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Patterns. Those sneaky little b*tches are everywhere.
My career as a therapist has taught me many valuable lessons. Healing is not about being unbroken; healing joins all the separate parts of who we are into an integrated sense of self—it knows the whole self rather than just the fragmented parts. We are all a bit of a mess. We are all a bit beautiful, too. Maybe that is perfectly okay.
There are many “yous” that create you. Part of you is somebody’s child, perhaps a sibling, possibly a parent to humans or animals, a lover or a spouse, an employee, and a friend. There are also other aspects of your personality that are less visible. Maybe you are a rebel, a victim, a wise owl, an entrepreneur, a nature steward, a mentor, a villain, an innovator, an inventor, a boss, or a helper.
We all play a role and play multiple roles throughout each day. Humans are characters in other people’s stories, yet usually the protagonist in our own stories. Some of these roles help us, yet different parts harm us when we overly identify with them.
How do we find lost aspects of our fragmented selves? When we banish aspects of who we are or things we did in the past, we stand entrenched in our shame. What we bury in shame stays concealed in the shadow. When we do not process our shadow, it emerges later in times of conflict to wake us from our unconsciousness. Our shadow appears when we embody the energy of victimhood.
Seeing yourself as a victim of life and its circumstances might seem like the quickest way to absolve yourself from any responsibility during hard times. However, it adds years of unnecessary suffering to your life. Actual victimization includes sexual assault, abuse of any form, violence, robbery, and homicide. Victim consciousness is when we absolve ourselves from any wrongdoing or personal responsibility in the conditions of our misfortune. To be in victim consciousness is not the same thing as truly being the victim of an atrocity.
Life would be easier if we could blame everyone else for our life circumstances, but this is not the reality. Victim consciousness makes us feel better in the interim but takes away all our power and accountability. When we believe we are the victim, we become one. Life is really challenging; we are all going to face hard times and need awareness and self-mastery to overcome our difficulties.
Choices have consequences. By investigating the roles we play in our own life, we can see whether we are helping or harming ourselves through our choices. When we take an honest appraisal of our participation in the unfolding of life events, we find the key to creating a new future reality. So don’t drag your past patterns into the future—create a new you that lives a life reflective of your wants, needs, and desires.
When we know better, we do better. But, we can only do better when we understand how we are standing in our own way and contributing to our own misfortune. When we come from a place of accountability rather than blame, we see our patterns. When we see the pattern, we can interrupt it by making a different choice when presented with the same scenario in the future. Mistakes are fantastic opportunities; mistakes are when we grow and learn.
There’s a famous quote (often misattributed to Einstein) that says the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results. We have to break that pattern to make alternate choices and get different outcomes. Believing that everyone else is to blame for the reality of our life creates a type of madness that will have you stressed out forever.
If you want to break the patterns of dysfunction that prevent you from evolving, ask yourself these five magical questions:
- Is this a pattern in my life?
- What aspect(s) of my personality am I avoiding looking at by seeing myself as a victim in this scenario?
- How did I participate in creating this outcome?
- What parts of the situation am I responsible for?
- In the future, what can I do differently to break this pattern?
When we are accountable for our choices and recognize how we participated in an outcome that we did not like, we can choose differently. When we make different choices, we come from a place of consciousness rather than unconsciousness. When we shift our way of being in the world, we interrupt the pattern, and our reality starts to manifest the life we want to be living. We will then see that we are the co-creator of our life rather than the victim of it.
Love yourself enough to want different things and have the strength to choose different outcomes. You are worth it.