Focusing Tip 586: If you are faced with illness or other losses, how do you remake a life?

Focusing Tip 586: If you are faced with illness or other losses, how do you remake a life?
November 22, 2017 Ann Weiser Cornell
starting over

Focusing Tip #586 – “It’s such a challenge to remake a life.”


Paula writes:

My situation is that I developed a chronic illness and had to leave my high powered career on disability. It’s such a challenge to remake a life. So now whenever thoughts of my dream creep in the doubting part comes in to crush them by either saying “you are not smart enough” (that doubting voice has always been with me) or by saying “you have an illness and will never accomplish anything.” No wonder I am stuck in cement!!!

Dear Paula:

I so admire your courage and your spirit. You do have a dream! And you are not giving up.

These undermining parts of us that “creep in” (love your phrase!) with their doubts about our intelligence, our abilities, and everything else… I know those parts so well.

Many methods push away those parts, tell them to shut up and go away. But they don’t go away, do they? They keep on coming back. Some people even say that such parts of us are automatic, reflexive, unchangeable.

But that hasn’t been my experience.

Ever since Barbara McGavin and I developed the method of turning toward those parts with curiosity about what they are worried about, my own inner doubters have calmed down so much, they’ve reduced to almost nothing.

The change happens because we form a relationship with the doubting part that is based on compassion for what they are trying to do for us.

So what ARE they trying to do for us?

The longer I work with parts like these, the more convinced I am that everything inside us is trying to help us.

What? The part that tries to crush my dream is trying to help me?

That’s right… because it is afraid that going for your dream will take you out of your safety zone. So it says these harsh things like “you are not smart enough” not because it believes them but because it hopes it can stop you that way.

So Paula, when you hear that doubting voice, you can turn toward it with compassion, and say to it, “I really hear how worried you are for me,” and then allow it to tell you its worries and concerns. I predict it will soften and you will begin to feel its caring directly.

Also: Being that empathic listener will cultivate your Self-in-Presence, and strengthen your resolve, your determination, and your commitment. Yes you can remake your life! I know you will…

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