“You can acknowledge the part of you that is embarrassed and let it know you are listening.”
Last week I shared an email from Clarissa who felt embarrassed by the kind of images that came in her Focusing, and was worried that her Focusing partners would find her images too revealing.
I encouraged her to welcome whatever came, saying that all images have a good reason and a good purpose for coming.
But at least three different readers wrote in to point out that I missed the chance to assure Clarissa that she could turn toward the part of her that wanted to censor the images, acknowledging it and hearing its worries. I love my readers!
That could be a very rich process, listening for what that part is Not-Wanting to happen to her if her Focusing partners find her images too revealing. Of course, I do recommend doing that.
Neil Dunaetz, Process Model group facilitator, wrote in with another important reminder:
We never have to tell our images to our Focusing partners until we want to. If something that comes feels shameful we can hold it privately until it is ready to be spoken, saying to our partner something like, “Something has come, and I am just going to be with it for a while.”
Thanks, Neil, and all those who wrote!
On the risk of saying it.
I agree with everything my colleagues are saying…and what comes is a memory from my first year doing Focusing, about 42 years ago now.
I had never done any introspection; I was 22 years old and came from an alcoholic family. When I started doing Focusing I kept finding parts inside that seems terribly shameful. I remember thinking: “If I say THIS out loud, my Focusing partner will run screaming from the room!” Do I dare? I knew the principle that we didn’t have to say anything that wasn’t ready to be spoken — yet somehow, saying this felt like the way forward.
I sat with it quite a while, as I recall. And then, reassured by the gentle presence of the partner, I took the risk. I said it.
In my partner’s voice, saying back what I had said, I heard only neutral kindness. What was such a big deal to me rang no bells for that other person. I felt relief filling up my body.
What was the disgusting ugly thing I took the risk to say? I remember it was this: “I have a need to be loved.”