Being with feelings

Being in a relationship with your inner experience allows you to be with your feelings, not in them. Many people think that the only way to change strong emotions is to jump right into the middle of them, feel them intensely, and get through them. When you're reluctant to do that you may call yourself resistant and afraid to change.

Focusing (a skill-based technique) teaches us that change comes more easily from a relationship with your feelings. And you can't have a relationship with something if you're up to your neck in it! Think of your emotions as a big lake. You have the choice to plunge into the lake, or you can sit next to it. Focusing works best when you "sit next to: what you feel instead of plunging into it. If you want to know what the soup smells like, it is better not to stick your head in it.

When you have a relationship with what's there, you are able to be a listener. The emotions are able to tell you the story. If you are the story, then there is no one to hear the story. This inner relationship is how you give yourself the healing presence that is so powerful and helpful.

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