Focusing, Part II
By Annie Fisher, MSW, LCSW
In part two of this writing we continue to look closely at the issue of resistance even when doing something we might normally enjoy:
Continuing with my life example from last month’s e-newsletter about wanting to get some writing done and feeling stuck, I continued to open to and listen to the “dug in feeling” in my body. I discovered that this stopped place inside is surprisingly tender and doesn’t care about creativity or my great ideas. I’m also surprised to hear it cares about relationship and as I listen more deeply, I hear it often feels left behind by me when I go running off with excitement into action. It tells me this with a mixed tone of resentment, hurt and sadness infused in its “voice.” It recalls how in the past I’ve immersed myself in projects for weeks and all the while this place inside of me feels unattended to, longs for connection and hopelessly waits for its turn. One might imagine a parallel situation occurring in life in which a parent spends long hours at work while the child yearns for attention from that parent.
Just like people in our lives who are asking us to grow, parts are always trying to contribute to our sense of wholeness by insisting that we pay attention to aspects of ourselves that we tend to deny, ignore or over-identify with. I hope it’s clear how this part was not trying to create trouble for me but trying to help me by creating resistance. Like putting its foot in the door that I was trying to exit, it was asking me to first pay attention and get connected so that I could show up in my activities as a more whole, creative and present being. It was the quality of my receptivity to staying and listening that allowed this for kind of opening up to occur.
Focusing is different from inner child work in that there’s now a new bodily felt/lived experience of “bringing my inner child to work with me,” that through trust, patience and relationship has unfolded naturally without having to figure anything out with the logical mind. Focusing teaches us that deep in this moment, what’s needed is available to and for us. Focusing at its highest is when we can apply these principles of trust to our daily lives.
Annie Fisher, MSW, LCSW