Focusing Tips by Fiona Parr

I'm often asked questions which I feel are relevant to many people. So I share my responses here which I hope will provide a helpful insight for everyone involved in Focusing and an overview if you are new to Focusing.
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A new Focuser asks, if I love something enough, will it change?

She was referring to difficulties in her life and in herself, that she wanted to be free of.
Often, we long for something to change and we try everything we can to make that change happen. There are so many therapies and healing methods that help to bring that much-needed change. And many of them are helpful. New Focusers want to know if Focusing can bring that longed-for change.

I encourage people to love and accept those parts of themselves that they are desperate to change; behaviours and beliefs that are counterproductive or limiting in some way.

Is this really going to help and will it make a difference?
I say yes it does, and I have seen that many times in my work with people.
It seems to be counter-intuitive. How can it be that I need to accept the very thing that I want to change?
And yet, this is exactly what is needed.

Kevin McEvenue, the initiator of Wholebody Focusing, says:
When a part of me feels loved, it awakens to its own healing.’
You can do this by accepting it just the way it is, without trying to change it in any way.
You can speak to it directly, and reassure it by letting it know it can be that way, for as long as it needs to.

I acknowledge that you may find some parts of you are very difficult to love.
They may be the exact opposite of love, and may be hating, angry, resentful, aggressive or fearful. I suggest that it’s simple; there is either love, or a call for love. Those angry or fearful parts simply need more love. By that I mean acceptance, of who and what they are. Understanding can help. If you know where they came from in your past, you can make sense of why they are there. Perhaps it was because of past trauma, and these parts responded in the only way they could at the time. Perhaps parts of you are trying to protect you from further hurt.

Sometimes you may not know why they are there; and what can help here is kindness.
You can be kind to these parts simply because they are there, and they are a part of you. You may not know what they need at first.
For instance, a part of you is turning its back on you and not being responsive to your gentle enquiries.
You can treat these parts as if they were someone who is upset and hurting in some way. You can wait there next to it, until it begins to trust you enough to say how it feels from its point of view, and what it might need from you.

Often, it just wants to be acknowledged.
It doesn’t want you to try and change it or get rid of it.
It wants room to be just the way it is, in the way it needs to be.
When it is given that permission, and feels fully heard and accepted, then it begins to soften and to change.

Here is what Eugene Gendlin says:
‘What is split off, not felt, remains the same. When it is felt, it changes. Most people don’t know this! They think that by not permitting the feeling of their negative ways they make themselves good. On the contrary, that keeps these negatives static, the same from year to year. A few moments of feeling it in your body allows it to change. If there is in you something bad, sick, or unsound, let it inwardly be and breathe. That’s the only way it can evolve and change into the form it needs.’

If you find it difficult to give love an acceptance to a part that feels unlovable, you could try being friendly towards it.
If that is difficult, you could be curious about it. You could explore how it feels in the body, and see if you could describe how it feels there. Notice any thoughts or memories that are associated with it, and be open to images coming which show you how it feels in your body. This helps you to make contact with something more about this whole thing.