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Repeating Unhelpful Patterns And How To Change,  By Wendy Bramham

Repeating unhelpful patterns and how to change, by Wendy Bramham

Edited large nautilusThe lovely nautilus image reflects the natural cycles or spirals of development and growth whereby we re-visit old, repetitive (and often unconscious) psychological patterns. With raised self-awareness and increasing insights – through therapy for instance – these patterns can gradually evolve and transform.


In other words, if we can become more conscious of our feelings, thoughts and actions we can free ourselves to make better choices the next time around; and to be who we are rather than being determined by past experiences.  The following anonymous poem demonstrates this cycle:

1.   I walk down the street

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk
I fall in
I am lost… I am helpless… it isn’t my fault
It takes forever to find a way out.

2.    I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in this same place.
But it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

3.   I walk down the same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in… it’s a habit.. but,
my eyes are open
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

4.   I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

5.    I walk down another street.  

The ‘hole’ could be any self-defeating psychological pattern. I personally prefer the word ‘responsibility’ instead of ‘fault’, as this feels more productive and less liable to generate guilt.  After all, each of us has an unconscious!
By: Wendy Bramham
July 2014
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