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How to soften an upsetting memory:

a key tool for easing the pain of childlessness

· Blog

When we find ourselves childless after we’d wanted to have a family it can be really saddening and upsetting - and it can be difficult to know how to ease that pain.

I’m a therapist who supports people who are “childless not by choice”, and in my experience there are a number of ways we can ease this sorrow, and one of them involves being able to take the pain away from individual upsetting memories. I know that that can sound like quite an extraordinary thing to suggest - but it really is possible.

If you’re childless, the chances are that you might have experienced a number of distressing and unpleasant events, along the path of being unable to have your own family. And to a greater or lesser degree, the memories of these events may still cause you to feel low-spirited and hurt, when you think about them now. (You may try not to think about them – but sometimes that’s easier said than done.)

I vividly remember the first time that I discovered it was possible to take the pain away from a really upsetting memory.

I’ve had twelve miscarriages and no children, so I accumulated a considerable number of horrible memories during that time, and it was a gigantic relief to be able to stop them from hurting me anymore! Let me tell you about that first occasion….

I couldn’t believe it. It felt completely extraordinary.

I could think about my baby’s funeral all the way through, without wanting to cry…

Let me explain. A couple of years earlier, we’d lost our baby at fourteen weeks. It was my third miscarriage, and the hospital had offered us a funeral.

 

Heart-breaking images from that day were still seared into my mind.

The beautiful simple service at the grave side… my husband and six friends huddled around a small hole in the earth, on a late December afternoon… a candle in a jam-jar that my friend was holding… my own hands cradling a tiny box, topped with a posy of rose buds, and the moment I laid them both in the grave…

 

They were devastating memories of loss and grief, and they haunted me. The pain barely seemed to have eased, and as each anniversary approached, I remembered them all over again. It was really hard…

 

If you’ve been unable to have a family, or have suffered other bereavements during your life, perhaps you know what this kind of thing feels like. The memory of an event can be so vivid that it feels like it happened yesterday.

 

We can have a whole catalogue of little ‘movies’ in our minds, which are too painful to watch, but which we can’t help remembering. They can make us feel very sad and low. The pain can be so intense that it physically hurts.

I didn’t know that it was possible to do anything about that.

And to discover that I could, felt like a miracle.

I was a relatively-new EFT practitioner, and my teacher had suggested to me that I could use EFT to take the pain away from all of those haunting memories.

 

EFT is Emotional Freedom Techniques, commonly known as “tapping.” It’s a very powerful and effective self-help tool. And what I did, that afternoon, was to “tap” gently and easily using a very specific technique, and at the end of it, I could think about the funeral all the way through, and I no longer wanted to cry.

 

It was incredible! I couldn’t believe that I’d done it. I didn’t cry during the process, and I no longer wanted to cry afterwards. It was the most tremendous relief!

 

The sense of empowerment was enormous. I set about systematically “tapping through” all of the painful memories, from all of the miscarriages - and the IVF - which I’d had. And afterwards, each of those memories felt softer.

And what I discovered was a pervading sense of peace.

Before I discovered “tapping” I had many memories that I tried to push away. I stuffed them down; locked them up; tried to seal them off in a place in my mind and my heart that I just couldn’t go in to, because it was too painful. (And it didn’t work! They didn’t stay there.)

But after I did this, there were no longer places in my mind that I had to avoid. My thoughts could rest anywhere, without causing me stabs of pain and grief. The memories themselves felt much gentler, and more distant. They felt less connected to me.

And I discovered that I felt less sad.

EFT “tapping” is one of two very powerful and gentle self-help techniques which I now use with my clients, wherever they are in the world, to help them to feel happier and more peaceful whilst being childless.

Taking the painful emotions away from upsetting memories is one of the things that can help you to feel better. We do it very gently and kindly. You don’t have to re-experience the memories, or talk about any of it at all (unless, of course, you want to.)

Softening this kind of painful memory is one of the elements in my 6 Step Plan for being happy and peaceful after childlessness. Sometimes my clients go through this process whilst I guide them, and sometimes they choose to go on to learn how to do it for themselves.

Can you imagine how empowering it is, to know that you yourself can take the painful emotions away from any upsetting memory, any time that you want to? It’s an extraordinary skill to have, and one which you can use on yourself for the rest of your life. And it’s not difficult! I can teach you how to do that. If you’d like to know more, please visit my website, or be in touch.

Whatever is that you’re experiencing, I’m wishing you all the very best. And I hope you find all the help and support that you need, to be able to feel happier and more peaceful. I’m sending you lots of love and my warmest wishes. Take care.

~ Rosalind xxx

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