Like most human beings, I have my share of patterns in thought and behavior. Plenty are favorable, and many are not. Some seem intrinsic, as in a default setting. Others can be traced back to life experience that conditioned me, influences that stuck with me for better or worse. Whether nature or nurture, the positive patterns form a wonderful blueprint I can count on for living well…
…But then there are those patterns that I’d rather not have, such as letting paperwork pile up (again)… or foregoing workouts when unexpected adversity strikes my life (which is probably when I need them most)… or the thought trap that time is running out — interrupting the presence of joyful feelings with a sense of eventual loss or change. Sometimes patterns like these can seem too stubborn to overcome, regardless of how often they make the New Year’s resolutions list.
At the same time, with clear intention, awareness and lots of effort, I can and have flipped some of the negative patterns in my life around. There’s no guarantee for success in this process. Often it’s a two-steps-forward-one-step-back situation. As clutter coach Kerri Richardson (https://www.facebook.com/KerriCoach/) says, you just have to become good at getting started. And boy does it feel great to see real change take root over time. Yet, when you’ve really tried but failed again, it can be equally as discouraging.
Last week it occurred to me that when a negative pattern reemerges, I’d be wise to not compound any sense of failure by mentally beating myself up over it. I can choose to look at the matter in a different way. Instead of resisting it, or giving up altogether, I can accept that, presently, this is just a pattern that’s still with me. As a part of the whole of me, it too is worthy of love. In other words, I can change the way I think about the pattern in the first place and extend peace to it.
This isn’t to be confused with complacency. Instead it’s allowing my psyche a space wherein I can acknowledge that something still needs work and that's ok. The fact that it has not come together so far is not due to an incapability or lack of trying. It’s merely because I just haven’t found my way through it… yet. So when I walk the labyrinth of challenging patterns in my life, I can begin a new, uplifting pattern of acceptance that I am a merely a work in progress, like everyone else.
How might you extend peace to the negative patterns in your life? May you be inspired!
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