Break old patterns
We are whom we attract!
Like attracts like and there is no way around that! Often times we don’t see the mirror in our partner because we like to 1) glorify ourselves and 2) the behaviors for the same emotional issues are different. For example, “He is abusive and I am not”, “He is emotionally unavailable and I am not”, therefore we think we are completely different. But if you look a tiny bit beneath the surface the similarities are glaring. Maybe you don’t yell but are controlling in other ways. Maybe you feel you are much more available than the truth of it (if you are protecting yourself or are guarded about anything then you are not emotionally available).
The patterns of whom we attract are set early on in life. All patterns have roots and the patterns that cause us problems have roots in dysfunction. Until we heal the roots in ourselves we will continue to recreate the same pattern. Period. As a side note, the same concept is true of yo-yo dieting that is why weight goes up and down because the underlying issue has not been addressed.
Looking at us and taking personal responsibility is what should be the hardest part of any relationship: it shouldn’t be hard getting along, communicating, establishing a flow. So if you have a history of unhealthy relationships it is because you yourself are unhealthy and until you change that you won’t attract much different. If you attract abusive or emotionally unavailable partners then you are abusive or emotionally unavailable in some way, you just may do it differently.
When I started doing this work I never allowed myself to say “yeah, but I am not like that”, instead I would say “I don’t do it like that so how do I do it”? “Since we are the same how do I do this pattern”? And would follow the path from there.
All dysfunctional patterns have roots, just like a weed. You can pull and pull the weed but until you get the root it will keep coming back. So to pull the dysfunctional root we look at our past, we have to start opening those boxes we have neatly tucked away that contain the roots. As we open the box we will feel the emotion stored inside. As we feel those feelings we are releasing the patterns tied to it. That’s all it takes is to feel the feelings. I will say that is true in most cases except when there is a history of sexual assault. Having said that, with sexual assault in your history you need therapy to recreate new dynamics because the dysfunctional patterns it creates are so deep and varied.
We are taught to fear our feelings. Yes, they can be painful but the healing process creates a stronger person for being willing to feel and permanently changes the dysfunctional patterns. The pay off is incredible and is truly life changing. Good Luck!
Cynthia Pickett, LCSW