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16th Sep 2020

“You matter” – the implicit and essential message of Focusing

It is a tragic truth that too may of us go through life feeling that our life does not matter, that what we deeply feel, value and believe does not matter, that even our existence does not matter. I meet many people that in some way had this message given to them as a child. Their feelings and inner life was not of value or worse, that how they were, was in some way not allowed or too much, flawed or damaged… Their sense of mattering in the world was broken or compromised. Imagine living in a world where you feel your life has no consequence? That your experience does not count in any way. Maybe you life was somewhat like that? or aspects of it were like that.

To feel we matter is an essential need. Even the word “matter” brings a lot. It speaks of substance and has its origins in latin words for origin, source and mother. When we matter we feel substantial, we feel real. Our existence in the world is noticed, is valued and cherished. It is an essential “message” to give to each other and an essential thing to feel.

We need to know that our being here makes a difference in some way. I don’t mean this in a grand world saving way, or in a “i’m special” kind of way… We are not nothing, we are something… and something extraordinary as far as I can see. Our being alive and arriving here on this living planet is nothing short of a miracle, a deep mysterious, extraordinary thing. We belong and we matter.

And for me, the practice and essence of Focusing fills up the space where we feel we don’t matter, it heals that wound of not belonging or mattering. It says “you are real and you matter”. It says what you feel deeply is important and essential to life. It says “you belong” It says you are sacred.

And it’s a powerful practice to take this attitude to others in our lives? Children especially need this as they are too often treated as objects or not human. And there are many marginalised peoples/sections of society that need this message too. For too long we lived with the trauma and unexpressed grief of peoples lives not mattering. As one favourite fictional detective of mine says in his books “everybody counts or nobody counts”

And finally, how would it be to extend this attitude to the more than human world. Those that can’t speak back; the forests and sea creatures, the insects and birds. You matter too! Your miraculous life matters.

So maybe the next time we sit with a friend, a loved one, a focusing partner, a tree or patch of soil, we could evoke these words “you matter” and see what comes.

Late fragment

And did you get what
you wanted from this life, even so?
I did.
And what did you want?
To call myself beloved, to feel myself
Beloved on the earth.

Raymond Carver

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