A meditation on vulnerability, survival, and comfort when there is no escape.

vulnerability-prayer-hold-me-tight

Moments of raw vulnerability come for everyone – those moments when you feel totally helpless. Like your life is over. One of the great struggles for all of us is to answer the question, “How can I find a way through this darkness?”

Fear is a program for escape, but what if there is no escape?

Then it is a torment.

For me, this moment happened just a few days ago: finding out that, at a time when I am busy moving into some kind of richer, more “retired” lifestyle, I have an aggressive tumor in my eye (which I last mentioned in January) and have to have this eye removed.

It sounds manageable when I say it like this and see it in print. I feel like a reasonable adult. But this is not what it feels like when I wake at 5 in the morning, guts churning. Then, I am drowning in a sea of anguish.

My remaining eye works but isn’t that great. This stokes my fear that someday I will be basically blind. I also fear that, after all this, the tumor will spread elsewhere. Then, I am a small child of about 4 curled into a fetal position. My adult brain says, “Oh, this must be what is called the ‘dark night of the soul.’ This is ‘suffering.’” I scramble to get some perspective, to find a place to stand, but I can’t find any solid ground.

What do we humans do now?

We pray – even those of us who do not believe in God or at least a God who is listening.

I remember reading about attachment and religion. (I am always reading or writing about attachment, it seems. It is my passion and my life’s work to bring it to the therapy field and to my audience.) There are only so many ways of soothing our nervous system. Prayer is ritualistic, incantatory, extended repetition, as in hymns or reggae music. Ritual gives us a sense of order and a sense of control. It gives us something to do, a choice. Repetition is calming. It offers the brain predictability, just like nursery rhymes while someone rocks us, and we hear the same sounds again and again.

New meanings seem to pop up from the intense focus of prayer and incantation, too. Just sometimes, when I recite my personal incantation to a greater power, I hear a voice. Yesterday IT (the Holy Spirit, the Goddess, or whoever) said, “The light comes in your good eye, too!”

Strange, but comforting.

The Journal of Behavioral Medicine in 2005 reported a study where focusing on the breath in mediation was less calming than focusing on the word “Love,” which was defined as a more spiritual mediation.

Interesting.

Movement can calm us – singing and moving in rhythm seems to lull our amygdala and offer the promise of emotional grounding. As a child, I would pump up and down on my swing in my garden and sing simple songs again and again. These days, my exercise bike sometimes takes me out of my dark track, and I find suddenly find myself singing ABBA songs at the top of my lungs.

Stories can calm us, especially those that reflect our dilemmas and show them to be universal and able to be faced with grace or humor or some kind of aplomb. A friend told me that Johnny Depp only has one good eye! Now why should that comfort me? But it did. If he can do it, then…

Ah, that is one key!

The sense that you CAN deal with this demon, this darkness. This feeling of competence helps. But most of the morning I felt anything but competent. I lost my glasses, called for the same appointment twice, and forgot the email of my best friend. A scrambled brain.

For me as an attachment theorist and researcher, all these threads tie into and reflect the most basic biological survival code of all: being WITH another who is present and loving.

To be rocked in the arms of a loved one, to feel a loving hand on your face, to hear a soft voice telling you that you are precious and are not alone…

THIS is what our nervous system longs for. THIS takes us beyond fear and loss.

Maybe this is what poets mean when they say, “Love is not everything. It’s the ONLY thing.”

But many of us are in lockdown and we cannot access this perfect, biologically-prepared resource. A cruel, crazy-making dilemma.

I will soon be in the hospital and my loved ones may not be able to walk in and hold me. So, like a prayer, a mediation, a dance with my own mind, I must grasp and refine the image, write the story of that holding experience in my neurons, and then pull it up when I need it.

I invite you to remember a time when someone comforted you, held you, and made you feel precious. Go into this scene and make it felt. Remember the hand on the face and exactly where it was placed and how it warmed your skin. Breathe as you see and feel it. Hear the words that are said to the small, fragile self of you and let them expand and echo in your heart. Stay there for as long as you can. This is home. Belonging makes us strong.

It’s a cliché, but there is really only one way to truly face the demons of life:

Together. Close together, holding each other tight.


Editor’s Note: Dr. Sue wrote this piece shortly before she had her surgery earlier this month.

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Comments

  • Janine murray

    Dr Sue, thank you for your beautiful meditation coming from a place where any and all of us would feel scared, alone and helpless. I hope you feel the energy of people around the world praying with you and praying for you. You are loved and held in our prayers

  • Ali Dubin

    Oh, Sue! You are so not alone! I wonder if you know how many there are of us who do this work with your voice in our head guiding us. I hope you can take our collective energy and use it to heal. ♥️

    • Niva Berman

      Dear Sue
      I understood deeply what you wrote about your experience and thank you for writing about it, and for letting us be there for you. I feel you are there for me guiding me through my professional journey. I am a better therapist since EFT came to my life.
      I want to share with you my son’s story.
      He is 16 years old and was born after 28 weeks of pregnancy because of a terrible infection from Listeria.
      He was injured in his brain and eyes. He lost his left eye. The Doctors could only save his right eye, but he can see very very little in it. With this only eye he can play basketball. He excels at basket shots because of his central vision in his one eye and plays Tennis very well also. He can “see” things no one can see because his listening skills are so good. We are very proud of him for never give up and for seeing the light coming from his right eye.
      Sending you good thoughts and lots of love. Maybe one day you will visit Israel, my beautiful country, and meet our expanding EFT community.
      Many thanks, Niva

  • Lorraine Sievers

    Dearest Sue. My heart goes out to you in your suffering and despair. Your experience of loss and fear for what the future will bring, weighs heavily in the hearts of all who know and love you. As one who has been so rewarded and fulfilled by using your life’s work in using EFT with my clients, I want you to know how incredibly blessed we all are, to have experienced the powerful, transformative, life-giving, love receiving miracle of secure attachment, of the safe haven of God’s compassionate, merciful divine love that exists in all of us. This beautiful experience of love has been made possible through your life’s work of self sacrifice, skill, expertise and determination to help people to know how to live a life steeped and immersed in love. There are not enough words to express our deeply felt thankfulness to you for making it possible for relationships to experience and share the beauty of Christ’s love in a world that so desperately needs it. You are a legend and a co-facilitator in bringing love joy and peace to the world for generations to come.
    With love, prayers and every blessing,
    EFT therapist in New Zealand, Lorraine Sievers xo🤗🥰😍

  • June Kvamme

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to you Sue. You have given so much. It is now time for you to receive. I send you my love and my thanks for all the love you have spread to us, your EFT therapists who then send it out to the world. You will never know how many people you have saved with your LOVE.

