Are some of our feelings and beliefs introjected from the outside, and if so, can we just get rid of them?

Are some of our feelings and beliefs introjected from the outside, and if so, can we just get rid of them?
March 8, 2017 Ann Weiser Cornell

Focusing Tip #550


“The gagging is a not wanting of the most intense kind, and I tend to want to honor that.”


Nancy writes:

Sometimes in Focusing I experience spontaneous gagging, which seems to be an attempt to get rid of something in me that does not belong in me that needs to be ejected. Can this be possible? Focusing views every single part of me as doing its very best to keep me safe and intact, from its point of view, and views every part of me as being of value, so how can there be something in me that does not belong there? But this is my experience. This gagging is a not wanting of the most intense kind. It is clear and quite visceral, and I tend to want to honor that.

Dear Nancy:

The gagging feeling coming in your body is definitely something to honor… if “honoring” means staying with it and getting to know how it is feeling and what it is reacting to.

You can already tell that it is not wanting something else to be in there, and that it feels very strongly about that.

You would let it know you really hear that… and then stay with it and keep listening. There is more about what it is not wanting.

But if “honoring” means doing what it wants you to do, then no. I don’t recommend acting on what parts want.

I do think we can take on the feelings and beliefs of others. There might be a sense of having been forced to do that, and having our own feelings and opinions forced out. This may be what the gagging part is showing you, that something like this happened, and it felt bad… and still does.

But I don’t believe those feelings and beliefs of others are living in us like objects that need to be expelled.

The gagging is a metaphor… and what I recommend is that you have compassion for how bad it felt to have feelings and beliefs forced on you… and let that inner place know you hear that.

There is no need to do anything. When you are present for exactly how it is, the change is already happening.

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