Our emotions can sometimes not make sense to us. Particularly when they are a confusing mix of complex feelings. This often prompts us to put our emotions into the "too hard to handle" basket and dismiss them, only to experience a lingering sense of dissatisfaction and for our need to know what is going on with ourselves to be unmet.
From a Focusing perspective, finding out the relevant life stories behind our emotions helps give meaning to them. They start to make sense and we realise why we feel the way we do. So how do we go about finding our emotional stories?
1. Start with us locating our emotions and their physical reactions in our bodies. How do these physical reactions feel like?
2. Allow your mind to wonder back to times in the past when you felt similarly. What memories arise? What images pop up in your mind? What thoughts surface? It is important to let your mind float freely and not try to force something to appear.
3. Once memories or images or thoughts arise, replay these in your mind in detail.
4. As you recall these details, notice which specific parts of the story evokes the same emotional reactions.
5. As you string together several life stories, the meaning behind your emotions start to become clearer.
In a certain sense, getting a clear understanding of our emotional life stories or stories linked to our emotions is the crux of Focusing. We would often start to feel a great deal of relieve and emotional change as we explore these stories in detail. In other words, the process of allowing the stories linked to the physical sense of our emotions, causes the emotions to start changing.