  • Angela Butler

    When my son was 10 months old I was in an accident where I had a severe eye injury. I am blind in this eye. For 3 months I could not read, write, or look at a screen. I was in the middle of an externship at Children’s National Medical Center, and writing my doctoral dissertation at the time. I had to put all of this on hold. Worst of all, I had to stop nursing my son immediately because the medication would go into his breastmilk. I couldn’t even pick him up because he weighed too much the doctors said. So he would lay in bed with me and we would cuddle and I would sing to him. I agree with you that love is what got me through, and I prayed that what I could give him was enough.
    He is 18 now, and graduating this year, soon off to college. We are still close. He loves milk and drinks almost a gallon a day. We joke that he loves milk so much because he was cut off so cruelly as a baby.
    Anyway, thank you for sharing this. I wish you much strength and grace through your healing. And most of all, love.

  • Hilda Jemison

    Prayers for peace and healing!

  • Alana

    Sue my heart and blessings are with you. I miss cleaning your place and bantering with you and your family. Look after yourself babe. Thinking of you

  • Jillian Beverstock, LMFT

    Hi Sue,
    You may not know me but I’m holding you…may you feel so many of us who hd you dearly for what you have brought to us in EFT….LOVE is it. You now feel the love from me, from all of us as we hd you and rock you through this.
    Heal quickly and know you have a huge group who love you.

  • Erdmut Brown

    My heartfelt support is with you, Sue, as you are going through this incredibly scary process not yet knowing fully what is up ahead. Thank you for sharing with us in such a personal and moving way!! I am so glad you have your one to “be your home” who can help mitigate the aloneness of the dark hours.

  • sue brenner

    So so sorry Sue …my heart and hugs go with you on this difficult health journey.
    Xoxo

  • Marjorie Chaset

    Dearest Sue,
    Thank you so very much for sharing this beautiful meditation. Even as you are undergoing your own serious medical crisis, I am struck so not surprised that part of your the way to cope is to share you’re well researched perspective on life and love. My heart goes out to you and your family and I sincerely hope the surgery and the subsequent treatment is successful and that your remaining eye continues to help you see what’s on the outside. You already know so much about what goes on on the inside. With endless gratitude fir all you give to us in the EFT community and two clients around the world you have helped , I hope that goodness bounces back toward you.
    With love and respect,
    Marjie

  • Karen Merkl

    Dear Sue,

    I was directed to your blog entry by Nancy Knudsen of NEEFT here in Boston, and I wanted to send warm healing wishes for your recovery from surgery and your adjustment process. I hope you feel the support of as many people as you have touched with your beautiful EFT theories and your sparkly sturdy presence. Know that we are all pulling for you, grateful for you, hoping for the very best. Rest well and let everyone take care of you. Best wishes.

  • Sondra Goldstein PhD (EFT Cafe member)

    Sue – I am so sorry to hear about your illness and surgery. You are amazingly brave and positive, even in
    the face of grave physical illness. I will pray for your recovery, restored calmness, and reunion with loved ones who will hold and comfort you.
    You are an inspiration to all who have contact with you, professionally and personally.
    With warmest wishes

  • Angela (and Chad) Imhoff

    You are a gem of a human and I know first hand that many of us in Northwest Arkansas are and will continue to pray for you!! Thank you for your vulnerability and courage. If our community (or any one of us) can do anything for you- please don’t hesitate to ask. If we lived close, we’d bring a hot meal by your house and offer to get your groceries, because that’s the kind of thing we do, but since we’re not- prayer is what we offer. The deepest and most sincere prayer, that the voice who spoke to you will continue to let you know that you are most certainly still valuable and needed!! Sincerely…

  • Luciana

    It is really sad to hear and I am so sorry…Dr. Sue has been inspiring and guiding me with her books and blogs for years. She is and will always be the same light and hope and wisdom for me. Sending best wishes to get well and much LOVE to the lady teaching us love everyday!!! ❤️ Holding tight together!

  • Judy Ford

    It is a blessing to me that you share your vulnerability. Your courage and strength shines through your words. Although we have not met in person, I respect your work, your wisdom, your dedication and who you are. I hold you in my heart. ❤

  • Janice Levine

    What a beautiful, meaningful, vulnerable and universal piece. Thank you for this. A gift.

  • Raquel

    Dear sue, thanks for this share, for trusting us enough to open your heart and voice your experience. I wish my love, healing wishes, tenderness, hugs, request to the great cosmic forces for all your Being arrive, land and are felt by you. I will put you in my altar, where the precious ones are placed.

    Much love dearest one,
    Raquel

  • Patti Powell

    This is a wonderful article. My mother is a counselor as well and has lost most of her sight to Macular D. She is so low so often. It’s hard for me to imagine that a counselor can be so low. But I understand she is human. Her husband, my father died 12 years ago so she doesn’t have that special someone to comfort her more often. Any type of advice beyond this article you can give. I am so sorry to hear about your trials. You have great insight. Best wishes to you on your journey.

  • Michael Wayne Regier

    Sue,

    Facing the dark night is truly the ultimate attachment challenge!

    Our prayers are joined with yours.

  • Michael B Taylor

    This is beautiful Sue. Made me think of how my grandmother used to say hello and goodbye by putting her cheek against mine. To this day, this makes me feel a sense of “home” I carry with me always. I pray you always carry home with you, too.

