Is
there a past decision or choice that you're still questioning? Maybe
even tormenting yourself over? Would you rather not keep suffering like
that? Read on…

I don't trust myself to make decisions

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

When
I started to get interested in how to help people use Focusing to make
decisions, one theme that often came up was regret over past decisions.

Regret
itself is painful. But just as painful, perhaps more, is the feeling
that one can't trust one's self to make good decisions. There is often
a harsh inner critic lurking about, saying, "That was dumb!" (or worse)
about a past decision.

I noticed that all these situations had
something glaringly in common: there was something about the person's
present life that felt bad. Quite bad. Frighteningly bad.

"I'm
really scared about money now. I don't have enough money to feel safe."
leads by internal logic to: "I shouldn't have made that bad investment
decision." And that leads to "I can't trust myself to make any
investment decisions." Or any decisions at all.

If life feels
pretty good right now, there are no strong voices about the awfulness
of past decisions. That may seem obvious… but it's quite important,
because it suggests that those harsh inner voices and the suffering
involved is really about life now, and not about the past, really, at all.




"I should have gotten a second opinion"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I
remember some years ago, after my Mom died from the complications of a
failed heart operation, I was wracked with regrets. "I should have
gotten a second opinion." "I should have stayed longer with her in the
hospital her last night." "I should have moved to live near her." "I
should at least have given her another foot rub!"

For weeks, my
regrets and the sense of inner criticism for making wrong choices were
so strong that I kept replaying the last days of her life over and
over, as if I could change what had happened. But no matter how often I
pictured myself making different choices, Mom was still gone.

Finally
I did some Focusing. And I could sense that under that frantic agonized
scolding there was something deeper. When I got quiet and took time I
could sense it there, huge, and I was able to be with it. It was
something in me raw with loneliness. Missing her. Scared I had let her
down somehow.

When I touched that place directly, and let it
know I heard it, I could feel it wasn't true that I had let her down.
Instead, there was a warm feeling, and the words, "It's OK."

A
few Focusing sessions like that, and the unbearableness of the pain
melted away, leaving me with a bearable process of grieving. And no
more regrets.

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