When we have a problem, we start out looking at symptoms. We focus on the things that are wrong in our lives and try to fix those—as we should. But just like the critters in the “Whack-a-Mole” arcade game, no sooner do you get one out of the way than another crops up. You resolve one drama only to find yourself in another that seems suspiciously familiar. You weed out one negative person and two more crop up. The “totally different” guy you start dating turns out to be just another version of the same jerk you just broke free of. Why?
Why do we keep repeating the same patterns? Why do we keep putting ourselves into situations that cause us pain, suffering and heartache? The answer is very simple—we have to. It’s wired into our brains. There’s great science behind this work today (Bruce Lipton, PhD is one fabulous source) and it is making it easier for us to understand why we do what we do—and how we can change it.
The problem is that we don’t have much—if any—conscious awareness of what we’re doing or the reasons behind it. And, since we’re probably surrounded by people who think as we do—the programming of the tribe—it can be hard to get a fresh perspective. Still, we’re aware of the unpleasant results we’re getting and we want better. Consciously, we know what we’re doing doesn’t make sense, but we don’t know how NOT to do it. And that can cause us to beat up on ourselves for being “stupid.” Only we aren’t stupid. We’re just doing what our unconscious mind says we have to.
Think of it this way. If you grew up only speaking English, no one in your world spoke anything but English and you never knew there was anything but English spoken anywhere then all you know is English. That’s the truth of your world. That’s just how it is. So, if all you know is English, how can you be expected to spontaneously begin speaking Chinese? How can you hold yourself accountable for not knowing Chinese? You can’t!
This is a simplistic example, but it speaks clearly to the subconscious mind and our Inner Child parts—the unconscious parts that are really calling the shots in our lives.
Now, let’s take that English/Chinese analogy and apply it to LOVE.
If you were taught that love is about yearning, struggle, worry, angst, heartache and pain, then you must find relationships that recreate that dynamic. Nothing else will feel “right” to you—it’s Chinese (Check out Harville Hendrix, PhD and imago). And since this kind of love is all you’ve ever known, it can be pretty scary to let go of it. It may not feel good, but at least it’s known—it’s normal—and we like to stick with what we know.
Until you uncover and reprogram the unknown parts of self that are driving the boat, you can’t ever attract people or situations that are outside the pattern. You won’t even see or hear them—they speak Chinese.
Okay, so how do we know who’s in charge of the wheelhouse? How do we see what we can’t?
The first step is simply to become willing to see your own patterns. There are some fill-in-the-blank sentences below that will give you some things to think about. Write down everything that comes to mind and don’t censor anything. Every thought—especially the “silly” or “stupid” ones—are important. So, pay close attention to those thoughts that pop in. And unlike whacking the moles to make them go away, grab on to these thoughts and see where they take you!
- Love is _____________________________. (What was the FIRST thing that popped up? Easy? Hard? A struggle? You have to fight for love?)
- If you love someone, it means you _____________________________.
- If you love someone, you must always _____________________________.
- If you love someone, you must never _____________________________.
- If someone loves you, they will _____________________________ (always/never).
Honestly answering these questions can tell you a lot about yourself and what you really think. It will also start showing you why things are the way they are in your world—and how they don’t have to be.
Happy mining! And if you need a guide with a high-beam flashlight to help you see into the unknown even quicker, you know I’m here!
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