  • Paula Zerfoss

    Dear Sue- My heart is with you. You are not alone. You changed and enriched my life and the lives of so many of us. Love

  • Isabella Van Hoye

    Dear Sue, we have not met in person – only through your wonderful work that transformed my life. My heart is so with you. I feel at a loss what to say as you have said it so raw and so powerfully. We are all together with you, that I am sure and I wish you continued strength and support in the face of such adversity.
    lots of love Isabella

  • Dr. Marcia Stroup

    Sue, I love you and feel some of the pain you are experiencing. When I was 25 yrs. old, I went to Mayo’s Clinic in Rochester, MN. Dr. Henry Brown helped save my life with the most excruciating sinus surgery with needles sticking out of my cheeks, and 2 doctors pulling out pus from infection and polyps that was like cement. My parents were there. My husband drove all night and after surgery, stroked my face, took the wet sponge to my dry lips. and I’ve never forgotten that moment that he was there for me! I was recovering from excruciating pain. I’m so devastated to hear of the tumor and the removal of your eye. I have a very good friend who lost an eye in her 20’s and she has functioned at a very high level all of these years. Jesus said, “I will never leave you or forsake you.” Tenderly He watches over you. With love, Marcia Stroup

  • Barbara Dwyer-Heidkamp

    Sue,
    I recently started SKY Meditation. I want to pass on to you a message that the Guru shared with us. “You are Lovely”. “You are Loved”. Sending healing thoughts to you for a speedy recovery and a blessed adjustment.

  • Bobbie Broyles

    Thank you Sue. Thank you for sharing. Thank you for exploring. Thank you for seeing how we connect with one another and helping all of us feel less alone. You are not alone. We are not alone. We are with you.
    Thank you.

  • Heike Mccahon

    Sue my heart goes out to you and I am praying that the light does come in.. into your good eye and into your heart.

  • Pang Pui Sze

    Dear Dr. Su Johnson,God love you so much and connected always.

  • Engy

    That’s very touching and powerful, so sad for what you are going through but so proud of how you are standing with faith in your hard time. Will be praying for you 🙏🏻

  • Eileen Peterson

    I’m in tears. Tears of sadness for you, Sue. And for everyone, in this time where they are going through something terrifying where they can’t feel the love and proximity of someone who makes them feel precious and seen exactly at the moment of greatest need.

    But I am overwhelmed by the gift you have shared with so many, of EFT in all its forms. I am an EFT for Couples therapist for the last several years, who has just finished the first session of EFIT. Even in your own pain and fear, you give us all a way to help individuals, and ourselves, to get through something as desolate as what you face now. May you be surrounded by the love and grace you have always shared with us all.

  • Sylvie Braverman

    My thoughts are with you, and I hope for your quick recovery and adjustment. Lots of loving kindness.

  • Lily Sun

    Dear Sue, thank you for sharing your heart here. I am moved by your grace and vulnerability in the face of this life challenge. I hope you are healing well, and finding new ways to engage with the world which is still here holding you. I appreciate all you and your work have brought into this world, and thank you for being a teacher and guide.

  • Yeganeh Karimi

    The power of gratitude and prayers are able to protect you. As I heard you have a beautiful soul and mind, I am sure God is always with you and taking care of you. I will keep my prayers for you.

  • Maryam Dalili

    Oh my God, Sue, I can’t digest in what I just read😌
    I am so sorry to hear you, a legend, my legend, is going through this “ darkness”. I wish I was able to find a word of comfort to write to you.
    Please remember that you have a big place in my heart. You don’t know me, but you have thought me so much, so much about the most precious thing in life ,how to love and how to give love.
    My thought and prayers are with you🌹❤️

  • Jean Shirkoff

    Thank you for sharing with us. I know you must be frightened and tender. I know you have lots of support and love but I will add mine to your basket. I love you Sue and am so grateful you have touched my life. Imagine that my hand cups the side of your face as I sit close like you taught me and I reassure you that no matter what we who love you have your back.

  • Susan Thau

    Sending caring and loving thoughts to you for all that you’re going through. The whole EFT community is with you and holding you in our hearts. Much caring and respect, Susan Thau

  • Kristin Palmer

    We love you Sue! You’re in our thoughts and prayers. We’re with you.

  • Andrea Harbeck

    Dear Dr. Sue,

    I‘m so speechless about your words. They touched me deep deep in my soul.
    But that‘s nothing in relation to the feelings you apparently have to go through.
    So I only want to send you a big warm hug in which you can feel that you‘re loved and admired and which gives you the power of the Love that surrounds you.
    While I‘m going to learn and learn and learn everyday more about EFT and this wonderful work and it becomes more and more quite like an addiction for me you‘re going through a very hard time. I cannot imagine what this is like for you.
    Please feel hold and beloved.

    I send you a big portion of good and wonderful energy, Andrea Harbeck

  • Patricia Gallagher

    Dr. Sue, I know you only through your amazing work. Thank you for your wonderful gift. Sending you love and white healing energy energy.

  • Mandy Chapman-Smith

    Dear Sue,
    Sending heartfelt love to you. May you tangibly feel the love and prayers of all those who love you and want you to know they are all “holding” you in some way.
    May you know the depth and breadth and height of our loving omnipresent heavenly father Sue who is with you, He is with you where ever you are. Know that you are His precious child. He is holding you in His arms so tenderly , dearly and lovingly. He is so well pleased with you. You are loved❤️😌

  • Jaap Zoetmulder

    Dear Sue,
    Even now, while you are in personal need and you have the tremendous courage to share it with us, you are a beacon for me. You have been that for the past 15 years. A landmark in the dark of therapy but also a personal landmark. I recognize so much of what you write. Hospital admissions in my life; heart; eye; fears …. lying in a fetal position, singing songs, rocking myself. I already did it in my youth. As so often: your text is (also) about me! It’s about us when our loved ones aren’t there and we’re on our own. I am moved that you write so vulnerable. Know that in the dark, in my mind, I want so badly to be next to you with everyone else, the so many you have been able to inspire. All those with whom you have been able to connect so deeply.
    Remember that in a moment you will be standing in front of us again and just like Depp you will raise the anchor and sail on again with us.

    Jaap Zoetmulder, the Netherlands

  • Gut Vicars

    Sue thank you so much for your career and your life.
    My career has been enhanced by attending your programs and I know my clients – ordinary people – have been helped by your teachings.
    I hope this knowledge helps you in your extreme trials.
    My thoughts and love are with you even as you walk alone.

