These e-mails are from Tracy, a 35 year old woman who recently used Cycles of Three to emerge from 25 years of hatred toward a sister; truly remarkable.
What makes this story even more remarkable is that before Tracy wrote me, she and I had never even spoken. This means Tracy was able to heal her hatred simply by following what she read on the site.
Granted, this makes her an exceptionally open person, to be able to simply read about Cycles of Three and then to use them so powerfully. Still, to heal a relationship with her sister after hating her for twenty-five years is truly inspiring.
Here's her story.
Tracy's First E-Mail: the Question of Blame?
My name is Tracy. I just did the Cycles of 3, picturing my sister - her eyes specifically - and remembered a scene that was very powerful. I've been struggling with hating my sister most of my life (25 of my 35 years) and for the first time can see her beauty now.
This was very moving and powerful to say the least. Thank you for posting all this on your web site. I'm very interested and intrigued.
I have a question. You mention it is important when you do Cycles of 3 to say/realize it is not the other person hurting you or causing your suffering. I can see how that is very true in the case of my sister - though for years I have blamed her and felt so justified in doing so. Is there ever a time when it actually IS another person causing your suffering? Like when someone murders your daughter, for example. Or does no one ever really cause another's suffering (which seems counterintuitive)?
I would like to know your thoughts on this.
Thank you for all the wonderful work you are doing and sharing.
My First Response: "Blamelessness" Opens the Door
Thank you so much very for writing. Reading your e-mail to me has me crying pretty hard with the realization that, in a very amazing way, I've helped someone I've never met to do something truly amazing: You must really be a deeply dedicated and very special person.
As for your question, it's so important, I hardly know where to begin.
For me, it began with a very personal, spiritual experience, the one in which I realized the true meaning of "forgive them for they know not what they do."
Please know, I am not a religious person and so, my reference to this Christian quote is to say, what emerged in me was what I believe to be the true meaning of this sentence. More so, this emergence was the beginning of all of my work, in that it has allowed me to look at previously painful human behaviors through the eyes of blamelessness.
How does this work? My realization was actually that no one hurts another without being in shock.
Of course, what I'm saying does not eliminate the person's responsibility to make amends.
Also, while I know what I'm saying is theoretically easy to understand, in practice, it's not so easy.
More so, in no way am implying that I or any other person I know could actually live up to this wonderful ideal, certainly not in situations like the ones you refer to.
Even so, you have just experienced this ideal very personally. Because you allowed for the possibility of blamelessness, you have had a kind of divine forgiveness emerge in you, healing twenty-five years of hatred in minutes, just by using this wonderfully simple and yet profound tool.
More so, I know from what you've written to me that what you are feeling will last; meaning, the forgiveness which has emerged in you will require no further maintenance. Why? It has now become your default nature to feel this way toward your sister.
Despite this though, know that no one has a BLock heal completely in one Emergence. Thus, in specific life situations, you will in all likelihood discover there are unhealed parts remaining in your feelings toward your sister.
However, even though there are these remaining "crimes" to forgive, never again will the door to your loving her be entirely closed, not to your sister nor to any other person like your sister. For instance, I expect your feelings towards other women will noticeably change, this with little to no effort on your part.
And the parts of your hatred that remain unhealed?
Even these parts will be more accessible to your healing efforts. Thus, like "the first cut is the deepest," the "first emergence is the deepest" as well.
And at the risk of sounding religious, bless you for your efforts and for sharing them with me.
P. S. As I know e-mails like yours can often inspire others toward healing, I would love to be able to anonymously post what we've just exchanged at some point. If this is OK, please do let me know.
And if you have any other questions, please do write. Peoples' questions often inspire me to new realizations as well as reminding me how we are all connected to each other in the most wonderful of ways.
Tracy's Second E-Mail: "Grief" and "Accountability" as Two Separate Issues
Thank you for your kind e-mail. Yes, you may post my e-mail anonymously. I wonder if more detail of my story would be helpful in illustrating the power of your theory and technique? I'll give it, and you can use it as you see fit (it's included at the bottom of my e-mail).
