What Can I Do When I See the
Same Patterns Over and Over?
Change Your Script
All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,…
In my view, we are the authors of the play, the producers, the director, the players, the audience, and the play itself. If we look at life from this vantage point, there are many juicy perspectives to explore in any given situation. If we explore more deeply, eventually we come to understand that our life’s purpose is to choose experiences, whether imaginal or actualized. So, for me a useful way to look at life is:
I am the decider of my destiny. How and why I make those decisions is fed back to the Field of All Possibilities where this information is reviewed, cataloged, and stored. This is my contribution to life.
Does the Field care what choices I make? “No.” So, I don’t find the concepts of “doing the right thing” or “being on target with God’s will” to be useful at all. What I do find helpful is the foundation that I am unique, and when I make choices that are authentic to who I am, I am consistent with my design as a human being.
Why Do Patterns Keep
Repeating in My Life?
We all have a single friend who desperately wants a romantic partner. We get a call from her or him asking us to meet the next candidate who “is just perfect and is the one.” Since we really care about our friend, we go ahead and make the meetup. When we get there, we realize that the new candidate is just like the old ones – he/she has approximately the same hair and eye color, posture and stature, uses some of the same words and phrases, has the same interests, tells stories similar to ones you’ve heard before. It’s almost eery how similar the new guy or gal is to the old ones. I lovingly describe this phenomena as “same menu, different restaurant.”
Why does our friend keep repeating the pattern, picking similar guys/gals, who never make them happy, over and over? It’s because they are running a script. Where does the script come from? Your scripts come from your past. They are a synthesis of memories from every relationship and circumstance you have had from pre-birth to this moment. Initially, your scripts were developed as a mechanism to insure your survival, and if you never shift the content to something else, you will continue to run survival scripts.
Let me give you an example. Your first scene probably was with your Mother. If you developed a strong loving bond with her, and she was able to care for you in a way you could perceive as positive, safe, and secure, then your script about women in authority or power will have a positive flavor. Every relationship you have with a female authority figure after that will forge a strong bond and increase your feelings of positivity, safety, and security with older women. Conversely, if this foundational relationship had problems, the problems will repeat in every relationship with women in authority, unless or until you change the script.
How to Change Your Script –
(1) Observe Your Life
My Indigenous Elders recommend a practice where I create an imaginary observer who sits on my right or left shoulder. The job of this tiny imaginal double is to watch me as I go through life. Then, when I want more information about what is going on around me, I ask my observer, “What did you see?” “How did you experience that?” I am astounded about the amount of useful information the observer has, and it’s often my observer who first catches that I am in unconscious patterned behavior in a particular circumstance.
How to Change Your Script –
(2) Decide to Change the Pattern
I’ve found over time that the reason why I get stuck, why most people get stuck, in a pattern is that they don’t believe they can change it or that making the change will be difficult. Nothing is further from the truth. In fact, changing a script is so easy that I often wonder why I don’t choose to do so more often. Just like the director of a play who doesn’t like a particular performance, you can say, “Cut”or “Next Scene,” and “Rewrite.” So, you basically tell the Universe that you are changing the script and then you rewrite the script or develop a new script (Yes, it’s perfectly okay to ditch a project you no longer enjoy and develop another one!) The trick is that you have to walk away from the old script and stay committed to the new script, regardless of how the other players are acting in the moment.
Example of a Script Change
I was working with a client whose relationship with her significant other was deteriorating rapidly on every level. After a few sessions where we took a good look at the pattern, I started asking questions, “If you could have anything you want, what would it be? Would he leave? Would he stay? “Once that decision is made, what would that look like?” So, my client went away from the pivotal session with own work. We agreed that she would imagine what her relationship could be like, what would bring her joy and fulfillment with her man, and let me know what she decided. This lady developed an amazing new script where the man she fell in love with returned to her life. Then, her follow through clinched the deal – she started treating him as if the man she fell in love with was present. No matter how her guy played his life script, she acted as if he had shifted to the new script she wrote. That was the game changer – she shifted the script and stayed committed to acting from the new script.
Here are the steps to changing your script:
Observe the Pattern
Make Notes about How the Pattern Functions and ask yourself, “How conscious am I when this happens?”
Ask yourself questions like, “What about this works for me?” “What doesn’t work for me?” “What feels good?” “What doesn’t feel good?”
Rewrite the Scene or Write a New Script. You can maintain what is working and feels good, as part of your conscious choice. You can delete scenes, change them, or write an entirely new play.
Remember your play is your choice, and those who have the most successful life scripts consciously make decisions that are consistent with who they really are.