  • Deborah Curtis

    Sue, my thoughts and heartfelt prayers are with you. Thank you and bless you in this difficult time. This is so thoughtfully and beautifully written, I will read it many times over.

  • Carol Ann Ward

    Dear Susan
    Your work and words are brilliant and heart warming.
    Sending you my love.

  • Anne

    You’re just so inspiring, Dr Sue. You cut to the core.
    Yes, home!
    Thank you for thinking of us even amidst your own pain and darkness. Hope the surgery went smoothly.

  • Lisa Kully, Calif

    Thank you for letting us know your struggles. Many blessings on this incredibly vulnerable journey. Sending love your way!

  • Alexandra

    As a therapist and EFT practicioner I am greatly endepted to the attachment science that Sue made so available and present each time that I am working with a couple but is also tested and confirmed in my private life. I truly wish to her a full recovery…. in spirit I am holding her hand while she goes through this dark place. You are not alone….

  • Wilcie

    As an EFT learner from Hong Kong, your words always inspired me and ignite the passion in my heart. Just want to say, you will be remembered in prayers and thoughts. Dwell in the love that gives you the energy to carry on. We all love you and can’t wait to hear your teachings again.

  • Becky

    Thinking of you and hoping for an uncomplicated recovery
    Sending vibes of loving connections your way ❤️

  • Robin Hitchman

    Sue, you are precious and not alone. I can only imagine the fear you are consistently experiencing. One step at a time, your years are made up of moments, just live one at a time. And when that moment is back to teaching I will be your eyes for you and bring you all the tea and water you could ever need.
    Robin

  • Itziar Arana Rivero

    LOVE

  • Sheila Rubin

    Sue- my heart goes out to you. Thanks for sharing the depth of your process- The rocking the praying, the singing and the healing through sharing your process with the whole community. You feel alone— You have been and will be a brilliant light in the world of darkness may that light shine through you now when you most need it. Sending love and blessings from California.

  • Christie Eastman

    With water in my eyes, I send you an embrace from West Virginia where who you are and how you have cared for us has changed our world.

    God be with you and may you feel the arms of the Divine wrapping around you and holding you close.

  • Michael Collender

    Dear Sue,
    I am so sorry to hear about your ordeal, words fail me, and words do not fail you! Yes there is light in the story of who you are now, and it is a light not darkness will overcome. You are in my thoughts and prayers, especially in the celebration of mass.
    Fr Michael Collender OSA

  • Jyoti Nadhani

    This beautiful meditation just made me relive my life from birth till now. I read and reread and thought of all the warm hands that nurtured me and made me feel loved. Thanks for such a loving note. You will be in my prayers.

  • Rosy Biglari

    Dear Sue; It causes me sadness that you are going these hard times. It is time to pray as it is my belief that nothing is impossible for God.
    Send you a big HUG and a voice telling you that YOU ARE NOT ALONE; You are in my prayers everyday.
    Love you and get well.

  • Jan Harvey

    Sue,
    My prayers are with you. I pray also that the Holy Spirit of A God who adores you, will be close to you daily to speak His words of comfort and peace, and to reassure you that with him you are never alone, you are always precious. He will redeem this situation and strengthen you for the journey.

  • Soudeh aghamohammadi (from Iran)

    Dear sue;
    There isn’t enough word to express my deeply felt sadness and I am so sorry.

    Sue, my heart and blessings are with you on this difficult health journey and my prayers are joined with yours.

    Also, I send you my love and my thanks for all the love you have spread to me and my clients.

  • Angie Juniper

    Yes!! Together… that is the way we make it! My eyes are filled with tears as I enter your vulnerability Sue. Thank you for letting me/us in. How powerful to stay true to the model you are most passionate about!! I stand with you in the most sustaining thing in life, LOVE.

  • Nancy

    Dear Dr. Sue – I am amazed at your ability to still teach and mentor us in the face of your own pain. I appreciate who you are and what you continue to teach. My best wishes and healing energy for you in the coming weeks. I hope you experience the support you need.

  • Dalia Anderman

    Dearest Sue
    Not a day goes by when I do not talk about you to my clients, friends, colleagues and family.
    Through you I have become who I am both as a therapist and as a human.

    I was sad and also honored to be reading your blog. What courage, and what a leader you are, to walk the walk.
    I am so sorry you have to go through this scary time.

    As all of us how learned from you, and continue to learn from you, I am holding you in my thoughts and in my heart in these times

    with all my respect and love and gratitude,
    Dalia

  • Diane Duerr Partridge

    Dr. Sue Johnson,
    I have never met you, but am well acquainted with your work. EFT has made such a difference in many couples lives, and we have you to thank for that. You have been a gift and an inspiration to the profession of couples therapy.
    As you begin this new chapter in your life, know that you are not alone. There are many, many people thinking of you and wishing you well. ❤️

  • Maggie Meinschein

    Sue, I’ve never even met you, but you have touched my life in more ways than you will ever know. I’m so sorry to hear you’re going through this scary, painful time. You are light and love, Sue. You are are the sun. We are holding you dear to our hearts.

  • Pauline Macey

    Dear Dr. Sue, May you feel the love of all of us, whose lives you have touched so deeply, wrapped around you at this challenging time. Even at this time of great personal vulnerability, you continue to inspire through your courage in reaching out with your beautiful words. Wishing you ongoing support, healing and love.

  • Carol Corcoran

    Dear Sue, I can only imagine what you are experiencing at this tender and frightening time. My heart and prayers go out to you at this time to support you during your healing process.

  • Hanna Levenson

    You have guided us all for so long, let us help guide you during this difficult time. I am reminded of the children’s book, The Invisible String: “You don’t need to see the invisible string.
    People who love each other are always connected by a very special string made of love.
    Even thought you can’t see it with your eyes you can feel it with your heart
    And know that you are always connected to everyone you love.”
    Here is the entire (very short) book being read out loud:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WlUxXexjhYI

  • Lynn wadsworth

    All of your mentees out here are “ holding you tight. “

  • Jens from Hamburg

    Yes, it’s the only thing left – so desperate alone – the longing for a response, a gesture, a word, your name

    Sue.

