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The Only Way Out is Through

Emotional pain is something that many of us turn away from, or may not even be aware of. It can show up in our lives in a myriad of ways. One of the ways I see it show up in my life is in the form of patterns. Patterns can be a set of characteristics that we operate by, and can often result in “stuckness” or disappointment in our lives.

Patterns, often times, don’t serve us and can hold us back from having a life filled of joy, connection and love. Patterns tend to show up over and over, and what usually happens is we become aware of them, but often don’t know what to do about them.

I spent this past week in the desert finishing up my grad school curriculum for University of Santa Monica. I have to say it was one of the most life-changing experiences of my life.

I cannot tell you what we did there, but all I can say is that I have finally found freedom within myself by going through my pain and not around it. My teachers call it spiritual bypass (the going around part). When we know we have an “issue’ or pattern in our life that shows up over and over, usually in relationship or having to do with finances, it can be easy to “bypass” the feelings that come along with the issue and stay stuck in our pattern.

These feelings may show up as fear, anxiety, dread, hate…you get the picture. And most of the time, these emotions can lead to self-sabotage and stagnation in your life.

An example of a pattern that I have had, in the past, is that I would keep engaging in unhealthy relationships. I would end up with my heart broken, giving away my power and losing myself. Co-dependency felt like my middle name. I saw how this pattern kept showing up in my life and how it was keeping me from having what I really wanted; a co-committed & loving partnership with a man who respects me and adores me. Can you relate?

Patterns don’t only show up in relationships, they could revolve around money, behavior or pretty much anything in your life. But what I have learned is that the only way to break free of these patterns is to take a deeper look at where the pattern started and what beliefs we picked up along the way. And what this means, is going through the pain instead of around it.

Our ego will do everything it can to keep us stuck in pattern. It wants to hold on as tightly as possible, because change is scary to the ego. And because of this, it can be hard to recognize when you have a pattern, because your ego will talk you out of it, in a sense. Your ego will avoid the pain that can come along with a long-lived pattern and keep you running on the pattern hamster wheel.

Once you have an awareness around your pattern, it becomes almost impossible to ignore it, but shifting it means you have to look inside, which is not always pleasant and many people are afraid of doing.

The one thing that I found that has truly helped me break my patterns is to track back to where they originated in my childhood. Most of us pick up patterns from our parents. The way they relate to obstacles in their lives is usually the way we relate to them too. The same goes for emotions, money, people, etc. This is kind of ironic because I have heard so many people tell me that they are not anything like their parents, yet they unconsciously operate the same way their parents did and end up with the same results their parents had. Coincidence? I think not!

My biggest pattern, as I mentioned above has been unhealthy intimate relationships and through using my tools from USM and my spiritual magnifying glass, I dove into my pattern so that I could heal it and create a different outcome in my life.

What I mean by this, is that I took myself back in time to where I thought this pattern started, and even though I knew that I had been engaging in what was familiar or familial (notice they only have one letter difference) what I also recognized, is that not only was my father abusive, and many of the men I had been involved with, but that I had become abusive to myself with the words I would say to myself internally.

I was beating myself up with words. I was in a pattern of self-hatred, self-loathing and self-mutilation of sorts (not physical, but emotional). It’s no wonder that I attracted men in my life that would reflect my own self-abuse and lack of self-love right back to me. I was beating myself up inside. On the outside everything seemed ok to my friends and people who knew me, but on the inside I was stuck in my own abusive prison.

This was a big a-ha moment for me this past week and one that was both exciting and painful. I always thought that I was just following a family pattern, which in a lot of ways I was, but not only was I doing that, but I was also manifesting my inner experience of self-abuse into outer reality. When I truly felt this and got to see it clearly, I surrendered into it and gave it over to the Uni-verse asking for love and support to help me clear this pattern out of my life.

I began to flood myself with compassion & loving while coming into acceptance that this specific pattern is part of me. This pattern has been an aspect of me that have served me up until now, but what I know now is that I no longer need it. I was obviously getting some sort of pay off for it, and now have come to realize that the payoff is not worth the pain it creates.

This practice of being loving and compassionate with myself is what will bring me to a peaceful place inside, so that my outer reality will reflect that. The more I love myself, and am loving with myself, the more that love will show up outside of me.

I am not saying this is easy, believe me, it takes work, commitment, persistence a strong heart and tons of courage & love, but to me it’s worth it. I don’t want to be run by this pattern anymore and I know that I can create a new story for myself by continuing to forgive myself for all of these past “short-comings.”

I knew that the only real way to shift my paradigm was to go through, not around. So, I ask you; what are the patterns in your life that keep showing up? What is the payoff you are getting for staying stuck in this pattern? Can you find a way to bring compassion and loving to yourself? Can you take a small step of kindness toward yourself and take a contrary action that will produce a different result?

I dare you to live boldly and bravely so that you too can experience a life full of love, joy and abundance! Take one step today and acknowledge how amazing you are!

With love and gratitude,
Melissa

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Melissa is a cookbook author, culinary nutritionist and  wellness coach. Check out her website here.