I think I understand about blamelessness. Understanding that another person causing you pain does so because they are in shock, helps you to see them as another wounded person instead of as evil or whatnot. Of course, you still have the pain and grief from the loss they caused to deal with, like when person murders your child. I guess as long as you are experiencing the loss and grief, allowing it to happen even when you think it's going to kill you, then you sort of come through it more whole than if you get sidetracked and stuck on blaming and hating the person you see as responsible for your pain.
Accountability is still important though. It's almost like two separate issues, your grief over the loss and the accountability over your loss. Though like most things, they are intimately and inextricably entwined.
Of course, the implications of your theory for social justice are astounding, don't you think? We need to do more than just jail people - wounding them further, I'm sure. I've thought so for a long time, but it may be you've discovered the tools for healing some of our most difficult social problems. Healing a rapist or murderer to "see" what they have done is really the only justice.
I find your theory and stories are very moving and intuitively, many things about it seem "right". I'm working on trusting my intuition more these days, so I plan to visit it often and even try some more things out (I have just started, for example, the Yellow Book, as I can tell you I KNOW I have food and eating wounds - multiple ones).
Thank you again for sharing all you do. On the theory that peace begins with me, I feel I've moved so much closer to that today.
Peace and blessings,
So this is my more detailed story:
When I was 10, my sister died of cancer (she was 22 and had a child at the time of her death). My parents adopted her child. I was the youngest of 5 children before this happened, and after my older sister died, I gained a new sister, her daughter Denise - 4 years old. Over the next 25 years, my relationship with this adopted sister digressed seriously from manageable to unbearable. Without going into details, let's just say I blamed her for everything and hated her with a fury that seemed to consume me at times. I tried ignoring her, understanding her, helping her, hurting her - always the underlying feeling was anger and pain. I blamed her for being "stupid, selfish, ugly, crazy, irresponsible," - the list could go on and on.
And of course, I wouldn't hate her if she would just stop being so stupid, selfish .... I am sitting here now completely amazed that I find no hint of that anger or blame - that before I couldn't not see anything - and I mean NOTHING - even remotely good about her, I can see her now as a beautiful and kind person, also one who has been hurt deeply by me, among other things.
So what was my key? Her eyes. I was reading your Cycles of 3 and you mentioned picturing the person you hated, their eyes if possible. I had no problem picturing her eyes - I realized suddenly, it's her eyes that send me into shock - rage and fear actually. I could picture them clearly and feel the anger. I especially hate it when she rolls her eyes upward (which she has done often during her life). Actually, anyone rolling their eyes makes me somewhat crazy - I used to hate it.
Anyway, following the process, I reminded myself she was not to blame for my pain. How old did I feel? 10. A scene emerged:
I am 10, she is 4, and we are at my older sister's funeral. I am sitting between my mom and dad. Denise is sitting on my mother's lap - I can picture everything clearly now. Denise is first sitting there and then looking up at my mother (eyes literally rolled up). I can see her eyes so clearly. They are so full of pain and loss and confusion - I looked in her eyes and felt her fear and aloneness - she had, after all, just lost her mother. First her eyes are just staring out, then they look up to my mother - the look is so longing for comfort from the pain and aloneness she feels.
I think, though I'm not sure, that experiencing her grief (on top of my own) through seeing her eyes sent me into shock. All I know is that when I remembered this scene, I was filled with great sorrow and fear. As a 10 year old, I think it was very frightening to witness this, and very painful. I'm not sure how that converts to rage, but overtime, I imagine constantly seeing her eyes and not wanting to feel the pain and fear it brought up, aroused my anger to protect myself. Maybe using too much logic here.
I just know, that I feel such compassion for her now, and that is something I have wanted to feel for her all my life, and felt there was something horribly wrong with me that I could not. I tried thinking my way into loving her, praying (and I'm not a religious person either), mediating, trying all sorts of things, including therapy.
I am curious to see if this change will indeed last. I am very hopeful.
