Focusing Tip #778 – “My Focusing partner is always late”

Focusing Tip #778 – “My Focusing partner is always late”
December 8, 2021 Ann Weiser Cornell
“I can feel something in me that has a terrible feeling of not being worthwhile, and this partner’s lateness is a trigger.”

Focusing Tip #778 – “My Focusing partner is always late”

If a person in your life is always late, and you are always on time, can this relationship be saved? Read on…

Bea writes:

I’ve had a weekly Focusing partner for seven years. We have a big difference about time. I like to start at the time agreed, but she is always about ten minutes late. I can feel something in me that has a terrible feeling of not being worthwhile, and this partner’s lateness is a trigger.

There has always been this issue between us about time, but now it is getting worse. She just forgets about our Focusing dates, forgets so completely that she doesn’t even send me a text. We’ve talked about it. She’s sad about the impact on me, but for recent health reasons she feels she cannot promise to change.

I wonder what we can do to make this partnership safe enough for both of us.

Dear Bea:

When we feel triggered by another person’s behavior, there are always two dimensions. One is the practical: Can this person change? Must I accept them as they are? Is there a middle way?

The other dimension is the inner one. You are aware that what is being triggered in you is a feeling of not being worthwhile. Even if this partner’s behavior did not trigger it, this part of you would still be there.

You could see this situation as an opportunity… an opportunity to turn toward that younger part of you that is feeling “not worthwhile.” There is a healing process that is possible for a part of us that carries such painful feelings.

That healing process starts with you cultivating Self-in-Presence. Feel your grounding, feel your presence, feel your breath. Now make an invitation to the part of you that feels not worthwhile. Be patient, compassionate, and tender.

You can be sure of this: You are worthwhile. You are as precious and valuable as any living being. There was a time long ago when you didn’t get the love and attention that was your birthright, and your young mind tried to make sense of that lack by feeling not worthy.

What that one needs to heal now is your loving presence with it. You can say to it, “I really get how hard that was to go through, and I am here with you now.”

And what about the other dimension: Will you be able to trust your friend to be your Focusing partner, even though they sometimes forget the appointment?

I don’t know. But I think it’s more likely that you can, when you have done your own inner healing work. You are going to need another Focusing partner, to give your friend time to recover their health. But I wouldn’t give up on this relationship yet.

I’ve learned that I can’t really decide about a current relationship that triggers me until I’ve spent time healing the part of me that’s getting triggered. And that is a wonderful thing to do anyway… so it’s OK if I need to wait and see.



Additional Resources

Focusing Tip #656 – Finding richness in our criticisms of other people (Opens in a new browser tab)

Focusing Tip #709 – My abandonment issues are being triggered by my therapist meeting online (Opens in a new browser tab)

Self-in-Presence…and Parts – an on-demand course to nourish your ability to be resilient and calm no matter what life throws at you. Because when you can be calm and steady no matter what, everything in life gets easier.


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