  • Monique

    Thank you for this beautiful post. I discovered that I had a similar pattern of abusive self-talk that allowed me to hide my beauty and light. I spent a lot of years crying, but one day I had the courage to get up and rich for my dreams. I was finally alive! I do a little bit of work everyday to create new patterns in my life and one of them is maintaining the feeling a vibrance and connection to the source. It was hard to do for a while, but it’s getting easier. Blessings to you!

  • Monique

    Thank you for this beautiful post. I discovered that I had a similar pattern of abusive self-talk that allowed me to hide my beauty and light. I spent a lot of years crying, but one day I had the courage to get up and rich for my dreams. I was finally alive! I do a little bit of work everyday to create new patterns in my life and one of them is maintaining the feeling a vibrance and connection to the source. It was hard to do for a while, but it’s getting easier. Blessings to you!

  • Sarah Sunflower

    Thank you. I have been going through the exact thing at this point in my life. During these last few days I have come to recognise my destructive relationship patterns which all go back to childhood beliefs and parents etc. It’s only been through my latest, rather painful relationship that the penny dropped for me and I decided once and for all to grow from this experience and break away from the pattern. I believe that when we are ready, the teachers we need come into our life to assist us. This is what’s been the case for me. I had no idea why/how/what/who. The pain simply got so much that I started praying for guidance. It arrived…

  • Sarah Sunflower

    Thank you. I have been going through the exact thing at this point in my life. During these last few days I have come to recognise my destructive relationship patterns which all go back to childhood beliefs and parents etc. It’s only been through my latest, rather painful relationship that the penny dropped for me and I decided once and for all to grow from this experience and break away from the pattern. I believe that when we are ready, the teachers we need come into our life to assist us. This is what’s been the case for me. I had no idea why/how/what/who. The pain simply got so much that I started praying for guidance. It arrived…

  • http://twitter.com/AuroratheRose Aurora Rose Truth

    ha, I was just this day looking at family patterns I’d picked up, and did some loving affirmative mirror work; hello synchronicity! Still more to do, nice to know I’m on the right track :)

  • http://twitter.com/AuroratheRose Aurora Rose Truth

    ha, I was just this day looking at family patterns I’d picked up, and did some loving affirmative mirror work; hello synchronicity! Still more to do, nice to know I’m on the right track :)

  • Kfrosaker

    I just got back from disneyland with my husband and two boys under 10. It was our first time there other than when i was four many years ago. My husband was controlling and rude much of the time and i found myself looking at him as if he were in a spotlight…so obvious negative amidst such joy of disneyland.
    Here we were at “the happiest place on earth” and i was at the point of tears several times. I

    could go into more detail but will be breif herefor the sake of this blog. Bottom line is i have been with my husband
    since college when i was 21. He has become increasingly controlling. I see his dad repeating in him and my mom and her abusive husband repeating in my life. I am afraid to get out because i have been with him 20 years and i also dont want to hurt my boys…buf the fact is my boys are learning how to be future husbands the wrong way…i am terrified and need guidance to go through to get tothe way out…

  • Kfrosaker

    I just got back from disneyland with my husband and two boys under 10. It was our first time there other than when i was four many years ago. My husband was controlling and rude much of the time and i found myself looking at him as if he were in a spotlight…so obvious negative amidst such joy of disneyland.
    Here we were at “the happiest place on earth” and i was at the point of tears several times. I

    could go into more detail but will be breif herefor the sake of this blog. Bottom line is i have been with my husband
    since college when i was 21. He has become increasingly controlling. I see his dad repeating in him and my mom and her abusive husband repeating in my life. I am afraid to get out because i have been with him 20 years and i also dont want to hurt my boys…buf the fact is my boys are learning how to be future husbands the wrong way…i am terrified and need guidance to go through to get tothe way out…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=517830509 Erinn Selkis

    I love you Melissa!!!! I support you in freeing yourself from this pattern :):) And thank you for sharing your experience.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=517830509 Erinn Selkis

    I love you Melissa!!!! I support you in freeing yourself from this pattern :):) And thank you for sharing your experience.

  • Roy D.

    Beautiful Missy, just beautiful.

  • Roy D.

    Beautiful Missy, just beautiful.

  • RK

    Tell it sister. You are on your way. Thank you for accepting you. 

  • RK

    Tell it sister. You are on your way. Thank you for accepting you. 

  • Mary Jane

    thank you for sharing and being so true to yourself and others by putting yourself out there :) you are an amazing strong, beautiful and talented woman that has helped people change their lives! all of the love you put out there will come back to you tenfold as you are open to receiving it ! love and hugs to you Melissa <3 

  • Mary Jane

    thank you for sharing and being so true to yourself and others by putting yourself out there :) you are an amazing strong, beautiful and talented woman that has helped people change their lives! all of the love you put out there will come back to you tenfold as you are open to receiving it ! love and hugs to you Melissa <3 

  • Aj

    What did you do, ayahuasca?

