Mental Wellness

Repeating the Pattern

Ever think about why we repeat the same negative patterns in our lives over and over again? Why does the alcoholic continue to drink after three DUI convictions? Why does the person in an unhealthy relationship keep attracting the same type of person over and over? Why does the smoker with lung cancer continue to smoke? Why does the person with a potentially fatal sexually transmitted disease continue to have unprotected sex?

Ever stop to think that these patterns are meant to be learning experiences for our lives? In other words, that situation in your life will never go away until you have learned the lesson it came to teach you.

I often think about my beautiful, precious mother. She was married to my dad for 25 years before he transitioned. For the sake of family I will just say, it was not a healthy relationship. My mother endured a lot. She unfortunately repeated the pattern with her second husband. It was almost an identical situation. He was unfaithful. He was sick and needed a caretaker. Once again my mother stepped in and played the part.

Why did she repeat the pattern by choosing the same type of person as opposed to someone who would cherish, adore, and take care of her? Again, why do any of us repeat the same patterns? Could it indeed be that we did not learn the lesson the first time around?

Despite my awareness of this situation, I have still repeated the same patterns over and over in many situations and circumstances in my life.  I have grown to belief that some patterns are generational and therefore consequently handed down from our parents and others in our lives.

How can we break these patterns?

I am using a few conscious methods to work on breaking some of the negative patterns in my life. I would like to share them with you.

  1. Recognize the Pattern: Being aware of the pattern is the first step to breaking the cycle.
  2. Be willing to change by learning the lesson: We must be willing to look at and examine self in an effort to grow and not repeat the pattern. It has been my experience that a desire and true willingness to change is essential for breaking the negative patterns.
  3. Take a look at how your life is and what you would like to change: Take time for self-reflection to really go deep inside in an effort to know and feel what you want your life to be like.
  4. Do not blame yourself or others for how your life has turned out: Blame blocks our growth and learning. It is not a blame game. It is about learning from the experience of repeated patterns.
  5. Assess your environment. Is it healthy or does it lend itself to repeating the same patterns?
  6. Change your thoughts:  Take control of your mind.  Change your thoughts from I can’t to I can.  Start believing that you are enough.

Let me be clear, we are co-creators of our own lives. I have found it important to be a conscious creator.  We must ask ourselves the hard questions about why we keep repeating the same patterns.

Many people live their lives reacting to the events around them without taking time to examine their own thoughts and actions. I have found myself repeating the same patterns due to my own thoughts and actions. It is my intention to break the cycle and embrace newness. To begin to be more aware of my thoughts and actions and the repeated patterns that I am creating, in an effort to break the cycle.

What patterns are you repeating in your life?

Have you been able to break some of the patterns in your life and if so, how? Share your own stories about breaking negative patterns in your life. I look forward to your feedback.

Until next week, be blessed and don’t forget to enter your email address (vinceshifflett.com/blog) to receive my weekly blog straight to your inbox.

In Gratitude

 

8 comments on “Repeating the Pattern

  1. Lisa Yager Herring
    Vince, I don’t know you but I guess I somehow “hi jack” your posts whenever Gregory comments or shares what you have written and I must say, I’m thankful for you both…you for writing and Greg for his actions that make your posts visible to me. I have to say, I already “get it” and your posts are so true, but they give me confirmation when I “hear” your words that I too have a clearer understanding of life lessons and my sense of self. Thank you taking the time to put your thoughts in print that we may all have the affirmation we may often need, whether we realize it or not.

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    • Lisa,

      Thank you so much for your kind words. You can receive the weekly blog straight to your inbox by entering your email address and confirming your subscription. Join the hundreds who have already signed up. I would be so grateful for your support and feedback.

      In Abundance,
      Vince

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  2. Gregory

    Hello Vincent,
    I love this, It is such a powerful observation and life lesson. If I may, I would like to add my experience.
    It was once explained to me that it is not only about the lessons we need to learn, but also the coping mechanisms/ skill sets that we have. Years ago, I was having lunch with a friend and acupuncturist, and we were discussing my life. I was in a difficult relationship, and I asked “why would I choose a partner that reminded me so much of someone or a situation that I really hated”? His answer stuck with me to this day and completely changed my life. He told me that; as a child we feel/are powerless to change our situation and our relationships, but we learn coping and survival skills within that environment. As adults, we gravitate to environments where we have the skills to survive. We sometimes feel that as adults we will be able to change the person or the outcome. I believe we can, but not in the way most of us think. We can change the way we respond or react, or survive in that situation. We “replay” or “recreate” because we know how to survive, we break the cycle when we recognize the pattern and then we can move on and begin to thrive in hopefully a better environment. I had to realize that my love was free to give, and needed nothing in return, and was ENOUGH!. I could give it from a distance, and not fall pray to the circumstances of that environment. I recognized the pattern that I found myself repeating, I told myself that I had learned all that I could from this situation and that I wanted to move on. Within a month I had ended the relationship, bought my house and closed my struggling business. My entire world changed. Now, it is easier to recognize when I am in a pattern, and “Sometimes” I choose to move on, sometimes it takes me longer to learn my lesson.
    As a Nurse, you look for nursing jobs, it is your skill set, but when you learn to use that skill set to become an Award winning writer, you have used your lessons to thrive in your own environment and on your own terms.
    Thank you for making us think.
    Let your LITTLE light shine!
    Gregory

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    • Greg, Thanks so much as always for your thoughtful response. I grow and learn from your thoughts and input. Much love to you.

      Vince

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  3. Karen Sears

    Thanks Vincent! So simple but yet so hard. You should have been a writer!

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    • Karen,

      Thanks for your response and your support. I actually am a writer. 🙂
      I feel blessed to be able to share with my readers every week.

      Vince

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  4. Shaun V

    I love this especially the 5 tips on how to overcome.

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    • Shaun,

      Thank you so much for your response. We all have a story to tell and I feel grateful to be able to share my story. Breaking those negative patterns can be difficult but necessary for growth. Thanks for your support.

      Vince

      Like

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