Well, think about the relationships in your life. Think about how you relate to the people, situations and things around you.
The way we relate to our world is FULL of patterns.
Some of the obvious patterns are like the 'schedule' of our day. For example, maybe our pattern is to wake up, hit snooze three times before getting out of bed (guilty!), head to the kitchen to make and drink three cups of strong coffee before anyone else wakes up. This is your 'preparation for the day' pattern (a pattern of action). If anything throws off your pattern (or routine), it just might set off your whole day and put you in a foul mood.
Same goes for patterns of how we relate to people in our life. Think about your partner, spouse, friend, co-worker - even your child. Think about the last time you talked about something important that you two typically talk about. I'm sure that without needing that person in the room, you could easily tell me how that communication would 'go'. Who would bring up the topic, what would be said next, how the other person would act or react, how the conversation would end. That is a 'pattern of communication'.
While this can really get in our way and cause mega problems (because we feel like we cannot 'change' what might be a negative cycle), it usually stems from a lack of other communication skills and limiting beliefs about your place in a relationship. Perhaps even a belief that you are powerless over or with money (or whatever it is that you typically argue over).
You and your spouse have different ideas on how to spend money. You believe in saving, whereas your partner is a spender. You've had numerous arguments about money over the years. It always seems to end the same way - with frustration, and nothing changes. At least not for any length of time. If this has been going on for any length of time, you may even avoid the conversation altogether, because you already know "exactly how it will go." You feel powerless to change the situation OR your partners mind. Which leaves you feeling powerless in the relationship. So the topic will only come up when you are so frustrated that you are literally 'boiling' about it, which always ends in disaster. You get 'triggered' just thinking about it - you feel upset, or like running and hiding.
There are many PATTERNS of communication, and no doubt many of them affect your relationships in all areas of your life.
Think about how you typically 'handle' or respond to confrontation. How do you deal with stress? How do you manage or deal with change in your life? How do you feel about new projects or unexpected demands on your time or energy?
If you've been working on making changes in your life in almost any area, being VERY AWARE of the patterns in your life and how they show up is immensely helpful and crucial to you being able to create and maintain the change you desire.
On a positive note, patterns are the way our subconscious CONSERVES ENERGY. We don't need to 'think' or spend energy on figuring out how to handle each new situation as a unique problem. We act and react according to our 'default settings'. Which are often set up in our early years.
Cue our Inner Child. Yup - he or she has the key to unlocking our patterns!
If you have any doubt as to whether PATTERNS and our INNER CHILD are at the root of a difficulty, look for TWO IMPORTANT CLUES:
1. Because we are acting on 'autopilot', our patterns leave us feeling POWERLESS in our relationships and our actions. Notice if you feel powerless, AND;
2: If you really 'tune in' to the situation (even a memory of a recent situation will work), ask yourself: HOW OLD DO I FEEL? Nine times out of ten we are dealing with a 'part' that feels younger than 13 years old.
You will have unlocked some JUICY INFORMATION about your Inner Child already. What patterns are you starting to see?
I'd love to hear in the comments below!
With love and gratitude ~