When we experience the same patterns recurring in our lives year after year, it is often because we have unhealed wounds and unresolved issues within us trying to get our attention. We are being sent the same lessons over and over until we learn them, and often they come back bigger and heavier each time, carrying more potential for destruction. We tend to get hurt worse as the cycles continue, until we address the underlying issues and discover the lessons we were meant to learn. Our patterns are asking to be explored, asking that we take the time to face them and ourselves with courage and clarity.
What are your patterns? Maybe you keep attracting the same kinds of partners and having similar relationships that cause you distress and pain. Perhaps you have persistent conflict with certain people in your life that keeps reappearing. Maybe you have cycles of self-sabotage where you knock yourself down right when you were on the brink of receiving what you wanted.
Take a look at these patterns and journal about them. Discuss them with a therapist, mentor or spiritual guide. Look at the common threads woven throughout your patterns. What are the themes? What are the fears driving these patterns? What are the emotions you find yourself returning to, almost by default? Perhaps it is your insecurity and low self-esteem causing you to perpetuate your patterns. Perhaps it is your fears of abandonment and rejection. Maybe your self-sabotage comes from an innate lack of self-acceptance.
Where did you learn these patterns? Did you absorb them from your family or community? Did you learn them from the culture and media you’ve been exposed to? Did your traumatic experiences inform your self-perception and the way you move through life? Ask yourself these difficult questions, knowing it might take time to find the answers. Be brave in your exploration. Digging deep takes courage. Self-reflection and analysis are not easy to do by any means. Making the choice to give energy to your healing in this way can mean the difference between a successful recovery and staying stuck in the patterns that have been holding you back all these years.
We have the power to change ourselves for the better and to change the self-destructive patterns that are causing us pain. It starts with being brave enough to make the choice to look at these patterns mindfully rather than unconsciously continuing to perpetuate them.
The various therapy offerings at Riverside, along with our mindfulness-based relapse prevention program, can help you address your patterns and change them for the better. Call (800) 871-5440 for more information.