By Frank Walsh | CEOptions Certified Pattern Breakthrough Coach
It’s not you, it’s me… Well it’s also you, but with some guidance I have seen how the patterns of my past influenced our relationship.
I started to feel it in my mid 40’s. Things were different. I had evolved, you had changed. You didn’t make me happy anymore and I started to hate you for it. Still, we had been through a lot, so I didn’t want to quit. I felt I could fix things. I believed you had so much to learn from me if you would just accept it.
By 50 it was all over except the tears. I only saw you as irrational, controlling and heartless. But I know you were just doing what comes naturally, and I was playing my roll of the Rebel. I couldn’t fix you, so I would watch you destroy yourself with smug satisfaction, except that it wasn’t satisfying, it was saddening.
So I quit my job and left the company. What did you think I was talking about? I very much love my wife and have no intention of leaving for as long as she will have me!
In his late 40’s my father grew weary of his relationship with his first wife. By 50 he had left her and moved on. He met a young, attractive farm girl who had moved to the big city. She was wide eyed with wonder at this dashing military man and she worshiped him.
It took some time and reflection to recognize that it was no small coincidence that at virtually the same point in my life as my father ‘quit’ his marriage, I quit my job. After more than 20 years in one company I was disappointed and frustrated and decided to strike out and find a new path. The action was different, but I was repeating a pattern.
More than just reflection, reaching this “aha” required help. I needed someone to look me in the eyes and ask me why I needed to leave. Someone to challenge me to own and understand my piece of it before I could move on. My coach taught me that if we don’t find the way OUT, if we can’t Observe,Understand and Transform our patterns, we will repeat them.
So today I’m dating several opportunities, some seriously, some not. I even met a petite young, attractive company who makes everything exciting and doesn’t try to control me. Still, I constantly question if each new attraction is what I thought it was, or if it will disappoint me and re-launch my rebellion.
Even in this environment that I created for myself, things trigger my inner Rebel, but that is not a surprise. Our patterns will always find us, particularly in times of crisis or stress, the trick is not to let them hijack your choices. By learning to observe our patterns and understand their roots, we unlock the ability to transform them into strengths. If you keep running into difficulty with the same kind of people in life, chances are you have a pattern, not just a problem. The solution starts with you.
When I feel frustrated and disappointed by those around me, I need to step back and ask what I can do differently to change the outcome. The Rebel will only lead to chaos, anger and distrust. By transforming my rebellion into community building, I choose to inspire the people around me to work together and make things better for everyone.
What’s your pattern?
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Blog originally appeared on Medium.com