Right in the Middle of the Past – Dismantling the Patterns to Your Patterns

Her frustration was real. Very real. It was obvious, not just in the shake of her voice, but in the tears in her eyes.

You know how when you’re in a crappy situation your clarity is so acute that you swear to yourself out loud you will never put up with this crap again?! Been there, done that. I think we all have at one point or another.  Then, sometimes later. The time is different for everyone, but sometime later, you’re in a situation that feels exactly like the one you said you would never do again.

This shit bites.

Here is this beautiful woman who has done her time in cruddy co-dependent relationships fighting back tears as she realizes the old pattern she thought she tackled when she left her last relationship had found a new face, a new voice, and a new lifestyle to repeat itself…and she never saw it coming. Until this ah-ha moment when she couldn’t see it.

With all the love in the Universe, her Guides smiled at her.  “She threw a dagger and hit the first pattern”, they said. “But she missed all the patterns that followed that pattern”.

She believed she had conquered the part of herself that would fall for the same, “I’ll be the savior”, or “I’ll figure it out every single time you mess it up while I compromise myself to do it”, “I’ll be the adult so you can be a grown-up child”, word it any way you want, but there it was. You see, every pattern has a series of patterns that follow it.

There is never just one old pattern, and that is where our old patterns tend to bite us in the ass. While we’re out taking our victory lap for finally moving beyond some old behavior, limiting belief or poor self-talk, our habit mind is figuring out how to get us back on the old course that it’s familiar with.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the habit mind is not trying to be the jerk that ruins us, it simply takes safety in what is familiar. It doesn’t care about joy, success, happiness, fulfillment or any of the good stuff we’re after in life, it only cares about keeping things the same. So, if like most people you were raised by humans who were perhaps imperfect, you’re going to have some habitual stuff that at some point in life might get in your way. And the old habit stuff is going to work its butt off to stay put.

Enter in mindfulness. Mindfulness has become popular as a meditation and relaxation technique and yes, it’s a great tool in that regard. Its true highlight point though is that by being present and aware in each moment, we can actually catch our habit mind in its act. By noticing what we notice; how are body feels with our thoughts, when our feelings change, when our body is uncomfortable, anxious, heavy, jittery (minus the caffeine high), when we are sad for no reason, etc. we can begin to break down not just the old pattern of where we start, but the subsequent patterns that follow the lead pattern.

Her Guides showed the image of cars on a train track derailing one by one.  “You have to break down the pattern’s patterns. There are several a response to the one. She stopped looking once she believed she had conquered her foe.”  And that is when it stabbed her in the back. For my client, it all traced back to her childhood and the role she played in her family of origin. Her husband took the place of her mother, and other family members took the place of her brother. Her behaviors hadn’t changed, just the people playing the roles.

Frustrating. But, there is hope.

Her Spirit spoke of her body’s wisdom, of her ability to be mindful of each step she takes in breaking down this old way of being and at the core of it, the unseen aspect of herself that it all hinges on. The proverbial root of the problem. At the base of all the patterns is a piece of herself and its unmet need.  By focusing on the unmet need of her psyche she can flip the patterns on themselves. By meeting this deepest piece of herself and providing into it, she can dismantle her habit mind’s actual need for the patterns themselves.

Now that is a past that no longer has a need to repeat itself.

Forever the journey, Anne

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