Don’t just focus on the problem
A Focuser says, ‘Sometimes if I Focus on the problem, it just gets worse. Maybe it’s best if I don’t think about it. How does Focusing help?’
It’s true that when you Focus on a problem, it can seem to get worse. This is what I call intensification. What is happening is that when you bring your attention to something, you become more acutely aware of the pain it is carrying. Maybe there has been a niggling feeling in the background of your life, and when you turn your attention towards it, you become aware that actually it is quite painful. It’s not just a niggle, and you hadn’t been aware of how much it is hurting. In Inner-relationship terms, it is glad of your attention, and it now has the chance to show you how it really feels.
Sometimes problems resolve by themselves, if you let it be, and put it on the back burner. So it’s not a bad thing if you are not giving it much attention. Maybe it doesn’t need it, and it will subside in the normal flow of life. But if it doesn’t, and the painful feeling or difficult problem persists, what can you do then?
What else is there?
As you stay with the problem and the painful feelings that may be intensifying in your body, it can be helpful to notice what else is there. You can look for what is around the feeling, or what is outside it, especially if it has a specific location in the body. For instance, if you feel the problem as a contraction on the left side of your body, you might notice how it feels on your right. Many Focusers do this quite naturally. You may realise that it doesn’t feel at all contracted on the right. It feels spacious and relaxed. Or, as another example, there may be a part of you that is afraid of something, and then you become aware that another part of you is not afraid at all.
How can something be true and not true at the same time?
You may be able to see this clearly when it comes to beliefs. Although you know there is nothing to be afraid of, something in you definitely is afraid. You can recognise this as a part of you; it’s not all of you. This awareness can help you to stay with the part of you that is hurting, and also recognise that you are not hurting. You are bigger than the hurting part of you, and you have the capacity to listen to it in a kind and gentle way.
Sometimes this awareness dawns on you gradually. As you are keeping company with a problem or hurting place in your body, you may realise that much of you actually feels OK, and is not caught up in the difficulty. This frees up your attention, so that you can have both in your awareness. If you resonate back and forth between the part that feels good and the part that is hurting, something loosens and begins to shift and release, allowing the possibility of some new awareness or change, that was not there before.