    I hold you tight!

  • Aleeza Cohen

    Sue is for soothing millions of people around the world that are suffering bringing soothing energy into family and now the Therapist thank you. רפואה שלמה

  • Laurie Watson

    🙏🏻 Sending love.

  • Judith Kennedy

    Sue, Your loving presence is felt. I am sending you a hug. I recall being in an elevator with you in NY for one of the EFT skills seminars. I wanted to give you a hug then. May you envision circles within circles within circles of people who love you surrounding you with you in the Center. judith of Lancaster PA

  • Jose Rosado

    Sue, I met you during my internship in New York some time ago. That week sent me off into the inspiring work with EFT. Your work has been motivating and part of my therapy, as well as, and more importantly, part of my life. I believe in the power of prayer as a source for calming our confused and disturbes minds. Here I leave you with St. Therese of Avila’s beautifully soothing prayer. My gift to You Mrs. Johnson:
    “Let nothing disturb you,
    Let nothing frighten you,
    All things are passing away:
    God never changes.
    Patience obtains all things
    Whoever has God lacks nothing;
    God alone suffices.”

    Count on my family’s prayers

  • Gloria K Vanderhorst

    Dear Sue, My eyes weep and my heart reaches for prayer that will heal or be magical in some way. You have given yourself completely to so many and like ripples and waves your talent moves all around the globe as therapists and clients benefit from your knowledge. Know that you are being wrapped and comforted in the arms of so many.

  • Tesa Carlsen

    Thank you, Sue, for sharing your experience of this scary journey and for letting us accompany you. I am imagining the best outcome, free of complications. I am holding you in my heart and when I awake in the dark hours, I will hold you then too and remind you that you can DO this.

    “The light comes in your good eye, too!” I think you’re going to learn more about this.
    So much love to you, Tesa

  • Elham Neisani Samani

    Sending my prayers on your way..

  • Mervat sabery

    Dr Sue, thank you so much for sharing this meditation with us. I felt so close to you and that I really admire you. I really appreciate what you are doing to make this world a better place . We muslims are in the holly month of Ramadan i will pray for you to get better and visit us in Egypt soon. I love you and I am sure that my community shares the same feeling for you! Hope you get Better soon inshallaah.

    • Catherine

      Another religion heard from which I am sure means a lot to Sue! Love is the main thing. St Francis said he did not concern himself with theology. He added that if he ever mastered the basic teaching of Christianity- love thy neighbor as thyself- he might think about theology.

  • Christy Birgen

    Dear Sue,

    Thank you sharing such tender spots and vulnerability of where you find yourself right now in your story.

    I am holding you tight in my prayers as you recover from your surgery and move though this darkness with the light and love of so many whose lives you have impacted. I will never forget reading The Practice of Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy while in grad school. It made so much sense to me and I knew that EFT was the way that I would do therapy. As I continue to pursue training, the framework of love and secure attachment with others resonates so deeply in my soul. Thank you for all you have given to the EFT Community and countless clients through your passion, dedication and research. May you feel that very same love, comfort, and safety not only from your close family and loved ones, but also from your EFT family around the world.

  • ines ferrer-bergua

    We haven’t met, but I want to thank you for your beautiful words and wish for you to feel comfort in your heart. With love and appreciation, Ines

    • Anne Auerbach

      Dear Sue
      I join hands with all of your eft family and send healing blessings your way
      Hoping you feel held at this challenging time in your life
      On a personal note from one Brit to another I have been watching a short video clip of you doing the tango at the San Diego summit and praying for your speedy recovery as I think of you lively and engaged and connected just as you approach your life and work
      You’ve got this and when you need us we have got you !!
      I feel privileged to know you
      Love anne in Seattle WA

  • Janine Murphy-Neilson

    Thank you for this article and for sharing your fears and coping with us. Wishing you all the best for a speedy and healthy recovery. Sending you warm and positive thoughts, take care.
    Janine

  • Heidi McCormick

    Dear Sue, I read this post several times. It moves me deeply. Your description of your dark night is profound. I’ve sent this post to others who’ve gone through tragic events this past year, without human touch or in person companionship to comfort them. Even in your dark night of the soul, your words comfort others. Sending love.

  • Karen Shore

    Dear, Dear Sue,
    You have held thousands of us tight as we struggled to learn what you’ve wanted to teach us. We needed your presence, your encouragement, your wisdom as you encouraged us to take the risk to use what you taught us in the face of couples and families in conflict. You’ve taught us how the consistent, loving presence and comfort from important others helps build courage and resiliency. So please know now that in addition to your loving family, you have thousands of us, holding you tight in our hearts. I hope that the love and support of your friends and family and the love and support we are all giving back to you will provide you with the courage and resiliency you need now and going forward. We are all here for you. With much love….

  • Kimberly Akamine

    Sue, thank you for sharing your experience and inner struggles. It gives voice to all of our inner struggles and lets us know that we are not alone. You have our best wishes, heart felt thoughts, and our prayers.

  • Candace Blair

    Thank you for saying this.

  • Manal Abaza

    I love it. Thank you. You touched me. And i was honored to attend with you, see you in person, talking. I am sure you already know and have been told this before millions of times, but i believe it is always great to hear it again and again and again, you are a real comfort, a symbol of love and understanding and empathy, your voice soothes not only your clients, when we watxh you work, but us too, evrryone who has met you, through your work or in person has been touched and changed. I have always been fascinated and believed in the Attachment Theory. When we were asked in the masters program to choose our approach and theories, mine was attachment and EFT was one of the best approaches that spoke to me personally, and i tried to apply it with individuals as much as i could, until i got a chance to be a member of the EFT Egypt group and met amazing ladies and pioneers that made it possible to many more to learn and become mercenaries of LOVE. Maybe that is why it spoke to me, i have always had Mother Theresa as my role model, i believe that everything can be made better through love. And here you are confirming and reconfirming that in your love speech in these dirr times. But also always examplified that by your being a living example of it. I pray for you and wish you all the courage and serenity to befriend such a hardship and still teach us lessons. You have touched millions of sould and hearts of people all over the world and we all ptay for you to recover as much as you possibly can and continue to enlighten us with your presence, soul, love, knowledge and experience. It was a real honor to have met you in person, even though virtual. You will be great. I know it. I believe it. Lots of love from Egypt. Waiting to meet you in person in our sunny country soon inshaallah.