  • Aj

    What did you do, ayahuasca?

  • Missy C

    Thank you Missy, your openness, and expressing of your own patterns, have stirred up some of my own patterns that I too keep getting stuck on, I have work on so many the last few years, But you telling it like it is! has reminded me of how i too would keep on getting/allowing to stay in abusive relationship of any kind(friend, lovers, and family etc..), buy staying in that comfort pattern of  I am to scared to do anything because i was taught not to face my fears, but stay caught up in them that was my life growing up you weren’t allow to express or learned to self hate, abuse myself, because that is all my parents did was show that UGLY pattern of self hate and destruction to them selfs, As I face a lot of pain with all of that and coning to terms with where/how/why, i did all those negative patterns,  I know now that i have to continue to work on face ing a lot of other negative patterns/behavior in order for  TOTALLY love my self and be all that I can be, Self worth of true love and all that it has to offer me, So I am stopping that vicious cycle of negative behaviors, By showing my own children and grandchild, that I love myself, I am working everyday to show them what it is to feel and be worthy of true love, leading by example, I have felt the power with in me  to continue my journey of  new found love for my self and everyone that is dear to my heart, by release the pain and express to them, my own suffering of self hate,   by doing so…. I see grow in all of US, and those UGLY patterns are starting to change for the good, YAY! no more vinous cycle of self HATE!!! 
    I love you for this openness of one self!!
    love and Gratitude,
    Missy C

  • Missy C

    Thank you Missy, your openness, and expressing of your own patterns, have stirred up some of my own patterns that I too keep getting stuck on, I have work on so many the last few years, But you telling it like it is! has reminded me of how i too would keep on getting/allowing to stay in abusive relationship of any kind(friend, lovers, and family etc..), buy staying in that comfort pattern of  I am to scared to do anything because i was taught not to face my fears, but stay caught up in them that was my life growing up you weren’t allow to express or learned to self hate, abuse myself, because that is all my parents did was show that UGLY pattern of self hate and destruction to them selfs, As I face a lot of pain with all of that and coning to terms with where/how/why, i did all those negative patterns,  I know now that i have to continue to work on face ing a lot of other negative patterns/behavior in order for  TOTALLY love my self and be all that I can be, Self worth of true love and all that it has to offer me, So I am stopping that vicious cycle of negative behaviors, By showing my own children and grandchild, that I love myself, I am working everyday to show them what it is to feel and be worthy of true love, leading by example, I have felt the power with in me  to continue my journey of  new found love for my self and everyone that is dear to my heart, by release the pain and express to them, my own suffering of self hate,   by doing so…. I see grow in all of US, and those UGLY patterns are starting to change for the good, YAY! no more vinous cycle of self HATE!!! 
    I love you for this openness of one self!!
    love and Gratitude,
    Missy C

  • Monica

    Thank you , for opening your beautiful precious heart and soul to share your  light with us!

    My pattern of not being enough of always having to do better than anybody else comes from my father  who never encouraged me but always discouraged my efforts and told me that nothing I do will be enough . So I chose to be with a guy who was always taking and taking and never giving any emotional closeness. My giving was never enough, my love , my cooking , my care . Nothing I did was good enough for him … I was just playing the old pattern of not being enough. Until I realized that it was not me that was not being enough. He was the one that was not good enough. After emotional trauma that I did not even realize I had or have been emotionally abused by him by something that in psychology they call stonewalling I had to go through the pain and not around it. Has been very difficult but I can see that I am transformed. I still struggle with not being enough and always putting others before me . My lesson is – you are enough and you are perfect just the way you are! Much love and gratitude for sharing your inner journey in such beautiful words!!!!!

  • Monica

    Thank you , for opening your beautiful precious heart and soul to share your  light with us!

    My pattern of not being enough of always having to do better than anybody else comes from my father  who never encouraged me but always discouraged my efforts and told me that nothing I do will be enough . So I chose to be with a guy who was always taking and taking and never giving any emotional closeness. My giving was never enough, my love , my cooking , my care . Nothing I did was good enough for him … I was just playing the old pattern of not being enough. Until I realized that it was not me that was not being enough. He was the one that was not good enough. After emotional trauma that I did not even realize I had or have been emotionally abused by him by something that in psychology they call stonewalling I had to go through the pain and not around it. Has been very difficult but I can see that I am transformed. I still struggle with not being enough and always putting others before me . My lesson is – you are enough and you are perfect just the way you are! Much love and gratitude for sharing your inner journey in such beautiful words!!!!!

  • Asdfqwe

    Excellent text, congrats and heartfelt thanks

  • Asdfqwe

    Excellent text, congrats and heartfelt thanks

  • http://www.facebook.com/vered.dell Vered Dell

    Melissa, you are so beautiful inside and out! Thank you for sharing this. <3

  • http://www.facebook.com/vered.dell Vered Dell

    Melissa, you are so beautiful inside and out! Thank you for sharing this. <3

  • Richard

    Very nice, Melissa and very true in my experience. Thank you so much for sharing yourself.