“Whenever anything negative happens to you, there is a deep lesson concealed within it, although you may not see it at the time”– Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now
Old emotional patterns make me feel like I am going nuts. Like all the work I’ve done so far on my personal development trip was for nothing or like I’ve fallen back to where I started. So frustration and anger appear on top of what is actually going on inside myself.
If You’ve been through this also, You’ve noticed the unhealthy way to deal with it is to judge Yourself, repress it or hide from it. You know this doesn’t solve the issue. You know it, I know it. Because we’ve been there, done that. It doesn’t work.
That’s why I want to share here another way. It’s a work in progress, one that I’ve practiced on myself lately. So far, I can tell it is way better than the judging, repressing, hiding-and-hoping-it-will-just-go-away-by-itself thing I used to do.
3 Things You’ll Discover In This Article:
-How I Imagine My Emotions So I Don’t Get Lost In Them
-How To Recognise An Emotional Pattern And What Not To Do About It
-My 10 Steps On How To Deal With Old Emotional Patterns In A Healthy Way
Let’s take them one by one…
How I Imagine My Emotions So I Don’t Get Lost In Them
After a warm, sunny day yesterday, today is pouring rain. I can hear the sound of the drops falling on the rooftop. A grey pigeon is hiding from the rain outside my window. I don’t have the heart to open it so I don’t scare him away.
In my heart I feel the same as the weather has been these spring days: one day I am sunny, happy, shining, the next I might be crying and sad without any apparent reason. I might look crazy for an outsider. I might seem crazy for the judging voice inside my head.
But if I stay with this, and just accept and allow everything that comes to manifest itself I realize I am just like mother nature.
My emotions come and go like clouds on the sky. Once I became aware I am not those clouds, but rather the sky that contains them, I went up one level of awareness. (I am sure there are several higher levels to discover.)
This allows me to go deep into what the present moment brings me without totally getting lost in it.
I can allow myself to bathe in the different clouds, without losing the knowing that I am actually the sky.
This happens either if I observe the white, bubbly, fluffy clouds that I associate with positive emotions like joy, gratitude, calm, well-being, either with the dark, black, weird shaped clouds that I imagine to be my negative emotions like sadness, anger, guilt, shame, confusion.
How To Recognise An Emotional Pattern And What Not To Do About It
There is one old emotional pattern that keeps reappearing in my life. I know it is a pattern because I keep on recreating the contexts that allow it to resurface so I can finally integrate it and let it go.
I am aware of how I create and arrange the pieces of the puzzle in the same scheme, over and over again.
The one that I have been dealing with lately has to do with the emotional environment that I grew up in. (Aren’t they all, I wonder now…). I won’t go into details, but it is related to the nice girl syndrome.
The thing is that when these old paralysing emotions like guilt, shame or discomfort in my own skin appear, I can no longer function normally. I can’t work, I can’t be an active listener for anyone cause I am caught up in my own pain.
In the past, I used to repress, hide, run and judge myself for re-creating these emotions. If You did the same, You know all these actions are like hiding the dirt under the carpet. It can only last until someone pulls the rug or there is so much dirt that it starts leaking out from underneath.
So when I found myself in the same pattern, after the initial frustration “Damn, I thought I was over and done with this!” I decided to do something new and different from what I used to do.
My 10 Steps: How To Deal With Old Emotional Patterns In A Healthy Way
1. Accept the present moment. Accept where You are. If You are feeling anger allow it. If You are feeling sadness, allow it.
2. Do not Judge Yourself. I repeat: Do Not Judge, reprimand or make fun of what You are going through. Honour and respect Yourself by allowing and accepting your feelings.
2. If You can take some time alone and in silence, try to amplify whatever it is that You are feeling. Instead of repressing them, set your intention to encourage the hidden emotions to come up.
3. Ask Yourself: what is underneath this layer of anger, sadness or whatever painful feeling You might be experiencing. Allow any memories to resurface, bathe yourself in the feeling. It might be painful, tears might come up, allow them.
4. Throughout your day be very aware of what is going on inside You. Try to limit Your actions to the minimum necessary and attend to Yourself. Give Yourself the time and space to go through this, undisturbed by outside noise, if You can.
5. Share with Your partner or loved ones that You are going through a painful process so they can support You.
6. Ask for help if You feel You need it: from a professional therapist, from a close friend, your spouse. If You talk to your spouse be very specific on how they could help and support you.
It might be anything from : “I just need You to listen to me, without any words” to “Just hold me tight” or “Tell me what You think about this”. You know best what You need in the moment.
7. Write in Your journal about it. Paint it. Dance it. Walk it. Do whatever helps You to deal with it, without repressing it.
8. Talk to the person/s that have triggered the process or are involved in it in any way. Share with them what You are going through. It will feel like unloading a heavy burden from your chest.
9. Don’t try to find a solution now, while You are in the middle of the storm. Solutions will appear like the rainbow on the sky, after the storm has passed. Or they will appear later. You never know.
10. Be kind, patient and compassionate with Yourself.
Think of the negative emotional pattern as the psychological equivalent of a flu for your body. When You get sick with the flu, the healthiest way is to rest in bed, drink loads of water, eat fresh food full of vitamins, and allow your body to heal itself. Why aren’t we allowing ourselves to deal with our “psychological flu” in a similar way?
If You look at your old painful pattern in action like an opportunity to get rid of some old toxic emotions stored in your body and psyche, it will be a lot easier to not get lost in it and make a drama out of it.
Wrapping Up – How To Deal With Old Emotional Patterns
#1 Recognize the pattern when it appears.
#2 Do Not judge yourself, repress it or run away from it.
#3 Use (some) of the 10 steps above to accept, integrate and heal it just like You would heal yourself from a flu.
This is my take so far on dealing with emotional patterns and repeating behaviours.
I would love to know how You deal with this. What are Your tips and tricks? I would love to hear from You in the comments bellow.
If you liked this post and think someone might benefit from it, feel free to share on FB, Twitter, G+ or whatever way You prefer 🙂 Thank You for being around.
With all my love,
PS: The sun appeared soon after the rain, and there was such a clear, blue sky and fresh air! 🙂
PPS: “One thing we do know: Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. How do you know this is the experience you need? Because this is the experience you are having at this moment.”― Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose