Doreen Virtue, the best-selling author whose columns about angels appeared in Woman's World magazine, recently blogged about practices she now perceives as an affront to God and a danger to Christians. The post went viral and caused a lot of upset because the offenses include EFT, yoga, affirmations, mindfulness, and Harry Potter (!), among other things. The controversy got my attention because I am an advocate of some of the things she names.
Here's my story :
I'm a practicing Catholic who reads the Bible. I take pains to avoid running afoul of God, whom I believe to be the architect of the universe. However, my friends don't call me the self-help queen for nothing.
In 1986, after a particularly horrible romantic breakup, I discovered a book at a now-defunct B. Dalton bookstore on Main Street, Flushing on my way to class. The book was The Power of Your Subconscious Mind by Joseph Murphy, and it changed my life.
Murphy advocated fashioning affirmations from promises in the Bible and repeating them to rewrite one's subconscious programming to facilitate success -- in every endeavor. While reading it, I started doing as he suggested. Things got better for me. I made new friends. I attracted better boyfriends. I became truly happy for probably the first time in my life. More important, I understood that my happiness was something largely within my control, not some random occurrence that blew in and out with the wind. And while I discovered the book at a young age, Murphy's chapter on getting older heartened me considerably.
Thus began my love affair with affirmations. (One of my favorites, which I learned from Murphy, was developed by self-help pioneer Émile Coué: Every day, in every way, I am getting better and better.) I went on to devour other authors who prescribed affirmations, as well. Eventually, I wrote an ebook, How to Attract and Marry the Man of Your Dreams, which showed women how to use affirmations to improve their love lives. Never once did I suspect their use could offend God.
Here's what Matthew 7:7-8 says:
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened."
So then, if one's faith is in God, and she prays for help, and then repeats an I am affirmation, she's proclaiming her faith -- as a Christian is called to do. I hope this puts your mind to rest with regard to Virtue's stance on the matter.
EFT/Tapping is another practice she claims offends God. She's not the only one who believes this; there's a woman on EWTN, the Catholic channel in the United States, who says the same thing. These ideas do a disservice to people who could benefit from an easy-to-use method that has been shown to relieve stress, pain, confusion, insomnia, and so much more. For example, suicide rates remain high for US veterans, and studies have shown that EFT/Tapping can be effective in alleviating PTSD.
Note: I do not have experience working with veterans, but I am happy to put you in touch with somebody who does.
Virtue's opinions about EFT compelled me to leave the following comment on a Facebook thread.
Furthermore, Peta Stapleton, a clinical and health psychologist with over twenty years' experience, has done a great deal of research into the efficacy of EFT/Tapping with regard to weight management, chronic fatigue, and many other conditions.
If only Doreen Virtue had taken time to do her own research before trying to scare people away from a technique that does much good in the world. But do your own research if you still worry about offending God. Call on the Holy Spirit to guide you.
You won't go wrong there.
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