Everywhere I have looked recently people have been talking, writing, and reading about patterns. It just so happened that for several days before I started noticing this, I found myself wanting to write about them. They are actually very important. So many areas of life rely on patterns for survival and also for living an exuberant life. There are patterns to the seasons, which we can count on. This repetitive pattern is predictable, and it helps us prepare for what lies ahead. There are big patterns, like the seasons, and smaller ones, like day following night, the individual pattern of a snowflake, or the many facets of a gemstone. There are patterns in cell division, which occur without any intervention from us, and yet by studying the normal patterns, we have gained knowledge about what happens when division doesn’t occur in its usual fashion. These predictable patterns have given us the information needed to study the cases where cell division has occurred outside of what is its balanced, natural path. Because we know the normal path, we can use it in find a cure, or a path more aligned with its natural state.

Nature has patterns, all of life has patterns, and so do we. We have our morning rituals that help us get going in the morning. We have a particular route that we drive to work, the mall, the grocery store, and so on. We also have patterns of behavior that become so hard wired in us, that we don’t see them as a pattern, but rather a part of who we are, and of the story of our life. This type of pattern can become the key to a lesson we came here to learn, master, and move on from- or not.

What kind of patterns am I talking about here? The kind that is very obvious to others yet is a total blind spot for us. For example, there is a pattern where an individual works at a place that has become very toxic for them. There might be a problem in dealing with someone in the office that feels vaguely familiar, and after a long time, they either chose to leave, or were “let go”. They move on to another job, and the same things start to occur, the only difference is the place and the people around them. This will continue to happen until they can honestly take a look within and see where their problem actually resides, and do the work involved to change themselves and heal.

There is also the victim and the abuser. This is a huge learning curve in many arenas of life. You can see it in work situations, dating relationships, marriages, and friendships. Why do they stay? Over time, it gets easier to believe their lies- the ones like “no one else will ever love you the way that I do” (or can). They are the ones that know all the right buttons to push between playing nice and pushing the red flag buttons. Or how about the “You’re lucky to have me- you’re damaged goods-no one else would want you” type? Both are playing on self-esteem here. One is just manipulating from a whole different angle. This individual is a real con artist.

There are also situations where boundary issues come into play. (Although all of these are aspects of boundary issues, aren’t they??) There are those among us who have none! They are easily used, and can also become enmeshed in co-dependent relationships. If you were to look back into their lives, you would find a long line of relationships with little or no boundaries. Never or hardly ever, have they said no to others in deference to themselves. Not a healthy foundation for any relationship. There is a “need to be needed” being sought after in very unhealthy ways. Also in this category would be the people pleasers, whose deep need to be loved and appreciated causes them to do things that may not be in their best interests.

The patterns like those mentioned, are just several ways in which our lives may get out of sync and need to be brought back into balance. We do indeed teach people how to treat us. Low self esteem or self-concept can wreak havoc in our day-to-day living.

So what can be done about these unhealthy patterns? The most important thing that each of us can do, is to choose ourselves. Choose you. Choose your safety, your health, your time and energy, and choose to honor yourself first. This is not a selfish thing to do at all. We each must have enough energy to care for ourselves first, so that we can fulfill our other obligations- the healthy ones that do have meaning in life, and where there is a healthy balance of give and take. Remember that you do deserve the best! We all do. It is just different for each individual. No one has the right to treat you as if you are less than, or to try to control you, abuse you, or in any way treat you less than you truly deserve! No one has the right to take advantage of you- and yet we allow it all the time.

If you find yourself wanting or needing help, please reach out and get it. We are here to help in many ways, and would be honored to be a part of your healing journey! The first step is awareness, and this is no small thing, especially if this is a pattern that has been with you for a long time. With help, we can see our life as it truly is, and make a conscious choice for change. If any of the above scenarios sounds or feels like what you are living, please seek help. You will be amazed how joyful life can be, once you become aware, so that you can overcome these issues!