Your life patterns are the result of your perception, or view of life, and what you believed would happen. Once you understand your personal life patterns, you will be better able to discover certain perceptions, and expectations, that led you to either negative or positive actions.
If your life patterns are framed in negativity, you can also be sure your perceptions and expectations were also negative. The more negatively your perceptions and expectations become, the greater they support any life patterns.
I had a client who came to me complaining of depression. She broke up with her boyfriend and she felt betrayed, very angry, and lost in life. She never thought he would be able to exchange her with another girl because he seemed to be caring, wise, and appeared to be spiritually mature. But it happened.
But she told me he was not the first guy. Her first serious relationship was with a drug addict for several years. When pressed why she stayed with him for a long time, she claimed that that is his only flaw and besides she took care of him whenever he had withdrawal symptoms
Her second relationship was with a married man. She got impregnated and she ended being a single mother. This relationship was also abusive. Like the first one, she also endured for a number of years.
The third and recent relationship was an offshoot to the second. She was lonely and wanting, so sheÂ had a vacation in the U.S. to mend her broken heart. And that is when she met the third guy, her classmate before. To her, he possessed almost everything in her list as the ideal man. But he wasnâ€™t perfect either. He was critical of her ways and to add insult to injury, he would use Bible verses to prove his point.
In the course of our therapy, I pointed out to her that she seemed to have a pattern of choosing men who have significant issues in their lives. And in these relationships, she appeared to be the comforter and savior. And she told me she does this because she feels needed and loved. This need to be needed, this perception of herself, is what gravitates her towards these kinds of men.
Why the need to be needed? Because she lived in an environment where she seemed to take care of everyone and that is the only way she could get the approval of those she love.
Perception is mostly forged in childhood and adolescence. It is during this time that the individual begins to form a pattern of identifying, interpreting, and organizing experiences based on his previous experiences, particularly in the home.
If a child grows up in an environment where there is affection, respect, and realistic expectations, then he may come to view the world with â€œrose-colored glassesâ€. He will filter the events of his life with positive and realistic expectations.
On the other hand, if he grows up in an environment where there is only blame and criticism, he will likely view life with â€œgray-colored glassesâ€. Life appears negative, oppressive, and filled with shadows, as in depression.
But can perceptions be changed? Yes! You just simply change your lens. But of course it is easier said than done because it will involve altering the very habits of thinking that you have been accustomed to and comfortable with all your life.
But do you still need to wait for the pain to become unbearable or your life ruined to finally begin to correct your way of viewing the world and your experiences? It might be too late. Next week, ill share some ways that will help us change our â€œgray-colored glassesâ€ into rainbows.
For consultations, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Send your kids also to Bohol Child Head Start. Find us on Facebook or you may contact 416-1248/09295571136. (By Kit Nemenzo Balane)