Focusing Tip #717 – “My parts don’t seem to be temporary.”

Focusing Tip #717 – “My parts don’t seem to be temporary.”
August 19, 2020 Ann Weiser Cornell
"I feel unable to do anything and incapable of doing anything well. I start to shut down.”

Focusing Tip #717 – “My parts don’t seem to be temporary.”

Can the parts of us that get triggered ever change? Read on…


Paul writes:

In last week’s Tip you wrote that Parts are basically “loops,” and that was helpful because I do feel my Parts that way. They can’t help themselves from showing up as grips of reaction and with their own convictions and limitations.

But I didn’t follow you when you said they are temporary. For me, when Parts get triggered, they always come back. Like when I’m going to be evaluated, I feel lots of dread. I feel unable to do anything and incapable of doing anything well. I start to shut down. It feels like the whole world is potentially dangerous. I connect this to a traumatic experience that happened to me when I was a young child where I felt terrified by my Dad.

Because of Focusing and other healing work, this experience of dread and shutting down comes less often and it lasts less long. But I still don’t see this Part as temporary.

Dear Paul:

I so appreciate you sharing your experience. And I’m happy to respond.

When Barbara McGavin and I say that Parts are temporary, we mean two things. One, you were not born with Parts. They arose… as a response to something you needed being impossible, and no one being there to help you recover from that. With your Dad, you needed safety and kindness. And you got rage and blame instead.

I think many people today are familiar with the idea that our past traumatic hurts can lead to our getting triggered into extreme emotional reactions that present events don’t really warrant. But do we also know that they reactive states can be healed? That they don’t have to happen again and again?

Paul, you’re already on a healing path. You’ve already noticed that your triggered states come less often and last less long.

And that’s the other thing that Barbara and I mean when we say that Parts are temporary. We mean that the stopped process that gives rise to the Parts is temporary. Whatever was missing then, doesn’t always have to be missing. Not even for the “younger you” who went through it.

So when you feel that dread about being evaluated, try saying, “Something in me feels dread.”

It might feel like all of you at first… but keep saying it… and add the words, “And I am here with you now…” — speaking to that “younger you.” I guarantee, when he knows that you are with him, he will be glad. And something will shift.

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