  • Libby Hardy

    Sue, I just wanted to tell you how sorry I am to hear of this incredibly difficult experience you are going through. I just want you to know that you have been such an inspiration to so many of us and I use EFT as my primary approach to therapy. You have truly been a blessing to all of us in the Therapy World!
    And, I will be praying for you as you go through this challenging time. I pray that God will sustain you and give you strength and peace to face whatever lies ahead.

  • Richard Doleman

    Wow! Sue; my heart is so with you, you are so in my heart. Sending all love and healing in your direction.

  • Sue McLeod

    Your heartfelt blog took me back 11years to the moment my oncologist after results were in, gently gave me the results of aggressive grade three breast cancer with many lymph nodes affected and I, like you, felt the touch of a loving unseen hand knowing deeply I was loved and I was my God’s care. Life expectancy without treatment 15%. I gratefully accepted treatment for body soul and spirit.
    I’m alive and well today . On my journey I listened to you many times and received great wisdom and comfort..your gift will continue to bless many and live on
    🙏🏻❤️

  • Andrew Connolly

    You’ve so richly blessed the world with your research and writing and now again with personal reflection on pain, suffering and attachment. May the God you know comfort, strengthen and heal you and in doing that continue to deepen you in that loving mystery we call God and we’ll all meet one day. Peace be with you.

  • Mai

    Dear Dr. Sue

    I’m Mai from Egypt, I’m very interested in EFT

    Your words are very touching and powerfull, thank you for sharing.

    You are amazing and true model of believeing what you do ..your inspiring eyes tell me every thing can be possible .. you always have the light in your heart which enlightenment ours too to survive.

    I hope all the best and quick recovery for you and may you surrounded by the love and grace you need.

    sending my prayers to your heart.

    Regards,
    Mai

    • Tinaz Vevaina

      Dear Sue, You have been a Beacon of Light for thousands of us. Captain of the Mother Ship! I am blown away by your vulnerability and honored that you are sharing your inner struggles with us. So hard to think of the future with diminished vision, of all things. My heart goes out to you with an abundance of love. Know that we are holding you tight in Love and Light that comforts you and gives you strength to “fight like a girl.”

  • Una meditación sobre la vulnerabilidad, la supervivencia y el consuelo cuando no hay escape. – EFT México

    […] /https://drsuejohnson.com/vulnerability-comfort-attachment-in-lockdown/ […]

  • Richard Fox for NZCEFT

    Dear Sue,
    Within the New Zealand EFT community there has been an outpouring of feelings for you – and for the depth and poignancy of your writing. We are very much holding you in our hearts and sending you our love: Arohanui!

  • Anna Sizorina

    Dear Sue,

    As you taught us attachment is not about thoughts said out loud, it is about feelings of connection felt by every cell of your body, these are the signals perceived by all our senses and by every cell of our body. I wish you from my heart that you feel this connection and support of the close people, of GOD, of the world with every sense and every cell of your body. And I hope this “felt” picture powered by emotion will be much brighter.
    LOVE, Anna, Hamburg Germany

  • Anne Martin

    Wow, and now the fight begins. I am so glad you reached out using prayer and connection. We can all pray for your recovery. The connection is all of us sending up prayers for your wellbeing. Please hear our collective and connected voices at 5:00 in the morning (always darkest before the dawn)as we stand shoulder to shoulder with our collective requests on your behalf. EFT has changed my life and helped me see connections more clearly. I thank you for helping me notice and practice the art of connectivity. Sent with much love and admiration!

  • Gordana

    Bonjour Dr Sue!
    Je suis de tout mon cœur avec vous.
    Votre partage me touche et m’émeu énormément. Je vous souhaite un bon rétablissement et que la lumière arrive dans tout votre être.

  • Lisa Stanton

    Dear Sue, I am heartbroken to have learned what you are going through and dealing with. You have been an amazing source of inspiration, love, and hope in my life, my husband’s life, and the lives of my clients who all have benefited from EFT and YOU! It is very rare that anyone enters your life and changes it in such a dynamic way as you have–for so many worldwide! I hope and pray that you will tackle this with your extraordinary strength and continue to serve as a powerful role model for all of us as we experience our own emotional, mental, and physical pain. Sending you love, prayers, serenity, and hope.

  • Farah Abdulnasser

    All the love in the world to you and your brave, beautiful journey.
    I will pray my God for you.
    This is a holy month for us muslims and our God states that all prayer are answered. Yours will always come first❤️

  • Susana Franklin

    Dear Sue, been there, I feel you, I’m here for you.
    Love.
    Susana Franklin (Mexico City)

  • John Dooner

    Thank you

  • Nancy

    thank you for sharing your vulnerability. I appreciate your work and all you have done for others. Praying for you!

  • Tinaz Vevaina

    Dear Sue,
    You have been a bright Beacon of Light for thousands of us over the years. Captain of the Mother ship! I am blown away by your vulnerability, a window into the agony of your loss. I am honored that you are able to share your grief with us. So unimaginably hard to lose an eye and have diminished vision. My heart goes out to you. Please know that you are being held tight by your entire community of EFTers and others! Sending you gobs and gobs of Love and Light. I was inspired by these lines I saw in my Oncologist’s office, and would like to share them with you: “I am braver because I fought a giant and won; I’m stronger because I had to be; I’m happier because I know what matters -(Love); I stand taller because I am a survivor – Fight like a Girl!”

