Focusing Tip #740 – “The demo video shook me up, and I had trouble being present.”

Focusing Tip #740 – “The demo video shook me up, and I had trouble being present.”
February 17, 2021 Ann Weiser Cornell
What can you do when someone else's process brings up feelings about your own life? Read on...

Focusing Tip #740 – “The demo video shook me up, and I had trouble being present.”

What can you do when someone else’s process brings up feelings about your own life? Read on…


Anita writes:

I watched a video in a Focusing class of a person Focusing with her feelings of fear that she might get dementia as her mother did.

The issue touched me very deeply and shook me up, as my mother passed away six years ago after dementia. I subsequently had trouble being present for the rest of our class. Did I identify too much with the Focuser?

Dear Anita:

That must have been such a hard time for you, your mother having dementia. And then passing away. It’s understandable that you still have painful feelings in you when circumstances remind you of those times.

What can we do when we are triggered like that? The best thing I know is to be aware of it, as you were, and to give gentle company to the body feelings and to the “younger you” (six years younger) who still needs empathy for those hard times.

You can let that part of you know you really hear it. And you are there. Keeping company with it.

Did you identify too much with the Focuser? Well, if you had been the Companion, it would have been different. It would have been your job to stay present and not get merged with your own reactions.

And I bet you would have been able to do that. Because the role calls forth the capacity to do what the role requires.

But as a student in the class, you didn’t have a job like that. You could quietly sit and keep company with the feelings brought up in you. That’s exactly what needed to happen.

Life brings up our feelings. What we can do is be with them. And over time, because of the company we give to our feelings, they shift and change. They aren’t always going to be brought up in the same way.

What we push away remains the same. What we can accompany can move to whatever comes next.

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