What good does it do to know that I was hurt in the past?

What good does it do to know that I was hurt in the past?
July 26, 2017 Ann Weiser Cornell
Know you were hurt

Focusing Tip #569 – “Knowing that I don’t want to be attacked does not prevent other people from attacking me.”


Michelle writes:

Ann, I’m hoping you can help me. In focusing with a blocked part of me, I often get an understanding that this part of me does not want to be attacked. It often brings a memory of a painful incident from my past where someone did or said something that caused great emotional pain. While I appreciate the information, I often don’t know what to do with it. Knowing that I don’t want to be attacked does not prevent other people from attacking me. In fact, I have no control over other people. So, I often feel at the mercy of what other people might or might not do.

Dear Michelle:

It sounds like this part of you wants to tell and show you what happened. Never mind that you already know! This is a relational process.

The part wants to show you what happened and how it was from its point of view. Your role as Self-in-Presence is to be the empathic listener.

Imagine a conversation with a friend. You are telling the friend about an incident last week where you felt embarrassed. But the friend keeps telling you what you could have done differently or saying things like, “Well, you can’t prevent those things.”

But all you wanted was to be heard!

As Self-in-Presence, you are the friend to your inner part, the friend who is profoundly and simply hearing how it was. You are checking with that part if it feels you have really gotten what it was like for it.

Sure you already know what happened. But after you hear what you already knew, be open to there being more underneath.

If there is another part of you that is saying, “I don’t know what to do with this information,” acknowledge that as well. Because this is not “information.” It is actually a needed process that was missing at the time.

It has been shown that if kids can tell someone soon after an accident all about what happened, they carry less trauma from the accident.

This part wants to tell you what happened and it wants YOU to be the listener… and nothing more!

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