Chat on Panic Attacks

Client: Jen, I’m been trying to process my feelings as they come up and it’s difficult but I can see how it will be effective. I also uncovered two very deep-rooted beliefs that I am now working on — the first and what seems to be the biggest is the belief that “I am not safe.” The second is that “I am a failure”. I know that these are bullshit, but it’s convincing my subconscious of that…

Jen: Yes. SO the way to challenge them is the opposite of what you may think. Instead of convincing your mind that you are safe and not a failure. Agree with it. Go from that assumption, SO what? What does it look like to be a failure or not safe? If your life now is what failing looks like then how great, you have survived it and there is nowhere to go but up. If you aren’t safe, you have survived just fine without it. So imagine if you ever do get safe how great that will be. Or, if you are not safe, who is? Imagine all the people under the illusion of being safe. What do those thoughts feel like?

Client: I guess those thoughts feel like I’m never going to be safe or successful because if I accept it, I don’t know how to change it.

Jen: That is why you have to counter the thoughts. What if you aren’t safe or unsuccessful. If this is the worst that it gets, is it really so bad? You have to shift the feelings to shift the thoughts. Or vice verse.

Client: Ohhh, I see.

Jen: Great. this is a core. SO what? If this is a failure and what a failure looks like then failing is overrated. It is doable.

Client: I guess my resistance is that it feels like it could get worse! Especially if I keep limiting myself and making my world smaller and smaller.

Jen: Feels. You are confusing the feeling with the thought. Challenge the one to change the other.

Client: By not being able to drive or go to crowded places, etc. Oh yeah! haha. It’s a cycle!

Jen: Yep. See how it puts you in a position to defend it instead of just looking at it. If you are feeling unsafe and this is what unsafe feels like. Then it is doable. But feeling unsafe is not the thought of unsafe. They are two different things.

Client: I know that I can’t believe the feeling, but what about the thought? Is that not to be believed either?

Jen: You are not getting the point. The thoughts are irrational. They are only being thought because you are melding thought with emotion and not separating them as separate entities.

Client: Yeah, sorry, I’m getting confused.

Jen: With all the billions of people struggling with this world and you with your level of education, intelligence and awareness are going to be the one person that is unsafe or a failure? Are you really that special in a negative way to stand out as the loser?

Client: No, I guess not!

Jen: Exactly so your thoughts are egocentric rants to make the ego feel special.

Client: I see. the ego is so stupid!!!

Jen: The ego needs to feel needed so it creates a false scenario where you are on autopilot so it has to save the day.

Client: And now I’m back to thinking, what would the ego focus on, if it’s not worried about safety? That seems so foreign to me.

Jen: Be proud of yourself for not being egotistical and so the ego has to make something up to be engaged in.

Client: Maybe I should just be egotistical instead! haha

Jen: LOL well you will be. You will be being proud that you aren’t egotistical and that will be giving the ego a bone.

Client: So the ego can focus on pride instead of fear?

Jen: Yep! It just needs a job.

Client: Ok, and the key to making that shift is to feel the feelings as they come up?

Jen: Well it is about separating thoughts from feelings. If you are feeling something, challenge the thought that is associated with it and if you are thinking something, challenge the feeling that accompanies it.

Client: Thank you! Just one more question, sorry… is the best way to challenge the thoughts or feelings to say “so what”?

Jen: A feeling in itself is not a problem. It is the feeling and thought combo. SO separate them and look at them both aside from the other. Saying “so what?” is separating the thought from the emotion and that is why it works.

Client: Oooohhhhh… I just re-read something you said above and I think it makes more sense now. Feel whatever is coming up in the moment. And if thoughts come up — like “what if this gets worse” — then that needs to be examined separately. Because that is the ego trying to f–k with me and not get its job taken away.

Jen: YES!!!!! So give it a different job of being proud that you survived.

Client: Because when I get close to letting a feeling move through me, the ego wants to hold on for dear life.

Jen: Yes. So assure it of its job security and it will let go of the feeling and move on to a different feeling.

Client: And is that a mental process? To give it a new job?

Jen: NOPE that is the beauty of it. It is the real you taking control beyond the mind.

Client: Ok, now I’m lost again… lol

Jen: Yep. Because the mind does not want you to realize that there is a you beyond it so it is not going to let you see this point. But that is where trust comes in and just go with it and at some point you will be able to see it.

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