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Focusing Tip #706 – “I don’t want to return to normal life.”

Are these challenging times bringing up all kinds of contradictory feelings? Read on…

A Reader writes:

A part of me enjoys this time of isolation and believes it is an opportunity to get to know myself better. This part does not want to return to normal life yet.

AND there is a voice that says “How can you not want to return to normal life??!”

AND at the same time, another part in me feels tired and sad and wants this situation to end.

Why so many parts? And what can I do with them?

Dear Reader:

It’s simply human to be have contradictory feelings — especially in stressful times. The problem comes when we don’t recognize that we are “many” inside, and we try to force ourselves to have a single point of view.

When I was growing up, no one talked about having contradictory feelings. (No one talked about feelings much at all!)

Having no way to deal with contradictory feelings left me confused. I would try to suppress or argue with feelings that contradicted other feelings. I would say to myself, “You can’t feel that way! You feel this way!”

The contradictions between my feelings gave rise to new feelings. For example, I loved my dad, but I also felt uneasy and nervous around him. And then I felt guilty for feeling uneasy and nervous… because I loved him!

Luckily in my 20s I met Gene Gendlin and become part of his Focusing community. People commonly spoke of “part of me this…” and “part of me that…” Having more than one point of view was OK!

It felt wonderful!

Best of all, it meant that each side or part could be explored, could evolve, could contribute to my next steps of life… instead of battling each other.

So, Reader, you have a part of you that is enjoying this time of isolation and doesn’t want to return to normal life yet. Hello to that!

And another part of you is shocked to hear that. “How can you say that?” You can gently inquire what makes it so shocked… or concerned.

And then there is the place in you that feels tired and sad… and surely that needs your gentle company. Maybe right now… placing a gentle hand on your heart… and saying to that one that you really hear how tired and sad it is… And I bet you can feel it respond with gratitude.



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