For the last week I’ve noticed that I’ve been slipping back into old patterns. Maybe it has to do with being on family vacation for two weeks and it being so easy to morph back into an older version of myself, but I’m no longer so interested in the why and more on what to do about it.
Why is a question we start asking at a young age. We’re curious. We want to figure out what we don’t understand. And while at that age our curiosity lead to moments of complete awe and wonder, most of my why questions these days leave me with more of the same and less of the a ha moment I’m seeking.
So I’ve been asking myself a different question. Not why, but how.
How can falling back into old habits be a message for me? What are my reactions telling me to pay attention to?
And what I’m learning is that blurting something out that is hurtful, or shutting down and rolling my eyes is actually there to help me check in.
The message is saying, “Hey, Cynthia, something’s up and something’s off. Your insides aren’t matching your outsides.”
So I did the above exercise and got really quiet and closed my eyes and asked myself what was missing right now or what wasn’t connecting for me. I went through a small checklist.
Am I feeling something that I’m not expressing: No
Am I holding myself back from doing something I want to do: No
Am I ignoring a part of who I am: Yes
Imagine we’re all made up of different boxes. There’s the fun box. There’s the calm box. There’s the loud box. There’s the quiet box. There’s the adventurous box. There’s the travel box. There’s the sad box. There’s the secure box. There’s the growth box. There’s the expression box.You get the idea.
Well, to make sure that I’m speaking in a way that’s kind, honest, and helpful, I need to make sure all my boxes are open. If one of them is taped shut resentment creeps in, I start talking to myself in a negative way, I start comparing my insides to others outsides, I start reacting more than responding, making rash judgments and decisions instead of calm and conscious ones.
It turns out that my adventurous box was closed and because of that I felt incapable of doing things on my own, scared to try new things, isolated, and like I wasn’t taking advantage of being alive.
I could go ahead and blame the sealed box on any number of things, but instead of wallowing in the why and getting stuck there I owned it and opened up the box.
So here’s to seeing old patterns differently. Letting them be a message to check in and possibly take stock of your boxes to see if one of them has been taped shut.by