whilst giving a talk recently in Hertfordshire to a fine group associated with Berkhamsted Chiropractic Clinic. I had been asked to speak on how to RECONNECT with a life you love, achieve the health you require to do so, and how to do it in ways that benefit our world. At the end of the talk, I asked if a volunteer would like to come up for the opportunity to have me help them overcome their biggest barrier in life – the thing that’s stopping them living a life they love. I asked for the barrier to be a BIG one in order to help the group see that the strategies I teach have the potential to overcome any barrier life throws at us. Bravely, a woman called Karin volunteered and this is what followed…
In front of the group, Karin explained to us that her biggest barrier in life was “Guilt”. That is was “11 out of 10” and she had suffered with it every day for the past 7 years. She told me that there was absolutely no way it could be overcome but that she would allow me to “give it a go”. I smiled and asked her what had happened to make her feel so guilty. In tears, she began telling me of how for the past 7 years, she had felt she had killed her father. Her father had become severely ill and she had been tasked with making a decision on whether or not to keep him on life support. She bravely made the decision to free him of his suffering. Yet instead of recognising the love she had shown her father that day, the decision left her with crippling guilt. A religious woman, she not only felt she had gone against her Dad’s will, she felt she had let her GOD down too. She explained that every day since, she had woken with this guilt and that her life had been ruined as a result.
Like all barriers in life, they come from a one sided outlook on the events that have happened. We label the event as “Good” or “Bad”. What label we put on the event is dictated by how it matches up to what we value in life. For Karin and her values, this event meant the worst. Unsurprisingly therefore, she became depressed, lost her self esteem and self worth. Every part of her life became effected, including her relationships to the ones she loved most.
Using my strategies I asked her to identify the exact traits of her actions she felt most guilty about. I then asked her to look at the other side of them, i.e. instead of the negatives, what are the benefits of these actions? To begin with, she couldn’t think of any – “Benefits of taking my Dads life? There are none!” However, with some guidance I helped her unravel the benefits that existed from each action she felt guilty about. For example – the bravery she needed to show that day, to her father and her family. How it taught her that she is capable of making some of the hardest decisions human beings can ever be faced with. That it relieved the hurt his illness had been causing her and his loved ones. None more so than the relief of pain it allowed her Father. His dying moments were to feel the love and bravery of his daughter.
Having started with none, we eventually got over 40 benefits for each of the actions she felt guilty about. In doing so, she balanced her perceptions of them. Although there were down sides to the decision, Karin could now see the immense benefits of them. After 2 hours, and on completion of the strategy, I asked her, “So when you think about what happened now, how much guilt out of 10 is there?”. Surprising herself, she answered with a smile, “0”.
If you have ever witnessed someone overcoming a barrier before, their whole physiology changes. This woman was now free and smiling. No longer the self-contained, depressed woman who had come up 2 hours before. Yes, 2 hours it took. To overcome a life and soul destroying barrier of 7 years! I contacted her a few weeks later and this is what she had to say….
“The Reconnect Workshop certainly made a great difference to me – I cannot say exactly what happened because although what you did was very practical in its execution, the result has been an almost spiritual release.
My guilt for having not protected my father from the inadequacies of the hospital’s care, the bad decisions that were made there and the final worst decision, my decision to put him on the Liverpool Pathway, would have continued to haunt and destroy me to my own dying day. Guilt for something we know was wrong, particularly something so final, is literally paralysing. I became a shadow of my true character, never far from tears because of this almost complete erosion of self-esteem.
Guilt is destructive beyond belief. Self-loathing and shame are probably the two main emotions and they are so hard to live with. For seven whole years I lived with the knowledge that I was actually ‘my father’s murderer’. The need for forgiveness was almost a physical pain but there seemed no discernible reason why such an act would or should be forgiven. Unless you had caused someone’s death yourself, you probably would not realise how many murders are reported in the papers, daily. They would jump out of the morning paper at me and whatever the method or reason, logically how could any of them be judged by me?! Was I any better? No, of course not.
However, the process you led me through was also logical – I was sceptical for most of it because there was a negative answer to everything positive you said to me but somehow it spoke to me on other levels. The feeling at the end was just relief. My soul had been so hungry for forgiveness and your process (which I barely remembered even straight afterwards!) somehow made me understand that I was forgiven and on every level. You also made me understand my father, my family and also very importantly God would all be wanting me to live a ‘useful’ life – not this half existence.
You were quite literally dragging my answers out of me, but hearing your words and agreeing with your positive, logical statements and then hearing myself answering your questions, also eventually in the positive, proved very effective. What was said went in very deep Ben – and the resulting release, the freedom of it, seems to be having an increasingly positive effect. I still think of what happened seven years ago but my heart no longer skips a beat; the fear has gone. There is a place beyond what happened which is not all bad. Before you took me through this process, I could find no escape. Now there is a future ahead full of fun and possibilities.
If I begin to doubt myself I just reconnect with the day, the cleansing that happened, which allowed me to begin Living the Life that I Love. I do not need to go through that pain all over again. It is done.
Yes. Try the “Reconnect” process. It does work! Many of us limit ourselves, consciously or sub-consciously. We all need to name our dreams and goals and then honestly identify the barriers preventing us from achieving them. Actively seeking to ‘live the life that we love’ as you so aptly describe it, is to achieve optimum health which in turn leads us to look outwards, to love and care for our world. We owe it to ourselves and everyone around us to be the best we can be.
So much to look forward to and the realisation process continues………….
Thank you Ben.”
Barriers such as guilt are just misperceptions. Whether it’s guilt, fear, anger, grief, resentment, we all have them at some stage in our own forms, but they are all illusions. We stem from looking at them in a one sided way, e.g. more negative than positive. On every level, life is always a balance of both positive and negative, ups and downs. Each has value, so its wise to see both sides. Karin knew about the negatives, she just hadn’t seen the positives. When she did, instead of guilt, she enabled herself to feel love and gratitude again. For the situation, for the experience it caused, for her father, and for herself. She took her life back and inspired us all to do the same. May her story inspire you and the ones you love to do so too.
Don’t let your barriers get in the way of living a life you love. As a cheesy but quite right quoe goes:
“All is love, everything else is an illusion.”