July 22, 2011: Somewhere to Grow

[Previously:  We have been exploring and developing awareness as the first stage in changing our patterns and our lives.]

Changing old patterns and breaking old habits is not enough.  We have to have somewhere better to go, that is, we have to have some  new way to grow.

Otherwise, even with the best pattern-breaking skills, one can interrupt old responses 100 times, only to have them restart 101 times.  This fits last week’s post about the “payoff” received from old patterns.  Without a new reward, the automatic pattern attempts to seek the old reward.

For example, perhaps one’s depression promised some comfort a long time ago.  Without sadness, one must find a new way to reach out for support and love.

As another example, perhaps one’s  emotional distance once promised a feeling of strength and confidence, which was the best way to achieve that important feeling when the pattern was learned.  Today, that person will have to grow to discover how to combine strength with intimacy.

Other rewards could  include the need for self-assertion, being understood, or feeling secure.  As you may have noticed, the search for a useful alternative to an old pattern can arise directly from the awareness we have been cultivating.

In other words, after you understand that the pattern is an old skill, you begin to understand both the protective elements and the rewards inherent in it.   As a result, you are ready for the next questions in your quest for freedom.

Do you know a present day alternative that would supply you with an adult version of what the old pattern is trying to do for you?  If not, how could you discover such an alternative?

In our next post (in two weeks, not one), I will explore how one changes response patterns that are so rigid that even awareness and alternatives cannot break them.

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This entry was posted on Friday, July 22nd, 2011 at 1:00 am and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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