Focusing Tip #807 – “I wish I could let my feelings go and get on with life.”

Focusing Tip #807 – “I wish I could let my feelings go and get on with life.”
August 3, 2022 Ann Weiser Cornell
“I wish I could let my strong feelings go and get on with life.”

Focusing Tip #807 – “I wish I could let my feelings go and get on with life.”

What can you do with strong feelings that seem to be in your way? Read on…


Helen writes:

I get strong feelings that don’t go away easily. I sometimes think I am the only one who feels like this… when of course I know I’m not.

I wish I could like to learn to hold my feelings separate from me and value them, and then let them go and get on with life.

Dear Helen:

Having strong feelings IS a part of life!

Yes, I know some of them are uncomfortable and unpleasant. (I really don’t like the way anxiety feels, myself!) But they are here for a reason. They are like someone knocking on the door, someone who isn’t going away until there’s a response. Perhaps because an important message needs to be delivered!

I know there are methods for stepping around or dissolving feelings, but I don’t like them very much, because they treat feelings like unwanted objects. Feelings are much more than that!

I heard you say you want to value your feelings, and that’s great! But along with valuing them, let’s also understand something else: Feelings are here for a reason, and all feelings are on their way to change. It’s in the nature of emotions to move, to move through us, to move on.

The question then is: What helps that moving on to happen?

My answer: Empathy and contact in the Inner Relationship.

When I get that unpleasant anxiety feeling in my stomach, I have choices.

I can try to ignore it. I can tell myself the thing that I’m anxious about is no big deal. I can have a snack, and then have another, trying to block out the anxious feeling. In all of these ways, I am treating the anxious feeling as an object. (And by the way, they don’t really work.)

Or I can start with the words “something in me is feeling anxious.” Saying it that way helps me to be with how I’m feeling, instead of being the feeling.

Next, I locate the feeling in my body. After I say “something in me,” the body location of the “something” becomes more obvious. And I bring compassion and kindness to the feeling. Hey, it’s going through a hard time!

I find if I give the feeling about 15 minutes of kind, gentle listening to what’s going on for it, it starts to change. It settles. It might even completely release. I can breathe again.

But if I spend those 15 minutes trying to make the feeling go away, or caught up in my worry that it won’t change and then how can I get on with my life… well, that time was wasted. Sad, but true.

The way you are present with your feelings matters so much, that we gave it a name. We call it Self-in-Presence. And it’s a beautiful way to live.

Want to know more about Self-in-Presence?

If you’re brand new to Inner Relationship Focusing, start with our training program, Your Path to Lasting Change, or our shorter on-demand course, SHIFT.

If you’re familiar with IRF, our on-demand course, Self in Presence…and Parts will help you live from your calm, steady center, no matter what life throws your way.

 

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