How to Break Unhealthy Patterns

You know when you go to a carnival and there are pony rides?  The ponies go round and round so many times doing the same thing hour after hour that it wears a groove into the ground.  Or, when you are driving and you see a deep rut in the side of a road from where so many cars veered off the path?

We all get stuck in those ruts, those grooves, sometimes.  Not the literal ones, but the ruts and grooves of our lives.  The unconscious things in our minds from our childhood; the feelings, perception and ideas of life that we inherited or developed early on.  Usually we live with these perceptions for so many years that we don’t even realize that the way we live our lives is all based on this.   We want to change direction but we’re just stuck in that old familiar groove which unfortunately has become comfortable.   Change is perceived as work.  And who wants to have more work?

We’ve been raised on Disney fairy tales of princesses finding the magical prince who turns her miserable, poor and bland life into an exciting, fulfilled and glorious existence!  Some little girls grow up to believe there’s another side of her out there, waiting to rescue her.  A prince to heal her.  So not true.  What completes us is found from within – not from an external source.  Not from a partner or relationship.

Some children are raised in a home with divorce or abuse.  I think that these kids grow up favoring one parent in personality.  For instance, if the father cheated or was abusive, the son may subconsciously harbor feelings that this behavior is okay, even normal.  Or, he may grow up feeling the pain of his mother and be totally devoted to his wife.

A daughter might grow to want that relationship that her parents failed at.  She might strive so hard (unconsciously) to make this happen that she spends years in her rut or groove.  Seeking out men that need ‘fixing’ or she might become the ‘perfect Stepford wife’ to hold on to the man that is essentially her father.  Fixing your parents relationship is not going to happen.  What is done is done.   Each person has their own purpose, their own lessons to learn in this life.

Some people feel the need to fix everything.  Seeking relationships in love and friendship where they are unconsciously drawn to the wounded – the one that needs support or endless recognition.  This person may let someone step all over them in the thought that they can ‘reform’ the other.  Make them whole.

All these are unhealthy patterns.  And they all can be broken with time and focus.  The important thing to do is to take a step.  Make a start.  Sometimes that first step is actually just taking a step back.   Reflect and try to see what is at the root of your affliction.

Meditate.  Sit and clear your mind of the clutter and relax.  This will let you focus on what is truly important in finding out what it is you need to do.

Let emotions and feelings and mental images come to the surface.  Acknowledge them.  Think about them and why they are there.  Then release them.  Push them out.  Say goodbye to them.  They are not the real, they are not the inner you.  They are merely what you ‘think’ you are because you have been mentally reliving them for years – reinforcing your rut, your groove.

Get rid of the negativity in your life.  Negative energy attracts negative energy.  Don’t listen to sad songs when you are down find something upbeat or just turn off the music.   If you are not mindful when speaking with a friend who is miserable, you will become miserable.  You will carry that negative energy with you and make someone else miserable.  Did you ever notice how people who are down – bring you down?  You might hear their story and then share a sad story of your own.  Feeding negative energy until it consumes you.  Pretty soon your whole day is going poorly.  You are tired, drained and weak.

On the other hand, you know that positive energy creates positive energy!  You know that when you are in a room full of laughter, you too will laugh.  You mood is light and happy.  You feel the blood circulating, you are alive with positive energy!

Volunteer!  If you have some time to devote to a cause that makes you feel good – do it!  Clean out your closet and donate things!  Let your self feel good.  Perform random acts of kindness.  Share your positive energy.

Exercise, practice yoga, be creative!  All are wonderful for the body and mind.  Whether in a group setting or at home, make time for your self.  Take a walk, join a class, create, paint, sing – whatever makes you feel good, and do it daily!  When you create this time and space for your self you open up time and space to think and reflect and focus!  To work on your inner self.

It is not until we can unravel our own mysteries, our own problems that we can BE who we truly came into this world to be.

*originally published in 2010 on my ZenSational Living blog

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