The Tuesday, March 11, call-in discussion group will be discussing Chapter 38 “Letting Go” and Chapter 39 (“TMS Gives Hope”) in Steve Ozanich's book The Great Pain Deception starting at 9 pm Eastern Time. It lasts an hour, sometimes a little longer. Phone lines will open half an hour early so you can talk to hosts and early callers. Here's how to join the discussion (for detailed instructions, visit www.tmswiki.org/ppd/Connect ) · If you're connecting by phone, dial 1 201-479-4595 and when prompted enter the pin code 18311499 followed by the pound symbol. · If you're connecting via your computer (Fuze Meeting), go to www.fuzemeeting.com/fuze/app/48fb7aa8/18311499 and follow the instructions from there. For more information, visit www.tmswiki.org/ppd/Call-In_Peer_Discussion_Group. Steve writes about “Letting Go” and “TMS Gives Hope” in the two chapters before the final one in his TMS healing book. We will devote the March 18 call-in to his final chapter, “Beyond TMS.” “Letting Go” is a short but very important process I n TMS healing. It involves our attitude toward events in our lives that cause us anxiety, anger, rage, and physical and emotional pain. Steve puts it easy to understand: “Life events do not cause tension – destructive emotions assigned to the events do, just as fear doesn’t cause TMS – the reaction to overcoming the source of fear does. Tension is a psycho-physiological reaction to the interpretation of an event.” He gives a good example in the not guilty verdict for O.J. Simpson who was accused of murdering his ex-wife and a waiter seen in her company. Most people were irate after the verdict, while some others were cheered happily. Reaction to the verdict depended on the emotions of each person regarding the case. Those who became angry from the verdict had invested a lot of themselves into it, and it could have been less emotionally harmful to them if they had just let go of their concept of him being guilty. Steve says, regarding TMS pain,” By not holding on to an overzealous interpretation of any event – medical imaging or prognosis – the body doesn’t respond as s. strongly. The pain of TMS begins to wane when you let go of those things that sting your ego.” Simpson’s ex-wife and the waiter both had been white. Perhaps those who cheered Simpson’s acquittal were African-Americans who thought it was about time one of their race got off free in a court trial, because history has shown that often not to have been the case. I felt the decision was wrong, but lost no sleep over it, but my ego involvement was slight, from not knowing the facts of the case. But that’s as far as we will go here into the matter. Another example of letting go is cited by Steve in which a middle-aged patient had developed rheumatoid arthritis from her inability to let go of an attachment to her husband. She accused him of having left her for a younger woman, and losing him had changed her lifestyle from luxury to barely getting by. She was so enraged about her ex-husband that she told her doctor she wished he was not only dead but had suffered agonizingly before he died. This rage went on for years and her arthritis grew worse. Her doctor asked if she could ever forgive her ex-husband and she said no, that she would carry her hate for him to her grave. The internal rage made her almost a cripple until she died. Steve says the woman’s inability to forgive only burned her by fueling the fire of her ego, but it never hurt her husband. “Holding on to things that do not serve self can be a deadly course of action. By holding steadfast to anything that troubles us, we may be killing ourselves.” I’ve had a battle with myself over the betrayal of friendship of a man I tried to help with work and money and a partnership. Friendship is sacred to me, and the loss of it very hard to take. It was even harder when he became a U.S. Congressman and began making decisions that I thought were harmful to the country. I had to work on forgiving him and letting it go. I’m not quite sure I have let it go completely, but I found a way toward that in deciding to throw the basketball to God and let Him keep it and not toss it back to me. \ A very wise priest told me he does that when he disagrees with the Vatican or a local bishop. Let a higher power judge and punish. For us, it’s healthier to just let it go. In Chapter 39, Steve says “TMS gives hope. Hope is the mainstay, hope is everything.” Steve tells us about five things that the actor Bob Hope did to live a good, fulfilled, productive, happy, healthy life, which he did until he died at the age of 100. The first and most important thing Hope did was to do what he loved, and not what others wanted him to do. Bob loved making people laugh, and laughter heals. The second thing Bob did right was to take a long walk very day. He took his golf club with him even when not walking on a golf course. Walking brought him peace and was as relaxing as meditation. The third thing Hope did was to get a daily massage, which soothes the sympathetic nervous system. Massage melts away tension and the reason for anger often melts with it. A doctor Steve knows changed his practice to a combination of psychoanalysis and massage. We don’t have to get a professional massage if we don’t have the time or money. We can practice self-massage. Here is an Internet site on how to do that: http://www.wikihow.com/Massage-Yourself. It demonstrates massaging from the head, neck, and shoulders, down to the abdomen, then the arms and legs. Self-massage can relieve tension headaches and elsewhere in the body. An editor I worked with at the Chicago Tribune whose job was very stressful spent his lunch hour each work day getting a massage. He came back refreshed so he could get through the rest of the work day. The fourth thing Bob Hope did was to use his power and fame to benefit others. He demonstrated this through giving to charities and to entertaining millions of GIs in war zones for more than 60 years. The fifth thing Hope did right was to nurture a loving, healthy relationship with his wife and their children. He and his wife Dolores were married for nearly 70 years. And he had only been hospitalized once in his entire life. Hope lived a happy life. Happiness, says Steve, is the feeling of connection, joy, love, and serenity. It is living free and with purpose; feeling self-worth by adding value to the world. Whatever work you are in or aspire to be in, it contributes to the value of the world. If you don’t feel it does, maybe consider doing some volunteer work to help others, or do something evenings and weekends that you may always wanted to do and that still feels important to you. We hope you will join us Tuesday for the call-in and share your thoughts and experiences on letting go and hope.