Tracy's Third E-Mail: More Emerges
Tracy here again. I know you must be crazy busy, but I wanted to share with you more of the story - or the scene - that emerged for me today. I'm just so overwhelmed with the power of this.
I told you about my sister's eyes and how I think they sent me into shock when I saw them so full of grief. I think there was one more thing that sent me into shock.
I remembered today that as my 4 year old sister was sitting in my mother's lap and looking up to her desperately for comfort, my mother put her down - she sat her off her lap on the pew. I also saw my mother - wrapped so totally up in her own grief (understandably) - she failed to see my sister's pleading look, she just didn't notice. So she put her down, probably out of weariness.
This, I believe now, put me into shock. Now here is the next part I literally have not been able to see:
When my mother put her down, my sister's eyes welled up with tears and she began to cry. At which point, my mother became aware of her, lovingly picked her back up and hugged her close.
But I haven't been able to see that for so long. You have no idea (or maybe you do) how afraid I am of not having my needs met. I don't want to need anything, ever. I don't ever ask for what I need. My mantra has always been "I'm fine, no problem here." Always crying alone.
I use to have this recurring nightmare after my older sister died, that I was with my mother, she was standing in a field with her arms crossed, talking to someone I couldn't see. I stood beside her, holding on to her leg. A buffalo would come and chase me - I was terrified of this buffalo - when it would start to come for me I would ask, beg, plead for my mom to pick me up - but she would just stand there immobilized, arms crossed, inaccessible, totally not even seeing me.
When the buffalo got close enough I would run away, buffalo in hot pursuit, then circle around back to my mother - yelling to her to help me, trying to physically climb up into the safety of her arms. But her arms would stay crossed, I couldn't climb to her, she was completely unresponsive. So when the buffalo came close enough, I had to run again.
Always I'd come back, and always have to run on my own again.
This dream makes so much sense now. Now I can "see" it is possible to be comforted and share pain.
Before, I thought you are always alone and have to deal with everything - no matter how difficult - alone. But life is not something you have to do alone. I think this emergence may profoundly change my life.
I am so grateful for and overwhelmed by this experience.
My Reply: Understanding "Aloneness"
Can you begin to imagine how this has felt for me, to have discovered Emergence and Cycles of Three nine years ago and for the most part, to have had my peers, the "professionals," ignore Emergence almost completely.
Happily, this has been changing recently. And letters like yours keep me going and tell me I'm right on the path.
In fact, if a woman I've even neither met nor even spoken to can have this kind of a life changing response just from doing what is to me a simple, obvious moment of blamelessness, then I know we are almost there.
As for your feelings about being "needy" and having had to meet all your needs yourself, on these points, you and I have a lot in common. No surprise one of the three things I'm most proud of in my life is that I've authored a completely new, blameless theory of human personality, something I call "the Layers of Aloneness." I mention this as you mention your aloneness and how you have suffered from it all your life.
Stacy, as you seem to be one heck of an intuitive woman, perhaps, if you were to take a look at the Layers of Aloneness, you might be able to find some relief from the pain of your aloneness. In fact, just today I posted a whole bunch of major revisions to some of the articles. You'll find them at Personality-Theory-Layer10-GreatUnknown.
Please know, it is a whole theory of personality and so, it can definitely be a bit overwhelming. Even so, although there are quite a few screen full's of stuff, mostly of it is visual. And being you are so visually intuitive, I'd bet you could probably get a lot from what's there just from looking at the drawings.
By the way, in my language, you are a "two."
What this means is, your natural, inner character "need" is to only give to others.
This also means that you probably don't do so well receiving things like when someone repeatedly gives you compliments. It's kind of like someone trying to push water up a river in you. Shocking to be more exact.
Here again, I think we have a lot in common.
I'm a "two" as well. Hopefully, a pretty conscious "two" by now. But a "two" none the less.
Anyway, thank you again for sharing your emergences. I, in fact, have begun assembling our exchanges into a conversation article for the site. Anonymously, of course.
And if there's more, please do share it. Yes, I am crazy busy (did I tell you how intuitive you are <grin>) but never too busy for the wonderful kind of miracles you've been sending.
Thank you again,