In counselling it is common to hear the words “why does this keep happening to me?” and that is a fairly sure sign that actually, that thing that keeps happening, is to some extent, and probably unconsciously, in the control of the person asking the question. We create the patterns in our relationships with others, ourselves – often without even being aware that there is any pattern there at all.
When relationships feel like a tangled jumble of yarn, numbers, words, and painful emotions, it can help to stand back and look for the patterns. This can be very difficult alone, and someone who is not tangled up with you can very possibly see the patterns more clearly. They can then point out to you where you may be working on an algorithm that is creating a picture you don’t like, or where you have dropped stitches along the way that you need to complete a picture. In seeing the picture and the pattern more clearly, you can then start to consider which parts of it you do like, and which you don’t. And with that new clarity, that understanding of what you are actively doing to elicit the responses you are getting, you can find yourself in a new position of control. You can go back to the algorithm, and you can tweak it to change the picture slightly (or even substantially) to suit you.
Because life isn’t actually a scarf, you can’t undo all that has gone before, but you can perhaps start to improve it; to make a new pattern that fits the way you live your life now. And with this new understanding of yourself and the way you relate to, and with others, you can add and drop, in ways that make you – and those who are important to you – feel good about the pattern of your relationships as they are now.
Thanks to Fiona Goldman.