July 15, 2011: The key awareness for unlocking rigid patterns

[Previously, we have been developing awareness as an important step to changing the old, rigid patterns that arise, especially during stress]

Today, I want to disclose a surprising key to unlocking these old patterns.  We actually had a hint to this, when I described old patterns as old skills.

The purpose of most skills is to give us some kind of advantage, and stress-regress patterns are no different in that regard.

When we work on our past learning, hoping to free ourselves from its dictates, we recall that we experienced painful times.

During those times, we protected ourselves  as well as possible.  Accordingly, our recall of such times is understood in terms of “psychic scars.”

Here is the problem:  scars do not disappear.  We can thoroughly review early painful experiences and still not find a key to changing the response patterns we learned during those times.

When this happens, we are in for a fascinating surprise.  Often, it’s not the traumas themselves but the types of rewards we received that still keep us stuck.

In other words, it may not be the pain but the payoff.  The feelings, types of thinking, and reactions that you hate today may have benefited you  somehow when you learned them.

The benefit you would have sought was not only that of lessening the pain.  You would  have naturally grasped for any available rewards.

Did your reaction aim to help you connect to someone important, or gain their help, or insure your role in the family?  Did it reward someone else, whom you watched, such that you envied that person’s power or the attention that he or she received?

The point is that, once we uncover the payoff, we find  out that we may be still holding onto the exact pattern that we are trying  to change.

We are trying to sweep it off  our backs with one hand, while holding onto it with the other.

The magic  is that, once one finds why one is holding onto the old skill, he or  she now has the choice of whether to continue!

As an adult, one is capable of developing better skills and finding better rewards.  Next week:  developing alternative to old patterns.

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