Has Pain Become Part of Who You Are? By Nick Ortner
pain quickly takes over your life, over time it can begin to determine
how you feel, then what you do. Eventually, pain can become who
you are. Do you identify yourself—who you are and who you can be—as
someone with pain? I often hear people say they’re a “different person”
when they’re in pain. It would be impossible not to act and feel
differently when you’re in pain. Over time, however, the “different
person” you become with the pain can begin to dominate your identity,
making it hard for other parts of yourself and your life to shine
With your journal in hand, take a moment now to think, Who would I be without this pain?
Write down everything that comes to mind. If nothing comes up, try
tapping through the points while asking yourself that question.
Some of the beliefs clients often discover when they do this exercise are:
I don’t know who I am without this pain.
My pain takes up all my time.
I won’t know what to expect if this changes.
Change means that more bad things will happen.
If I don’t have pain, I’ll have to ______.
To begin clearing these beliefs, let’s do some tapping on them now.
Remember, this is general tapping on a global belief, as ideas,
memories, and more specific things come up, tap on them individually.
Before tapping, say out loud, “I don’t know who I’ll be without
this pain.” How true does that feel on a 0–to–10 scale? Also notice your
pain, and give it a number. Write these both down in your journal. Now
Remember, you’ll start by saying the above setup statement three
times, all the while tapping on the karate chop point. You can tap with
whichever hand feels most comfortable to you. Tap at a pace and force
that feel right; you can’t get it wrong.
Then you’ll move on to tapping through the eight points in the
tapping sequence while saying the reminder phrase. Here is a chart of
the Tapping Points:
Karate Chop: Even though I don’t know who I’ll be without this pain, I still choose to accept myself.
Karate Chop: Even though this pain has been my identity, I still choose to accept myself and I still choose to release this pain.
Karate Chop: Even though this pain has been with
me for so long, I don’t know what I would do with myself without it, I
still choose to accept myself and I still choose to release this pain.
Eyebrow: This pain has become a big part of my life.
Side of Eye: I’ve been living around this pain for a long time now.
Under Eye: I expect to have this pain…
Under Nose: A part of me needs this pain…
Chin: Who will I be without this pain…
Collarbone: Will I be able to handle it all…
Under Arm: What if it’s all too much…
Top of Head: I can’t let go of this pain.
Eyebrow: What if I let go of this pain and I’m still not happy…
Side of Eye: I want to want to let go of this pain…
Under Eye: But I’m not sure how.
Under Nose: I’m not sure I can.
Chin: Don’t I need this pain to keep me safe…
Collarbone: This pain is a part of my life.
Under Arm: This pain makes me feel special.
Top of Head: I don’t know how to handle life without this pain.
Take a few deep breaths, and, once again, say out loud, “I don’t
know who I’ll be without this pain.” How true does that feel on a
0–to–10 scale now? Has your pain shifted at all? Write down any changes
in your journal. Keep tapping on the “negative” until it’s a 5 or lower,
and then move on to the positive rounds.
Eyebrow: This pain is just a time in my life…
Side of Eye: It is not who I am.
Under Eye: I choose to remember that I am many things.
Under Nose: There is a new chapter to my life…
Chin: I am more than I have given myself credit for.
Collarbone: I look forward to making new discoveries…
Under Arm: About myself and my life.
Top of Head: I can be free from pain and be safe to be me.
Eyebrow: I don’t need this pain to define me.
Side of Eye: It is not who I am.
Under Eye: I know that I am many things…
Under Nose: And I can move forward into a new chapter in my life…
Chin: A chapter without pain…
Collarbone: And I can change what isn’t working…
Under Arm: And enjoy what is working in my body and my life…
Top of Head: I can be free from pain and feel safe being pain-free.