In the last post, I shared the experience of watching the most horrible video I have ever seen. If you want to catch up, you can see it here: Being Open.

At the end of that post, I told how it took me three days to figure out how to not close off my energy when remembering the video. And I kept remembering it because it had such an impact.

If I hadn’t figured out how to do this, I would not have been able to honor my commitment to myself to be open no matter what.

Here is the rest of the story:

When faced with something overwhelming, you basically have two choices.

You can close off and protect yourself… or

You can choose to remain open.

You already know how to close off. If you pay attention, you’ll notice that you typically close off multiple times each day. This is the most common response people have to many events in their lives.

And if you are like most people, you are most open when wonderful things are happening. Of course this isn’t all the time.

But there are events, like my viewing the traumatic video, that you can’t close off from easily. At least you can’t close off right away. Eventually most people manage to close off and mostly not think of such events. But there is a cost for closing. You lose part of yourself. And it’s an important part.

Okay. I promised to tell what I found allowed me to be open in the face of this video. I figured it out after 3 days of wrestling with it. The answer? Compassion.

When I felt deep, sincere compassion for the people in the video, my heart and my whole energy field relaxed and re-opened. It was instantaneous. I no longer cringed internally when thinking of the event the video showed. Instead, I just felt positive, caring feeling towards all involved. I was quite surprised at the degree of relief this brought.

I won’t say it was easy for me. And obviously, since it took me three days, it wasn’t my immediate response to this level of traumatic experience. But it was, and is, a great lesson in how to deal with emotional trauma.

Other things happened along with this. For example, my level of confidence at being able to face anything that comes my way has increased noticably. That has led to feeling freer to explore options in the world. I’m not stopped internally by limiting beliefs.

Also, I am feeling more compassion for people from the past who have wronged me. It makes it much easier to forgive them in my heart and mind. Understand that it doesn’t necessarily mean that I want to put out the welcome mat so they can come back into my life. But is frees me from carrying around the pain and other useless baggage associated with thoughts of them.

Even world events, local events, and the traumas my patients share with me no longer overwhelm me. Instead, my heart opens. It’s very freeing!

As I mentioned, it may not be the easiest way to face difficult experiences in your life. But if you start practicing compassion in smaller, day-to-day moments, it will be much easier when you need it for bigger things.

All the best for your health and happiness,

Dr. Bruce Eichelberger

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