One of the most common notions we share as survivors of trauma is that life isn’t fair. Coming out of our childhood, it is not only understandable. It is true. Life isn’t fair. We had horrific childhoods. We didn’t get the love we deserved as children. We were forced to live in a state of fear. Our bodies and minds were damaged to meet the needs of others. And it is not self-pity to acknowledge that. It is a fact and we need to validate our experiences as unfair. Honestly, the only way we can heal is to allow ourselves to understand the extent of our emotional pain.
But there is a problem. It gets worse. When we get to adulthood, life continues to be unfair. It continues to hit us with the same crap we spent an entire childhood trying to escape. It feels like we are in a constant state of punishment and retaliation from the universe. We keep attracting people who trigger us. Bad things seem to inundate us at every turn. No matter how hard we try, we can’t seem to create the life we always wanted. And it is completely unfair.
Not surprisingly, our reactions to these experiences are not pretty. Our controllers blow a gasket because they are trying to be perfect. And life keeps interrupting their completely unrealistic goals. Our love seekers get more triggered and desperate, making worse and worse choices with every move. Our isolators get more convinced that hiding is the only option. Our self hate is continually fueled. And our freedom fighters give up. The futility and hopelessness can feel overwhelming.
But believe it or not, there is a different side to these patterns of the past that won’t seem to quit. While our controllers’ approach to the world is to plow through life with all our buried trauma, that is not what we are here to do. We are here to process our experiences and heal ourselves on a deep level. Why? Our dreams lie on the other side of this healing and the universe doesn’t want us to miss out. So while our controllers are telling us to go through the motions and get through life, the universe is saying, “Don’t forget about this stuff over here.”
For every pattern that repeats in our lives, we are being called to wake up. Maybe we need to remember repressed memories. Maybe we need to process the futility and grief of this lifetime we never wanted. Maybe we need to see how an inner part is running the show instead of our adult self. But ultimately, there is something that needs to change. It could be our awareness, actions or thought processes. But we have to do, say or think in a different way so we can move toward the life we want. When our patterns are repeating and our pain is unbearable, it is time to ask ourselves some important questions.
What is the pattern coming from childhood? Even the most random events in our adult lives can be sourced from our childhood. The patterns are almost never obvious. Our dissociation can keep us from seeing them. And some childhood patterns are subtle in nature. We may even be dealing with repressed childhood memories. But if we look hard enough, if we pay attention to the clues from the universe, we can figure out how we are repeating our childhood patterns. And once we see them, we can begin to shift out of them.
What am I supposed to be learning from this? When our pattern repeats, there are traumatic beliefs affecting how we view life. These beliefs might tell us we aren’t good enough for anything better. They might inform us that we are meant to be punished. But no matter what, they are lies from our abusers. If we can build awareness of these beliefs, we can begin to see how they are attracting our patterns into our lives. We can also see how we are rejecting better patterns. As we express these beliefs through writing from our inner parts, our patterns can begin to shift.
What can I do differently this time? To break a cycle, we will need to take new actions in our lives. Taking new action requires us to face fears. We have to do scary things like set boundaries with people who are asking too much or express ourselves authentically at the right moment. We will almost always feel fear when we take a new action. But it is important to drive through the action while honoring the need to express the fear. There is nothing that makes more positive change happen than a series of small actions we have never taken before.
The next time you feel like you have been hit upside the head with a baseball bat from the universe, take a minute to consider how this might have been what you needed to wake up. This is communication from the universe saying, “I want you to have more than this. Go and get it.” How can you take your life in a new direction, make a new decision or think a new way? You deserve to have a life without your traumatic patterns. You deserve what lives on the other side of those patterns. But you will have to purposefully redirect those patterns. It can’t happen any other way.