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  • Writer's picture Zalman Nelson - Therapist

How Do Life Patterns Work?

how life patterns work

What is a Life Pattern? Life Patterns are lifelong patterns and themes we all have. They’ve been with us forever, since childhood. We picked them up as kids and they're not our fault. Since then, they have continued to repeat themselves, and come up time and time again, throughout our lives to this very day. Here and now, as adults in the present moment, they subconsciously push us to recreate the same conditions we encountered in childhood; many of which were very harmful to us.

Life Patterns are Self-Destructive

The Life Patterns are self-destructive. They push us to be drawn into situations, interactions, and relationships that trigger those same Life Patterns. And they damage our sense of self, our health, our relationships with others, our work, our happiness, and our moods. Every aspect of our lives is touched and infected by them.

Life Patterns are Resistant

Life Patterns are resistant buggers. They struggle for survival, dig in deep, and fight change. We feel a strong push to maintain them. Seeing ourselves, life, others, and relationships through the eyes of the Patters is what we know. Although it is painful, my Pattern is comfortable and familiar.

Moreover, we feel some loyalty to them. In the early stages of our lives, the Life Patterns helped us, saved us, and enabled us to survive childhood. They were good, appropriate, and effective adaptations to the family we grew up in. But that was when we were kids. The problem is that we continue to do them now even when they no longer serve a useful purpose.

Life Patterns are Difficult to Change

This is why it’s very difficult to change. It's why the methods we choose to grow and change often fail to produce results or lasting change. But now we know what we’re up against. I'M NOT: bad, broken, no good, worthless, incapable. MY PATTERN IS THE PROBLEM, NOT ME. It covers up the real me, dominates the inner dialogue in my mind, and suppresses the true, authentic, real me underneath, that longs to come out and be and express and suggest thoughts to think and words to say and actions to take.

The Pattern-me is sad, anxious, fearful, worried, shortsighted, selfish, close-minded, alone, abandoned, and neglected. When I wear its glasses and look at myself, others, and life, things are bleak and hopeless. But the Authentic-me underneath is the very opposite, longs to go free and express itself, and is excited for the hope and promise of a path that will work. It's trusting and confident, happy and open, solid and valid and worthy and lovable and wanted, and excited to take on life.

Let’s readjust our plan for growth to account for this factor: Life Patterns. And then our path will get us to the goal we long for and crave, deserve, and want so bad we can taste it. When you're ready to do the work and invest the effort in your growth, you deserve a path that can help you get there and make lasting change.


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