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Articles & Ideas


Important EFT topic: Doing the best we can

Important Note: This article was written prior to 2010 and is now outdated. Please use my newest advancement, Optimal EFT. It is more efficient, more powerful and clearly explained in my free e-book, The Unseen Therapist™.  Best wishes, Gary

Note: This article assumes you have a working knowledge of EFT. Newcomers can still learn from it but are advised to peruse our Free Gold Standard (Official) EFT Tutorial™ for a more complete understanding.

Hi Everyone,

In our DVDs I introduce the idea that everyone is doing the best they can, given their resources, backgrounds, beliefs, writings on their walls, etc. To me, this is an essential reframe for many people as they address their anger and resentment towards others. It can also be very freeing as Frances P, Xavier from the UK points out in his well written article. He says, "Maybe we could change our perception of things by accepting everyone is doing the best they can - even though we don't agree with them. After all, we haven't achieved much by criticising, blaming, judging and condemning them according to "the writing on our walls", have we?"

Hugs, Gary

By Francis P. Xavier

My life has changed in many ways since I discovered EFT (about five years ago), and I have been able to apply the lessons learnt from Gary's DVDs with a great deal of success.

His skillful artistry, his intuition and his wonderful sense of humour have made those lessons enjoyable as well as informative. However there is one expression that jumps out at me every time I peruse those DVDs.  And that is his repeated use of the phrase: "They were doing the best they could."

He usually incorporates the words - "given their background - the writing on their walls, etc" in the setup phrase and it is always effective. I sometimes get the impression that the person involved is often begrudgingly repeating those words. However, it is obvious that they work.

I began adapting this phrase to my own circumstances, especially when addressing the situation within my family relationships. And I have found it very effective.

Without going into all the details of our family's background, suffice it to say there were a great many problems. My father fought in the First World War and was convalescing in London when he met my mother. He took her back to Australia where she subsequently gave birth to seven children in eighteen years. It must have been very difficult for an only child, who had been cosseted by her parents, to adapt to the rigours of life downunder in the 1920's. The subsequent depression and another World War would have only added to her problems.

Now, in hindsight, I can understand some of the internal rivalry and bitterness that was generated during those years. The family was constantly beset with troubles. Three of us were involved in potentially fatal accidents, and my mother was constantly ill. Somehow or other my father coped - don't ask me how. Now, when I review those episodes, I marvel at his patience and perseverance.

I made peace with my father before he died in 1968, but I have struggled with my feelings towards my mother until recently. Whilst attending an EFT training course I was able to access an area of deep significance concerning our relationship. I was five or six years of age at the time. Although only one aspect of the trauma was addressed during that session, it opened the door for me to delve deeper into the problems that were related to that episode. Now I had a better understanding as to why I harboured those feelings.

Accessing those negative feelings and accepting them as part of a past event is helpful, but releasing them entirely can be quite a struggle. We can tap; "Even though they were doing the best they could…", with all the determination we can muster but there are times when that small internal voice still says; "Oh yeah??".

Well, I persevered (thankfully) and although I will never understand my mother's thinking I can accept she was doing the best she could. And in most cases she continued to care for us against, what now seems, almost impossible odds. So at long last I can give her the credit she deserves and say thank you. My eyes pricked with tears when I was able to say; "I love you Mum."

I then began to apply this procedure to the rest of my family. Then extended it to incorporate the kids who bullied me at school, the girls who dumped me, the employers who didn't give me the job I thought I deserved. And so on. It was a big list.

I now try to incorporate the phrase "They are doing the best they can." when I'm addressing my current relationship with others.

Don't they understand what I'm trying to say? Couldn't they be a bit more mindful of my situation?  Are they deliberately ignoring my offers of help?  Well, from my viewpoint I might feel justifiably upset when things don't go my way. However, when I apply that phrase the situation changes.

As I look back on the past 75 years of my life, which has been not only complicated, but self destructive as well, I ask myself why I did those things that caused me so much heartache, physical suffering and financial loss?  I can only shrug my shoulders and say I don't know. Although I can say I did what I did because it seemed right at the time. In other words, "I was doing the best I could."

So, as I add my personal appreciation to Gary for his contribution to our collective wellbeing, I would like to add a thank you for those oft repeated words: "They were doing the best they could given their background and the writing on their walls, etc".

Perhaps we can consider that statement as we review the world scene. Was Bin Laden doing the best he could when he set out to terrorize the West? He evidently thought so. Was the Serbian leader doing the best he could when he embarked on that ethnic cleansing crusade? He probably thought so.

And what about all the other despots, tyrants and oppressors - past and present? Were they were doing the best they could, given their background and the writing on their walls? There is only one answer, isn't there?

Maybe we could change our perception of things by accepting everyone is doing the best they can - even though we don't agree with them. After all, we haven't achieved much by criticising, blaming, judging and condemning them according to "the writing on our walls", have we?

Maybe it's time we thought of applying EFT to our view of the world.

Maybe it will change our future.


Explore our newest advancement, Optimal EFT™, by reading my free e-book, The Unseen Therapist™. More efficient. More powerful.