Focusing Tip #746 – “Why do things change just because you give them attention?”
Ever wonder why simple awareness can bring profound change? Read on…
My therapist recommended your online course, Get Bigger Than What’s Bugging You, to me, and it was very insightful. Thank you for being the start of my healing process. There is one question that keeps lingering though. And maybe I just did not understand the nuance. But I could not understand why things change just because you give them attention.
Such an important question! The answer comes from Eugene Gendlin’s view of living process.
“What is not felt, remains the same. When it is felt, it changes.”
What he means in that quote by something “being felt” is the same thing you mean by “giving it attention.” Let me explain a bit more.
We are alive… and life is change. Everything alive is in the process of change.
But change doesn’t happen randomly. Living change–the development of living process–happens in a context, in the environment we are in, and it is responsive to what is inside us AND what is outside us.
I come into the kitchen and my friend is cooking dinner. Wonderful smells… and the feeling of love surrounds me. Before I can think, my body is already relaxing and also sharpening its hunger. My face is already making a smile, my arms are already making a hug.
If instead I were walking into danger, my body would be reacting very differently.
This is the theoretical background to the answer to your question. Whatever we feel is responsive to how it is treated, how we treat it.
No wonder a feeling changes when it knows I am here, I am listening to it! Wouldn’t you? Yes, if you feel me listening to you with caring, you would feel your body changing in response to that.So when we turn to our own feelings with attention, with “I am sensing” and “something in me,” that is what we are doing. We are creating an inner environment in which the feelings themselves can change… in the direction they need to change. And in a nutshell that is why Focusing works!
Another helpful tip:
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