Focusing Tip #800 – “I got stuck when I couldn’t move my grief.”

Focusing Tip #800 – “I got stuck when I couldn’t move my grief.”
June 15, 2022 Ann Weiser Cornell
“I get stuck by not being able to remove my grief for my little girl, not even for a short moment...”

Focusing Tip #800 – “I got stuck when I couldn’t move my grief.”

What if your grief feels immovable and untouchable? Read on…


Ieva writes:

My question is about “clearing space” when you are grieving. Seven years ago my youngest daughter tragically died at age 22. I discovered Focusing and found it very helpful. However, when I’m “clearing space” I get stuck by not being able to remove my grief for my little girl, not even for a short moment. It sits there like an old massive tree and it just feels untouchable.

Dear Ieva:

I am so sorry for your loss. So hard. Let me see if I can help with your question.

“Clearing space” is a step of Focusing as some people teach it, and it has helped many people. However, in my method of Focusing—Inner Relationship Focusing—we don’t do clearing space.

Instead, we say, to any feeling, Hello. “Hello, I know you’re there.”

I call this “creating relationship instead of creating distance.”

The situation you describe is one of the reasons I prefer not to create distance from feelings. The grief you are feeling doesn’t want to be “moved out.”

Of course not! What it needs and wants is a relationship with you… where you are its compassionate listener.

I wonder what will happen if you are gentle and kind to the feeling of grief. If you say to it, “No wonder.”

You said, “It sits there like an old massive tree and it just feels untouchable.”

And you don’t have to touch it if it’s not ready for that. Just sit down near it… and say, “Hello, I am here with you now.”

After I wrote this to her, Ieva wrote me back:

“As I was reading your email something clicked and I felt lightness and tears of relief. I still cannot really touch it but I always can say hello and acknowledge that pain is there and check if it’s ready to engage.”

1 Comment

  1. Jenna 2 months ago

    Wow, how beautiful. Thanks for sharing her follow up experience.

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