  • Yaakov Sterling

    Dearest Sue, who as changed my life in so many positive ways personally (with my wife, children, grandchildren, parents and internal self) and professionally (as an individual, couples and family terapist, working with my incredible EFT supervisor Nissan Lachman and being guided every step of the way with by Debi in New Jersey, training tapes, endless courses, boosters, peer practice, EFiT trauma training, and the list goes on), I want to share with you that 30 years ago, when my first son (we now have 7 kids and 10 grandchildren and counting) was 6 weeks old, we flew within 8 hours of the diagnosis from Israel to the U.S. to have my right eye removed (I was 26 at the time). It was a huge trauma for everyone, and G-d helped, and after that I piloted light aircraft, drove thousands of miles without any accidents, learned over 10,000 hours of Holy and secular studies, and continue to function in everything that is dear to me. I can’t be a commercial pilot, a taxi or bus driver or a few other things that in any case weren’t on my agenda, but I CAN continue to be highly sensitive to others in their despair, whether it be sourced from a medical issue or otherwise. My whole heart is with you, and I pray that you will have more than a full recovery by coming out stronger, wiser, even more sensitive (if that’s possible) and optimistic about the future. You have so many important tasks to complete in this lifetime, and I am confident that your acute medical situation will not be a burden, and WILL be, after all is said and done, an advantage for you to leverage as you continue your Holy journey in this world to the benefit of every human being on this Earth. With Love and Tears in My Eye(s), Yaakov Sterling, Bnei Brak, Israel – Life Member ICEEFT

  • Jo Hariton

    You are so brave for sharing this. I hope your recovery goes smoothly. Wishing you well and sending good vibes!

  • Laura Schnaps

    Want you to know how you have touched me personally and my work. Sending you warm, caring hugs and as much soothing touch as possible.

  • claire virtue

    Dear Sue
    I writing from New Zealand Aotearoa. Your words touched me deeply. All of us in our own humanity can relate to every word and state. I wish you all the aroha (love) and care that can reach all of your being.
    Thank you for allowing us in the EFT community to hold your journey in our hearts.
    Arohanui Claire

  • Reka Kluver

    Thank you for sharing your vulnerability with us through this beautiful piece. Know you are loved and healing energy is coming your way.

  • Karen Redding

    So true! Your tender words & insights penetrate any intellectualizations & take me to the core of what holds & soothes …how we care and touch each other. From my raw human vulnerability to Your’s…thank you Your words feel like a soft hand on my heart, saying, ‘It’s like this now & keeps changing You are loved I am here Let it be This is the way to growing freedom ..learning to let go…while resting in love …breathing in love, breath by breath Ultimately we are all in this together Thank you for sharing

  • Robert Hartford

    Thank you for sharing this Sue.
    Sending right back the rhythmic vibes I feel as I read and process this.
    Heal well.

  • Calleen Morris

    Sue,
    Once again I am in awe of your insight and ability to articulate to all. May the Holy Spirit (the Goddess, or whoever), continue to be with you and hold you tight through this challenge, and may you know that we Love you.

  • Elham

    You are not alone dear sue, you are in our heart …
    And I wish to hold you tight after your surgery……
    God blasé you…you are ♥️ love ♥️ in your letter and my destiny…..
    sending my prayers to your heart….

  • Dinah Bachrach MFT

    Dr. Sue,
    My heart hurt and still hurts for you having to endure such a frightening and painful reality! And this piece you wrote is such as gift to all of us, as your lifetime work with EFT has been. Thank you.

  • Carol Ramsay-Scott

    Gut wrenching Sue. No words. Just millions of hearts around the world saying “We love you.” I was praying a prayer of gratitude for you this week, that, if not for EFT, literally I would not be sitting here in NYC with my beautiful husband, in a resurrected marriage doing what I love most: serving. Your work did that – your brilliant mind, your beautiful heart, your insatiable curiosity… and those eyes. I have glaucoma so I share a fear of blindness one day. I’ve pondered what I’d do. I have two grandchildren that are mostly blind. The fear is real. But you will be the light again, because even if you WERE blind, the other parts of you would figure out a way to keep doing what you do. Because you are Sue Johnson. I trust that implicitly. Thanks for all you are. Thanks for literally changing my life, my husband’s, my kid’s and a boatload of humans that now understand what they are: mammals that need comfort and reassurance. PERIOD. Bless you on the horrible rollercoaster you’re on. We have your back.

  • Dr Linda Hartley-Clark

    Dear Dr Sue, hold on to your beautiful and loving self(s). Hold on to those in your life who love you so dearly. Hold on to your broader community of therapists; we hold you so tightly. I will indeed meditate and bring to mind those times for me when I have felt held and loved. I practice this now with the added purpose of transmitting a global love sense to you from Australia.

  • Gladys Vidalón

    Gracias por compartir tus vivencias y enseñarnos aún en un momento tan vulnerable!! Desde aquí, mi corazón te estará abrazando, Sue.

  • West Breedlove

    Holding you in my heart.

  • Brad Werner

    Thank you for this Sue. My heart and prayers are with you.

  • Monica Tanur

    Sue our hart is with you. We love your teachings and your person. Thanks for being you

  • Ting Qin

    Dr. Sue, I’m praying for you. You are not alone. Many, many lives who were touched by you and your work, including myself are with you in this darkness. I feel your anguish and I’m here with you.

  • Mindy Sutton

    Dr. Sue,
    You are loved by so many people you have never even met, myself included. My heart goes out to you right now during this hard time. Please feel all of our love and prayers for you, absorb them in and allow all of us to wrap you up in a huge virtual hug! God bless Sue Johnson!!

  • Marika van Adelsberg

    Sue- I’m sending you love and healing from Portland OR. You have touched me with your wisdom and spirit, which intern strengthened my voice and heart as a therapist. I am so grateful for you and all you have done for the world. There are so many of us standing on your shoulders. It’s your turn to stand on ours as we support you and send love to Canada in your home, garden, and family. Love Marika

  • Sue

    Dear Sue,
    So beautifully shared, even now in your dark night of the soul you are still teaching. Sending you all the love in the world, we are there in spirit.

  • maureen Ireland

    Inspiring and confirming of the warm and support that love bring into our lives

  • Gail Hawking

    Dear Sue, Sending Love, Light and Gratitude for your Health and Healing, Namaste 🙏

  • Jill Ringrose

    Dear Sue
    I am sending you some comfort with a virtual hug. Oh how I feel what you are saying. I am so sorry that you have to go through such a difficult time. I wish you a recovery supported by those who love you. Your work has been an inspiration for me.
    Get Well Soon

  • Trinnae Phang

    Dear Sue,
    I am one of your student, but you have never met me before. After reading you msg, I would like to tell you my family and I will pray for you, pray that God be with you and peace be with you. Eight years ago, I have trouble pregnancy, my life and my younger daughter life was in danger for that nine months. The only thing I can do is to ask my brothers and sisters to pray for me..……then waited the trial to past. I was more peaceful when I know so many people prayed for me and I know He will listen.

