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Pattern matching part 2. Thursday October 3, 2013

So, we have patterns within us that fire off in response to activating agents outside of us.

Yesterday I heard Phil Collins singing on the radio and it brought me back in an instant to 1982, where I was living, who I was with, emotions and thoughts about that time. That information is inside me, lying there dormant until triggered by something. This process is often at work and largely serves me. But there are many times when it also causes bother.

When something happens today where I feel rejected this rapidly taps into similar situations of rejection from the past and I become easily flooded with the same sort of physiological arousal and emotions associated with that earlier experience.

It's easy to see this working with music, old photos, places we visit, people we see. But it's often very subtle and simply not obvious. I may not make the connection between what I 'think' is upsetting me and the original trigger that established the pattern.

If we can just be quiet for a moment, either at the point of some pattern getting fired off, or, if not possible then, even later on when we can review it, and if we just watch inside and wait, we may often find the original source of the upset.

In finding it, recognising it and seeing it for what it is, a part of our past, we can let it be just that. Then it loses its power over us.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment on our Blogspot:

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Anonymous Thu, Oct 3rd 2013 @ 8:35am

Nice post, Bill. Music has that power. If it inspires you to share, it's all good.

Neil Stamper Thu, Oct 3rd 2013 @ 11:16am


denisthemenace Thu, Oct 3rd 2013 @ 11:32am

This is so true. I often find myself upset, anxious or depressed, and am totally bemused why it has happened. I've been tootling along ok and then wham - where did that come from? Eventually, on reflection things begin to make sense, and my reactions are no longer surprising.
But there is always a gap between the feelings and the realisation of what's causing them. Frustrating! Must try gently watching and waiting.
This is a really good post. Love the line ..." time when it also causes bother". Thanks.

Neil Carson Thu, Oct 3rd 2013 @ 11:56am

Very good read and very true.

Anonymous Thu, Oct 3rd 2013 @ 1:27pm

the one pattern/thing that ihave difficulty with is worrying about what other ppl think of me . i was bullied severly all through school and even college. when ppl whisper at a meeting and i am talking it makes me want to cry or scream. i am so insecure. i wish ic oudl be ableto JUST STOP IT but i am super self conscious . john bolby was the father of attachment theory in regard to babies and how they attach to their primary caregivers and what they are like when they grow up. there is secure attached, insecure attached, avoidant and preoccupied attachment. I am the latter. due to being neglected to some extent as a child and having no siblings and adults who cared for me but were too busy to spend time with me, along with my absent father, and all the bullying, i am certainly preoccupied iwth attachment or in other words-positive attention from others and being obsessed with what others thing, easily hurt by the mildest critisism. when peopel give me compliments i always thin,, was that back handed? did htey really mean that? Like at a workshop the other day about using drama to promote reading comprehension i was ri ght in there doing the acting bits and volunteering, and i attended because i am comfy with that stuff and most peopel arent and i thought it would help the group to bring some energy to it and also help the presenter, and i would have fun. consequently i was up there a lot doing the drama bits and then some staff were whispering behind their hands . i was angry. i wanted to throw stones at them and i wanted to cry all at the same time. i assumed they must be talking about me.....but i will neve rknow. perhaps they werent . the next day a teacher said '''so have you gotten your Emmy yet?" and iwas like 'uh no'' and then i thought ya she wasnt just joking around she was saying that bc they all think im a show off, they interpreted me wrong, they dont like me. now ive made a mistake at work. they all think im an attention whore and a show off-misinterpreting my intentions and i thought about that ALL DAY AND NIGHT. i want to let go of this pattern and move on. it is a waste of time and energy and it really doesn tmatter what ppl think of me . when it comes to work all i need to worry about is my performance on the job and how i treat others and conduct myself at meetings, not social stuff and what ppl think of my personal traits but this is a VERY hard pattern for me to break. any suggestions?

Bill Andrews Thu, Oct 3rd 2013 @ 11:55pm

Hi Anonymous,
Thanks for taking the time to explain your experience. I guess what it sort of boils down to is about the tyranny of the past overwhelming the present. We cannot go back and actually redo whatever experiences we have had that we now see as unhelpful but we can set ourselves up for success in limiting their effect on us now today. In many ways I guess this is like rowing a boat upstream against a strong current. It isn't easy and it requires effort and concentration. Sometimes finding some simple method that might work for you can help. For example, asking a simple question like..'What else could this mean?'. After all, the endless rattle of thoughts that spin us out of control are just nothing other than make-up anyway so we might as well make up a supporting story. 'What else could this mean?' about the people whispering behind their hands might be..'These people are shy and wish they could have the courage to be as extrovert as I am but are hiding behind their hands because they don't know what else to do'. It may be true. It may not. But then it is just as likely to be so as any other story you make up so you may as well make up a story that supports you. This is not easy and it takes practice. We need to learn to find that space within us, to see we have choices. It's hard to see at first but we do have choices. Sometimes old patterns are so ingrained that we might need help to dissolve or weaken them but that help is out there. But there is much we can do for ourselves, day by day, moment by moment.
I wish you all the very best.

Anonymous Fri, Oct 4th 2013 @ 12:30am

Hi anonymous, please don't worry about what other people think of you. What does it matter. You helped out on this occasion to bring pleasure to other people and I know there aren't many people who would have offered to do this. You were doing, as you say, what most people aren't comfortable doing and I'm sure everyone appreciated it. You can't be criticised for that and I'm sure they weren't doing that. Have you ever thought they might be saying how good you were or talking about the fact that they couldn't have done that themselves.

Anonymous Fri, Oct 4th 2013 @ 8:59am

Very interesting - & useful post + comments. I'm reading Anthony Robbins' Awaken the Giant Within & find it helps to face this sort of destructive thinking - finally, we are our worst enemies, ppl whispering may well be telling each other their relief at not being in front of the group - s'thing most ppl are scared stiff of.

Anonymous Fri, Oct 4th 2013 @ 9:06am

PS: there's an NLP exercise that is used to change how the past affects us.
I think Anthony Robbins explains it in 'Unlimited Power' another VERY helpful book that can change so many things.

G Fri, Oct 4th 2013 @ 4:03pm

In my case, I identify the matching patterns but it hurts my loved one's feeling because they don't like to be categorised as the same people in my past. Also, I perceive almost every little thing from an abused victim's perspective.

Through my psychologists I learn that there are coincidences. So when the same pattern occurs again I reassure myself that is just a coincidence (especially when the pattern bothers me emotionally). It was really hard at first, especially when I was at my worst, impulsively cried and shouted in the public. Time can really change almost everything, including your personality and perception. I can react more peacefully now.

I understand how the second Anonymous feels. It will get better.

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