Focusing Tip #801 – How Focusing helps develop the sense of self

Focusing Tip #801 – How Focusing helps develop the sense of self
June 22, 2022 Ann Weiser Cornell
“Can Focusing be helpful in developing a bigger sense of self—if that is been missing?”

Focusing Tip #801 – How Focusing helps develop the sense of self

How can you develop the ability to give compassion and care to yourself? Read on…


Jenni writes:

Can Focusing be helpful in developing a (bigger) sense of self, when you have a lack of self-development due to childhood trauma or developmental trauma? I totally get that Focusing helps and is beneficial in contacting old/currents parts. I just wonder if and if so how that works into the further development of self.

Dear Jenni:

Yes, indeed! Inner Relationship Focusing helps people develop a stronger sense of self, even if that has been missing because of developmental lacks.

In Focusing, you learn to identify with a stronger sense of self that we call “Self-in-Presence.” Self-in-Presence is a key environment that makes real change possible. Self-in-Presence also allows felt senses to form.

Self-in-Presence is the experience of being larger than one’s problems and emotions, able to explore with curiosity the felt senses and “parts” that are present.

We can get to Self-in-Presence by inwardly turning toward difficult and stressful thoughts. One way is to use this language: “I am sensing something in me feels [thinks] __________.”

We can also say “Hello” to the feeling or thought, or let a gentle hand move to the place in the body where it is experienced. These relational moves cultivate Self-in-Presence.

In other words, if you weren’t feeling yourself being Self-in-Presence before, these relational moves help you get there. They help Self-in-Presence to develop. And they can be done even when one’s self doesn’t feel very strong to start with.

Being able to be with how we feel, with compassion and curiosity, actually heals the lacks that we have been carrying in the body. It fills in what has been missing.

It is a powerful experience to really know, deep down, that although (for example) I am in pain, I am fundamentally OK. That is what being Self-in-Presence is like.

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