What shakes up your sense of inner peace?
I was just thinking today about decisions and choices. How we can’t always make the right choice. Sometimes we mess up.
If we listen to ourselves, we can find out that a decision we made wasn’t the right one. And we can change course.
That happened to me many years ago when I realized the profession I’d gotten into — being a college teacher — wasn’t right for me. It wasn’t easy, because I didn’t know what I was going to do instead… but I left… and in a few years I’d started teaching Focusing.
Well, something very similar happened to my student Lola.
In this episode, you’ll hear how Lola was able to regain some inner peace when she had to make a hard decision about her life. Perhaps the steps she took will help you, too!
Lola was in a nice relationship with a nice guy. They were dating and sharing some good times. But then Lola learned the process I teach called Focusing. Uh-oh!
Sometimes I think getting to know yourself better should come with a warning label. Look out! The process of greater self-awareness might mean you need to change your life!
With the greater self-awareness she found doing Focusing, Lola realized the relationship with this nice guy wasn’t right for her. When SHE wanted to move toward more commitment, it turned out HE had unresolved trauma from past relationships that stopped him from committing further.
For a while they continued this way… but Lola kept getting a stronger and stronger feeling that this relationship wasn’t working for her. And an increasing sense that she didn’t want to repeat a pattern of hanging onto bad relationships.
So she broke up with him. But that’s not the end of the story. In a way, it’s only the beginning.
After the breakup, Lola was flooded with all kinds of feelings. She was terribly tempted to get back with the guy and settle, just to stop all the painful feelings. So Lola did something I really admire.
She decided she was in a project she called “Breakup Recovery.” She decided to do Focusing every day so all her feelings could be acknowledged and heard.
At first, there was a lot of sadness. The sadness came in huge waves. And Lola did two things.
- She acknowledged the sadness as “A BIG something in me is really sad.”
- And she sensed more precisely, more specifically, what the sadness was about. She didn’t just assume she already knew.
It turned out the sadness was not for the loss of the relationship. It was for the loss of the relationship’s dream. The loss of what it could have become. Being able to hear and acknowledge exactly what the sadness was about helped it move on.
After the sadness moved on, anger started to arise. Lola acknowledged: “Something in me is angry.” She stayed with the body feeling of “angry” — a heaviness in her chest. And again, the step beyond acknowledging, which is to sense what THIS angry feeling is angry for. Ah! Lola learned that this angry place was about being in a relationship that wasn’t equal. And she let it know she really heard it.
The angry place said back to her, “I’m here so you won’t forget you did the right thing by leaving!” And acknowledging that brought a feeling of peace in her body.You know, noticing your feelings is a really good thing. But people often stop there.
They say, “I’m sad, I know why I’m sad, I just need to get over it.” Or, “I’m angry, of course I’m angry, I already know why.”
But actually, you don’t already know why you feel as you do. All you can know is that there is some very good reason.
The Focusing process teaches you how to listen to the feeling itself. It knows, it can reveal very precisely what it is about.
If you’re on a journey of recovery — whether it’s from a break-up, or from an addictive habit, or anything else — it’s a very powerful thing to bring awareness to your body, acknowledge your feelings, and then listen to what they’re really about.
Our feelings want to be heard and then they want to evolve and move on. And that’s the beauty of it!
Do you want even more support in trying steps like these? You can sign up for my weekly email newsletter and get helpful tips (like this one) that can make a huge difference for you….So here’s to you… having a more peaceful life.