Thirty years ago I built a very large business with $400m plus of assets but in the economic downturn lost it. More devastating however was I lost my family as well. I was forced to see my kids every two weeks as the result of a divorce. As a result of that event I decided I wanted to know what had caused me to make the decisions that lead to that outcome. So I enrolled into a personal development seminar and I had an awakening in myself and began to see the world differently. Some of the filters had disappeared and I also discovered we all use patterns.
I then took it further and over the last 30 years now understand why people do what they do. I got to see that people want success but they want love and peace more. I met lots of people who had enormous amounts of material things but were lacking peace and love. The material things weren’t satisfying them. Finding that balance between having the material things and the satisfying interior life became my passion.
I also studied the spiritual texts like the Tao Te Ching and the Bhagavad Gita along with some of the other Hindu Vedic texts. I started a seminar myself and it became a great laboratory by intimately seeing and experiencing thousands of people’s lives. What I got to see was the same thing that was in the texts was occurring with people so now it became practical. I saw how we frame things up for ourselves. Most of us live in patterns of reactions controlled by the ego and formed from things that occurred to us in the past. We live the same money problems, the same relationship problems and the same coping mechanisms like stress, anxiety and depression.
These patterns are formed by four main things:
- The family I grew up in.
- The major influencers I met like teachers.
- Events that occurred.
- The culture I grew up in.
A great example is when I was about five I was sitting in the school grounds eating my lunch and the wind blew it out into the quadrangle and I had to walk out into the middle and pick it up with the whole school laughing. When an event like that occurs we ask ourselves three questions:-
- What does this mean?
- What do I feel about it?
- What am I going to about it?
To me as a five-year old, it meant it was embarrassing, I felt hurt and I decided I would avoid the limelight and withdraw. These events become the beginning of patterns that last a lifetime if we don’t wake up to them and become aware. It’s also interesting that after an event we start to attract other events to confirm the belief. I might then walk into class and trip over confirming my belief that I don’t want to be in the limelight.
So this is why people go through numerous relationships that end the same, this is why people get sacked from jobs continuously or can never find a job they like. This is why we attract the same type of partner . The pattern will continue until we awaken to it. Awakening is coming out of that delusion and seeing things as they are without the patterns of behaviors controlling how we react to events.
We have two portions of ourselves. Two portions of our memory and physiology that stores all the positive events in life and all the negative. They don’t talk to each other. Like Microsoft Windows on one side and Apple IOS on the other. So when our ego comes up with a pattern to solve a problem like being embarrassed it will come with one such as withdrawal. Not a very positive one is it?
Other patterns it will come up with are anxiety, depression or anger. So if someone grew up in a house where there was lots of shouting and anger, then it’s easy to cope with that by being anxious, which is like a warning system that danger is about to occur. Then as an adult that person will experience anxiety all the time. Even having panic attacks over small things. So we don’t need to be taking tablets to cope with these once we realize it is a pattern and we actually have control over it.
Stress is another pattern. It’s a way to get things done. Those that use it know if they get stressed enough it becomes a motivator to finish the task. However it’s not the best motivator we can find.
One coping mechanism can be to shut down our emotions to deal with a very stressful situation. One person I know had their father die in tragic circumstances when they were very young. So they reacted by shutting down and not feeling. He then selected a very cognitive profession like accounting to work in. The pattern however causes large problems when it comes to raising a family or connecting with a team and customers. So whilst his ego knew what emotions are, he literally didn’t “feel” them in his body. We don’t do emotions in our head but in our body. If we feel fear our stomach has butterfly’s, our armpits and hands sweat etc. Most of the serotonin that we produce, ninety percent in fact, is produced in our stomach.
So once he had an experience of feeling again he could stop the pattern. There’s a great movie called “The Kid” starring Bruce Willis that demonstrates these patterns and finding freedom from them.
So freedom comes from having another experience. These patterns lock us into a set way of reacting to life. Some people might be frightened of speaking out in a relationship, having a deep intimate conversation with their partner which leads to matters building up and then exploding. Given that our divorce rates are so high, its evident we don’t run the relationship patterns well. So we studied relationships that had been happily and passionately together for fifty years. There were common things they did that kept the passion going in the relationship. Primarily being able to be emotionally present for their female partner. I have been remarried now for twenty years and she is the light of my life, the center piece of my life. That skill of being emotionally present has kept our relationship strong. It is only our ego that would run that other pattern.
I gained great patterns of money from my Mother who is really good at controlling money. Other people though did not, they watched influencers who were not good at it and now they struggle to build wealth. Now their credit card looks like the Federal Reserve Debt.
So the ego will place filters in our way. These patterns have direct and predictable results. Act a certain way in a relationship and the result is predictable. Make certain decisions in regard to money and the result is predictable. Treat a Team a certain way and the result is predictable. So it’s not the strategy that is the problem, its our ability to remove the programmed pattern and act according to what works that is.
So we must become more aware of what these patterns are for each of us and in that awareness we can remove ourselves from them.