“We are products of our past, but we don't have to be prisoners of it.”
― Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here for?
We struggle with our Life Patterns: false beliefs about who we are and how others will treat us, based on how we were treated growing up. Based on the messages we picked up about who we are as we were growing up. Our interactions with others, when younger, gave us a sense of who we are. Not all of it is accurate, but that's where it came from. We grew up and interacted with people, and heard messages and received various behaviors. Or we got the messsages from what wasn't said or done. We then filled in a background story about ourselves to match the experiences: "They have to be hard on me....neglect me...not pay attention to me...because I'm bad/defective/no good."
“Often, it’s not about becoming a new person, but becoming the person you were meant to be, and already are, but don’t know how to be.”
― Heath L. Buckmaster, Box of Hair: A Fairy Tale
The path to breaking our patterns is aided by the knowledge we are two and not one. Our psyche and self is comprised of two. There are two versions of us, two psychologies, two sets of thinking/feeling/doing/drives/wants within us, two souls, two beings. One is the Patterns we picked up in life. The other: our true authentic self. Knowing there is such a thing as patterns and then discovering our own patterns, is a joyful moment of hope and potential. We focus on growing our awareness of the patterns in our thinking, feeling, and doing, and pushing back on them, challenging them, asking them "is that true" when they stick thoughts in our mind. And then, we start to slowly separate from that version of us being so stuck to us and so dominate; clinging to us like saran wrap and a second skin. Then, in the space created by pushing the pattern-me back a bit, can now come out the true authentic me. I don't need to become someone else, someone new – I need only the chance and will and practice to become the real me. The me that's been there all along; buried under the dominance of my pattern.
“Out of your vulnerabilities will come your strength.”
― Sigmund Freud
Breaking free from identifying as our pattern, and allowing our true self to trickle out more and more, and be expressed more and more in our thinking, feeling, speaking, and actions...helps us change the balance. We're more our authentic self every day, day after day, one day at a time. And our pattern? We don't need to do all those things we had to do as a kid in order to emotionally survive. It was unnecessarily continuing to do them as adults that generated so many problems and ruined so many relationships. But, we can now repurpose all those skills and abilities that we developed in order to survive, and use them to thrive. Both selves can work together: my authentic true self becoming more and more who I am and how I see me. And it is that part of me that then guides my pattern self, turning it into superpowers.
Do you see how your challenges, weaknesses, and patterns can also be a strength?