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Similarities in Different Programs

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Ann Miller, Feb 1, 2022.

  1. Ann Miller

    Ann Miller Well known member

    Have you ever noticed that different programs and experts seem to almost be speaking in contrary ways?

    “Watch the pain, notice it, follow it”

    “Be completely indifferent to the pain.”

    “Shifting, changing symptoms is a good thing”

    ”Stubborn, unmoving symptoms are an opportunity to completely heal.”

    “Yell at your TMS.”

    “Soothe the scared child that is your TMS.”

    “You’ve got to do the work.”

    “You don’t have to do anything. Just stop it all.”

    Confusing! I know. I was confused too. Let me, though, ease the confusion a bit with some practical ways that I see similarities in the different camps.

    Reducing fear. More than any other concept, the fact that we need to reduce fear braids all the above statements together. Somatic tracking your pain reduces your fear of it. Ignoring it and getting on with your life also reduces the fear of it. Journaling about emotions reduces fear of them. Leaving past trauma alone, refusing to give it power, could also reduce the fear of it. You see the overarching theme here is to reduce the threat level in your system. This is where knowing yourself and really tuning into your instincts is very helpful. I see clients that are clearly very afraid to examine their emotional life. This sort of resistance just reinforces the thought that their emotions are too scary, too big, too overwhelming. I see other clients who quest and search and paw at their inner life. This also sets up a pressure and stress around the work. As the saying goes, “Don’t tms about tms.” So somewhere in the middle of these two extremes is a sweet spot for each of us, a spot where we can accept that at times we feel murderous rage, and yet, we don’t have to go scratching for it. Deep breath- just allow.

    Living in the present. Okay, I’ll freely admit that I hated this concept when I first started healing my 30+ years of chronic symptoms. Mainly because I was almost never ever in the present moment, but catastrophizing, or planning on some future event. I mean, I’m creative and I literally would have whole arguments in my head with folks, prepping for the “sometime future.” Luckily, our experts in this work have learned to phrase “living in the present” in palatable ways such as, “just do the next right considered action.” (Nicole Sachs) or “we are moment to moment beings” (Dr. Dan Ratner.) All the programs, whether focused on neural pathways or emotions or thought work, focus on staying in the present moment more often today than we did yesterday. Catch yourself, gently redirect.

    Compassion to self. The number one way I was able to access self compassion was by going back in time and seeing how I developed the tms personality traits…How did I become self critical, a perfectionist, and overly responsible for others? Childhood but also young adulthood played crucial roles here. Once I understood my history and how others shaped my definition of myself, I was better able to treat myself with kindness and understanding. All the programs have this as an underlying thread; whether you call it self acceptance, gentleness, kindness, whatever, the fact remains that moving a step at a time away from self incrimination and toward empathy works wonders to calm our nervous systems. And a calm nervous system feels less fear…and we are back to the beginning again.

    My very best to each of you.

    fridaynotes, Cactusflower and Saffron like this.
  2. Balsa11

    Balsa11 Well known member

    Thank you for talking about this in aamore general way! This is so much more than the symptoms. Same goes for self care/mental health in general. It's like that Golidilocks story. Especially in these times, there's lots of conundrums and contradictions.
  3. Celayne

    Celayne Well known member

    It can be difficult at first to work with all the conflicting messages.

    When I started on my healing journey, I felt so desperate for a cure and was still looking for that Magic Bullet, that I would obediently follow whatever latest thing I read or heard. Then I would be angry and/or discouraged because I wasn’t getting better, or even felt worse.

    I tell people now to just try on different thoughts, methods, teachers until they find what works for them. Admittedly, being told you need to find your own path is daunting but it’s the way to healing.
    Balsa11 likes this.
  4. Ann Miller

    Ann Miller Well known member

    There is definitely a certain amount of internal work that needs to be done. But program hopping, IMO, leads to further confusion, doubt and frustration...which is not at all helpful. So I'm in the "learn about TMS, understand the concepts, choose a program that resonates with you, and stay with it" camp. Not obsessively, of course, but with some patience and faith.
    Balsa11 likes this.
  5. fridaynotes

    fridaynotes Well known member

    thank you ann millet~ your thoughts always are very well considered, inspiring and meaningful to the work.
    Ann Miller likes this.

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