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Excerpted from Teach Only Love by Gerald Jampolsky. Copyright 2000 by Gerald Jampolsky. Excerpted by permission of Beyond Words Publishing, Inc.  All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. HTML and web pages copyright by SpiritSite.com.

"Thoughts that hurt us cannot be concealed, but they can be changed."

  Jerry Jampolsky, Teach Only Love, Part 3

Minds Communicate

I had another important learning experience that same year, taught to me by an eight-year-old boy named Billy. We can't hide our emotions from children, no matter how hard we try. Thoughts that hurt us cannot be concealed, but they can be changed. Here are two quotes from A Course in Miracles that throw light on this lesson:

I have said that you cannot change your mind by changing your behavior, but I have also said, and many times, that you can change your mind.

Later, the Course adds:

When someone truly changes his mind, he has changed the most powerful device that was ever given him for change.

This is true whether we think it is our behavior or another's that is the problem. The mistake I made in the following incident involving Billy was to attempt to change him rather than concern myself with my own inner healing. When the mind accepts healing, that improved state will of itself extend to all the other minds with which it is joined.

Billy not only had cerebral palsy but also a behavior problem. As a psychotherapist, I had been seeing him and his parents, but things had gotten worse. One day his parents expressed their disappointment to me. I began to feel resentment toward Billy for making me look bad. Either resentment or pride results when our goal is to change someone.

That night I read an article by Milton Erickson, the father of modern hypnosis in the United States. It described using hypnosis with children. Apparently, all that was necessary was to relax the child, give a few suggestions, and -- presto! -- behavior would change. Part of me had doubts about the method, yet another part was desperate enough to try it.

The next time I saw Billy, I had him sit on the hospital gurney and gave him suggestions that his eyes were getting heavier and heavier, that his eyes were closing because they were so heavy, and that he was lying down on the gurney. Imagine my surprise when he did everything I suggested. He was cooperating perfectly, something he had never done before. But suddenly he sat up. His eyes were closed but he leaned over and put his nose, against mine and said in his thick-tongued, palsied speech, "Dr. Jampolsky, your eyes are getting heavier and heavier." Then he broke out laughing.

After I recovered from the shock, we had a good laugh together. Kids are great therapists because they have not had the kind of formal teaching that can sometimes interfere with our deep intuitive knowledge. They know what is going on in an adult's heart. Instinctively, they seem to recognize that there is nothing hidden or secret, and they usually see through any mask we wear.

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