Free to Be Happy

Sherry’s face lit up. She had just heard a truth that set her free–free to be happy and successful. A few minutes before, she was in tears of hurt when she said to her father, “When I was in the hospital with severe burns and you yelled at me, I felt devastated. I decided that I must be bad and not good enough.”

Paul, her father, looked at her in total shock, burst into tears and said in an anguished voice, “Oh my God! I wasn’t angry at you! I blamed your mother for your accident and I raised my voice because it hurt me so much to see you, my baby, only three years old, in a coma. I didn’t know that you could hear me. I’m so sorry. Please forgive me! Of course you are good enough and you are a wonderful person. You were always so special to me.”

At that point, they both looked at each other in amazement, and after a few brief moments they hugged and exchanged words of endearment. Sherry had an instant self-esteem lift. Her face softened and the lines of stress on her face seemed to disappear.

The young lady looked very different from the first day she came into my office for counseling just four weeks ago. Her father, a client of mine, had asked me to see her because he was deeply concerned about her welfare.

Sherry, now twenty-five years, was staying out late at night and drinking heavily. Her marriage was falling apart and she was receiving warnings at her job for poor production.

Fortunately, the attractive blond was willing to come into the office for counseling. She was very unhappy, and she knew that she needed help. She also respected her father’s opinions.

In the first session, it took about twenty minutes before Sherry took a deep breath and started to relax into her chair. Then she allowed me to guide her through a therapeutic HART (Holistic And Rapid Transformation) process to help her solve her problems.

I asked Sherry to close her eyes and go back to the time when her heart was hurt. Almost immediately, she began to sob hysterically. Sherry saw herself at three years of age, lying in the hospital with severe burns after a frying pan of hot oil poured over her. Her mother had been cooking with an electric frying pan on the top of the stove and the wire was hanging over the oven.

The accident occurred when little Sherry was playing house and inadvertently opened the oven door. She vividly recalled the traumatic scene and ironically didn’t remember much of the physical pain but cried from the emotional wounds.

Sherry remembered her father being angry and when I asked her what decisions she was making from that experience, she said, “I must be bad. I’m not good enough.’ These negative thoughts caused Sherry to punish herself by not allowing herself to be happy and successful.

To help her heal, I guided Sherry to burn the scene away and to visualize a positive scene. Sherry imagined that her father was speaking lovingly to her and with great concern. From this new experience, Sherry was able to make a new decision–that she was good enough and a good girl. At that point she took a deep breath and felt some relief.

To help her feel even better, I suggested that Sherry invite her Dad to come with her to the next session. At first the idea seemed frightening to her but Sherry’s trust in her father and me helped her to overcome her fears. As I expected, Paul was more than willing to come into the office to help his daughter.

Paul listened intently as Sherry found the courage to tell him her perceptions about the hospital experience. After Paul cleared up the misunderstanding, she made a major shift. With Sherry’s new level of self-love, she was able to turn her life around. The happier young lady started to spend more evenings sober and at home with her husband. Sherry’s job performance improved and her relationship began to rebuild.

About six months after we completed our therapy sessions, I was pleasantly surprised to hear Sherry’s cheerful voice when I picked up the telephone. She sounded very excited as she shared the news of her pregnancy and her job promotion.

Sherry also told me that sometimes she still felt hurt and scared but instead of drowning the pain with alcohol or running away from it by socializing every night, she uses the techniques she learned during her therapy to deal with them and get herself back on a positive track. I smiled, as I knew that Sherry now had the tools for life and was free to be happy.