    Really wish you have peace in your mind and faith in God every moment

    With Love,
    Trinnae

  • Fergus Cronin – Ireland

    Bless you Sue and all that your passion and life’s work with ‘Attachment’ has brought to our EFT community and all whom we serve. May your healing be as grace-ful as your words.

    • Maryam Abbasi

      Dear Sue,

      My heart is with you and am sending my prayers and love to you.

      Hugs,

      Maryam Abbasi from Iran

  • Paula Sambusini

    I believe as you do.

    Thank your for giving to all of us who read your words, a wise and real testimony in such a difficult moment. It surely must be a night of the soul. Trust that the morning will come.

    I hope you find inside your heart, the Divine presence which is always hugging our true self. I wish you peace, love, and a quick recovery of the surgery.

  • June Brown

    Oh Susan what a challenging and sad experience for you. You have given so much to the world of therapy and clients, it seems unfair. I believe each one of us would be feeling daunted, vulnerable and scared if faced with your dilemma . Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful meditation with us. You are so loved by people across the world, who will all be praying for you, I have no doubt. You have given so much to us as therapist and helped us to be more effective and helpful to our clients. EFT always stood apart from other counselling approaches. Bless you.

  • sue brenner

    My heart reaches out to you during this very difficult, and scary time! I am so sorry this is happening to you. I am sending healing vibrations and an abundance of love to you often.
    Hugs,
    Sue Brenner

  • Leia Thomas

    I’m here so totally touched by your tender words that feed my soul. What you are going thru , and you still stop to give to all who join with you. Your sharing of your depth of feeling brings to us an awareness of all our connectedness. Prayers for you and thanks for your many gifts.

  • Shaz

    Sending positive healing energy and all my love to you. Will be thinking of you.

  • Štefanija Jaksetic Dujc

    Dear Dr. Sue,
    I’m with you in your fight for health. I love you, even if we haven’t seen each other. But your work has soothed me and still soothes and heals my heart so that it can love and seek love over and over again, even if it has been betrayed and is often still hurt. But love is stronger. And my heart, your heart-written science, embraced in EFT therapy, guides, encourages, and literally embraces me over and over again. It strengthens and lifts me from falling into hopelessness and helps me to seek, sometimes very small and tiny paths out, but always back in search of the light of love.
    I wish you a speedy recovery and to be with us and your loved ones as soon as possible,
    Štefanija Jaksetič Dujc

  • Nicki Holmes

    This is beautiful Sue and totally relatable. Having experienced a chronic skin condition this week and being thrown into ‘fight or flight’ mode until I was ‘seen’ and reassured by the doctor and given a face to face diagnosis (the 3rd I might add) other two were over the phone I was starting to feel very anxious, alone and fearful. Meditation, EFT and walking were the only ways I could stay calm. Living on my own and waking up during the night, gut wrenching afraid to look into the mirror, was terrifying. I allowed my counsellor to see me online and somehow this then encouraged me to visit friends who could see I was suffering. Since then family and friends have reached out to me and I have realised the power of human connection. Nobody has hugged me yet as I think people are still afraid so I am looking forward to that day longingly … I hope your op went well and you are finding some peace and able to soothe your soul during such challenging times. Sending much love Nicki xx

  • Patricia De Cofiño

    Unida en tu luz y en tu tiempo querida Dra Sue por esa fuerza que une el universo

  • Diana Weiss-Wisdom

    Dear Sue,

    Having rejoined the (new) listserve format this week, I just learned about what you are going through from Jan DiSanto’s email invitation to join a remote prayer, healing circle for you.

    I’m deeply saddened to learn of your current health crisis; and glad that I tuned in just in time to participate in the enormous loving energy field created by our international EFT community all meditating together on your behalf. Hopefully, you felt it too. You are in my prayers and always on my gratitude list for your gigantic contribution to our field and so many lives, including mine.

  • Pauline

    Thinking of you today all the work you have shared. Hold tight c

  • Lee Ogden

    Blessings and godspeed in your recovery Sue. Holding you in my heart as you navigate these troubled waters.

  • Evelyn

    Dearest Sue,

    You are one of my greatest teachers. EFT has changed my life.

    I wish you from the bottom of my heart to be well soon. Please know that you are in my heart and mind always.

    Evelyn

  • Jen Connell

    Hi Sue,
    I am so sorry that you are having to cope with this tragedy. You are a legend and will come through this x
    Truly amazing meditation Sue and felt privileged to read it.May God bless you and your family at this difficult time in a very strange world.

  • Sandra Quirós

    I sincerely hope and wish that you recover well. Blessings!

  • Greg Pickering

    My heart and prayers are with you always and especially at this challenging time. You walk in the light and it will guide you always.

  • Carolyn Sidereas

    Sue,
    I am continuing to pray for you. Your work has helped me in my work as a therapist. Attachment and connection are so soothing. My prayer is you will know that with your loved ones and with Jesus. I don’t know where you are on your journey, but I know that Jesus is close at hand.

  • Anjali Joseph

    Not sure why, but want you to know you’re in my prayers today.

  • Gill Battison

    This is so beautiful Sue- thank you so much for offering this gift to us even in the midst of your suffering. Thank you for your vulnerability and your reflections- they are a comfort.
    Thankyou too for helping me and my clients understand Attachment theory and the Demon dances that can disconnect and disrupt our safe contact with one another. Those words LOVE and TOGETHER are so powerful. I, together with many others will be praying for you and thinking of you at this time and your loved ones.

  • Amanda

    Dear Sue, as I venture into my first chemo session tomorrow you have given me a tool that brings me comfort, hope and positivity. I feel slightly less that everything is out of control. Thank you for this much needed gift. I send you love and best wishes for your recovery xxx

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