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Focusing Tip #673 – “I tend to be seduced by this part that loves sleeping and eating and not exercising.”

Focusing Tip #673 – “I tend to be seduced by this part that loves sleeping and eating and not exercising.”
September 18, 2019 Ann Weiser Cornell
Focusing Tip #673 - "I tend to be seduced by this part that loves sleeping and eating and not exercising."

Focusing Tip #673 – “I tend to be seduced by this part that loves sleeping and eating and not exercising.”

Can we get real permanent change? Or are we doomed to always backslide and relapse? Read on…


Jael writes:

I was wondering about a part in me which thinks that the Tangle is impossible to untangle permanently. This part believes that Focusing helps to cultivate Self-in-Presence with the parts but there’s always a part that is tempted to turn the alarm off and stay in bed, to eat more than I actually need, and to blow off exercising.

It’s as if change is possible only for short periods, but not long term, because I tend to be seduced by this part that loves sleeping and eating and not exercising. Something in me says wearily: “This will never change.” Can you please help with this?

Dear Jael:

Tangles are tough. Perhaps the toughest thing of all is that we can’t trust our thoughts about them.

A thought like, “This can’t change,” or “This will never change” is definitely from a Part inside the Tangle. Don’t believe or disbelieve. Instead, turn toward it with interested curiosity to form a relationship with it.

We want to treat this like any other Part. We would say, “There is something in me that wants to turn the alarm off and stay in bed, and there is something else in me that feels desperate and hopeless and doesn’t see how this will ever change.”

Then we add: “And both are here, and I am here with both.”

And then we go further. Because the reality is that just acknowledging and being Self-in-Presence with Parts like this is not enough. They are the way they are because of something deeper, something we won’t even begin to get to until we can make a long-term commitment to Deep Empathy.

For a while, you are going to need to turn toward these Parts every time they show up, and be patient and consistently kind.

It sounds to me like the one that needs the most attention right now is the despairing Part. It’s the one that sees the other one as wanting nothing but to sleep and eat. (I’ll bet that Part actually wants something deeper, like autonomy. Or freedom.)

When you look at one Part through the eyes of another Part, this is a Tangle!

Be the one who isn’t trying to change anything, but who is patiently determined that every Part of you will be heard for its deepest needs.

1 Comment

  1. William 2 months ago

    Ann I really appreciated the timeliness of this post but I don’t think you’ve got this tangle speced out right. Seems the tangle part is missing the part that says you should get up and exercise, the real reason you should turn off the alarm! The despair sounds like a second level of the don’t want to part. For me that comes up along with parts that make excuses like I’m tired, need more sleep which would be better for me. Exercise takes too long to pay off. Initial success wears out like inspiration.

    Recently I focused on a don’t wanna part with work and got an image of a fierce rugby playér coming at me blocking my efforts. I recently watched a game for a bit on TV and my brothers played when we were younger. Which might be sources. Definitely a cause for despair. It was followed by a release of that’s what it is but then anger and another despair for how to get past such an old fear. I managed to get some work done but definitely more focusing here to be done.

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