Worried that if you do Focusing, you’ll distance yourself from your emotions and from life?

By Ann Weiser Cornell on January 12, 2017 in Blog, Tips

Focusing Tip #542

“If I use Focusing do I attempt to create distance between me and my feelings…?”

Michelle writes:

I notice that I often find a reluctance to do Focusing and a thought that accompanies it is that if I use Focusing in my life and attempt to create distance between me and my feelings that I will also create distance between myself and joy. And that I will become emotionless and not really engaged in my life. Is there some misunderstanding I am having about Focusing?

Dear Michelle:

I’m sad that something I said might have made you think that Focusing is distancing yourself from your feelings. It’s just the opposite!

Focusing is a way of embracing your feelings, welcoming everything you feel, being a warm space in which every feeling you have is accepted and wanted and trusted.

Yes it’s true that I teach people to say, “Something in me feels…”

But not to create distance! Rather: to create relationship.

Focusing doesn’t create distance between you and your feelings. It creates relationship. In fact, it creates intimacy.

Most of us learned to resist, evaluate, and suppress our feelings. With Focusing you learn to do the opposite: welcome them. Get to know them. Feel them exactly as they are.

No wonder you didn’t want to do Focusing if you thought it was about pushing your feelings away! We already have enough ways to do that, and they haven’t really worked, have they?

Use Focusing to turn toward your feelings – of course including joy – and they will give you gifts beyond measure.


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