Sounds crackers right? Well let me explain…
A few weeks ago my lovely hairdresser Zoey was styling my hair after my regular cut and colour when I noticed something I’d never paid attention to before.
Every so often as Zoey was blowdrying my hair she would give the brush a gentle tug and then roll it back in while she did another few seconds of drying before unrolling the hair and taking the brush out entirely.
And so I asked what that was all about.
As those of you who are maybe a little better at hairstyling than I am probably already know, her answer was that the brush tends to get stuck in the hair until it’s dry. So when the brush doesn’t come out easily, that’s a sign that more drying is needed before that section is done and she can move on to the next bit.
It struck me as a really powerful metaphor for healing… the reminder that when that feeling of stuckness comes up, it means more healing is needed before we can comfortably move on.
In EFT (emotional freedom technique), we call it an emotional charge; when thinking about a person, situation or experience brings up some sort of negative feeling for us. And when that happens we know there’s still work to be done on healing and working through that situation.
But that charge isn’t always the feeling you’d expect it to be, as I know from experience…
A few years back I went through a break up that, if I’m honest, didn’t completely break my heart. We’d been together for a couple of years, and although I’d been very much in the relationship, by the time we broke up there was a part of me that was kind of relieved. And although I was really upset to begin with, after a week or so relief overtook any sadness that had been there.
But although I may not have been heartbroken, I was angry. Not about the break up itself, but about what a fool I’d been – this was a relationship where I’d given, given, given; and when the time had come and I’d needed the other person to balance that energy, they’d chosen instead to walk away without a second glance.
After that first couple of weeks I figures I was over the relationship… after all I wasn’t sad and had long-forgotten any desire to be back with the guy. Yet every time his name came up in conversation I’d get angry; and every time I thought about our time together I’d get embarrassed at how much I felt I’d been taken for granted.
So really, was I over it? No. Because this guy still had a very different kind of hold over my emotions. The emotional charge was still strong and that hairbrush, well it was going to leave my hair in one hell of a mess.
In the time since I’ve done a lot of work on making peace with that relationship and both of our actions during that time, and I can honestly say that now when someone mentions him there’s not one bit of emotion that comes up for me… it’s like hearing about someone I vaguely knew from school.
I’m still conscious of the lessons that relationship taught me, and I still remember both the good and the bad times that he and I had together, but they don’t get to me the way they once did. I’ve made peace with it, so the hairbrush just slides straight out leaving nothing but soft, shiny locks behind!
So if you’re wanting to go out and face the world in the very best and shiniest way possibly then give that brush a tug; see where it sticks and do the work you need to make that better. I promise that extra work will be well worth it for the benefits it will bring…