I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the cycle of pain. And how people stay stuck in a pattern. This blog may be very confronting for people who are still in these cycles. It is in no way my intention to minimize, dilute or take away from the seriousness or gravity of a trauma or really bad experience in your past; all I am doing in this blog is breaking down the pattern or cycle that I see. Not to minimize what happened, but instead as a possible doorway out of a cycle that has been going on for a long time in your life.
Know that before I continue, I love you and have great respect for what you have been through! And I know that it’s not as easy as changing a thought once. It’s real work to transcend trauma or a negative experience and it is my hope that with this blog you will have a peek under the hood of your pattern
It goes something like this – an “event” happens, or a “trauma”. And then we give that event or trauma a meaning. And then we act on that meaning. And then those actions create our life circumstance. And then that circumstance continues to back up the story and meaning we gave the event in the first place. The longer we continue in this pattern, the longer we believe it, and the longer we believe it, the more real it becomes, and the more real it becomes, the more we believe it, until the event is no longer just an event, but it is a part of our identity. It is, in fact, who we believe we are.
It’s amazing to me how many people I’ve met and emailed that WANT to get out of a negative pattern, but defend it to the death because they are terrified of change, or because they think that by letting it go, they will somehow make what happened okay.
And this reluctance or fear of change eventually turns into the belief that there is NO WAY the future will be better than the past – and when that happens, people’s lives begin to slowly fade away into oblivion.
I believe that being a victim is a temporary thing. If something bad happened to you, in that moment, you are a victim. And it’s painful and hard. As time goes on, it is important not to stay identified as a victim. This isn’t to say that your feelings are wrong or invalid. The way that you feel is real and valid. The idea is to feel your feelings, but know that you are much more than your feelings and your story. What happened to you in the past is kept alive in the present. And when we become aware of this, all kinds of pain from the past begins to come up. And when this pain comes up, all the old stories get activated and tend to keep the pain down and the cycle continuing.
Since the past can’t be changed, it is up to us in the present moment to be able to not change ourselves, but to accept ourselves as we are – and then to see our feelings, not as permanent, but as clay. Their current formation comes from a meaning we made up about the past – and these feelings can change as we give new and empowering meaning to the present moment and past events.
But inner transformation usually doesn’t happen on a dime, just like physical transformation doesn’t. It takes constant practice. You don’t go into a gym when you are 50 pounds overweight, do 100 sit-ups and expect to have a six-pack. That’s not how it works. You gotta hit that bad boy every day for at least 6 months. The same is true for inner transformation. It’s a journey. It’s takes constant application and then, in a moment of insight that you’ve been working up to, it transforms!
So what new and empowering meaning can you give the past? Can you see that the only person who is keeping it alive today is you – and can you accept that, love that and then give your pain and the past a new meaning – day by day, one step at a time?
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Mastin Kipp is the CEO and Founder of The Daily Love. Follow him on Twitter here.
Take what resonates with you in this blog and leave the rest.