When we look at our lives or at the lives of others, we can see life through one of two ways, or as a combination of the two.
On one side we can see that there are patterns to how we behave, think and feel and in how other people behave. And on the other side, we could also view our internal processes and external behaviour and the behaviour of others as random.
This could also be described as a habit; with this being a word that is probably more familiar than the word pattern. Habits are part of being human and this means that they are not negative or positive per se.
They are neutral and what makes them negative or positive is whether they are empowering or disempowering to our life.
It could be a habit to wake up and to go to bed at a certain time of the day, to walk or drive a certain route, to eat a specific type of food each day and to exercise on fixed days of the week.
Each of the above could be empowering habits to have and ones that lead to, at the very least, a productive day and at the most, a productive existence.
As well as the habits of routine that were mentioned above, there will also be the thinking patterns that one typically has; these could range from how one sees oneself, to how one sees
They could be thoughts that never seem to disappear or thoughts that are consistently trigged during interactions with the same or opposite sex for example. Being in a certain environment could also bring about patterns of thought.
There can even be patterns when it comes to the emotions that one has. These could be negative or positive and cause one to feel good about who they are and at ease with their life. Or it could lead one to feeling negative about themselves and experience periods of anxiety and fear.
And these experiences could occur: during certain situations, around certain people, different times of the year, and different stages of a relationship.
What the above two will form is ones behavioural patterns. And whether one is reacting to life or simply responding; will be the result of what is going on in their ego mind. The way that the ego mind interprets what it experiences will then define ones behaviour.
This could be a behavioural pattern that one has and after behaving in this way, wonders why they did; as the behaviour doesn’t lead to one feeling empowered or to the fulfilment of one’s goals.
One can then end up feeling that they have no control over their behaviour and are at the mercy of some external power or force.
What each of these things represents is familiarity to the ego mind. And once something has achieved the association of being classed as familiar, it is then interpreted as safe. And from here the ego mind will be comfortable with whatever this habit is.
How, it doesn’t matter if this habit of empowering if disempowering; all that matters is that it is familiar and therefore safe to the mind.
So this means that the ego mind is, by its very nature, a creator of habits and this is how it functions to ensure its own survival.
And if habits are part of being human and cannot be completely removed, it shows the importance of being self aware. Habits are only negative when they no longer lead to growth and start to lead one in the opposite direction.
If our ego mind didn’t function through habits and patterns there would be far too much going on and our attention would be consumed by different stimulus. So these lead to more of a streamlined existence.
And this could be the result of how life was for human beings many hundreds of years ago, where ones ability to survive was based on one’s ability to make quick decisions. And as well as saving time; it also saves energy.
We can see this in modern day life; with how much easier it is to function. If one had to think about how to open a door or how to drive a car each time, it would take up far too much time.
As a result of these habits and patterns being around for so long and the only way that one’s ego mind knows; they may seem like the truth and the only possible way to function. Ultimately, the only reason they are there is because they are familiar.
We can meet a stranger and before long they are classed as a friend and the experience of this person being a stranger is no longer there. It is then natural and normal to feel comfortable
and at ease in their presence
On the other hand, having known someone for many years, we can begin to drift away from that person. And although we used to feel comfortable during our moments together, we can start to feel uncomfortable around them.
This is perhaps a dynamic that happens more in an intimate relationships than it does in relationships between two friends. However, in many ways it mirrors the way the ego mind works.
In both cases, these are both human beings, what is different is the ego minds associations of the two people. As these have changed, how the ego mind interprets them also changes.
In order for any change to take place, one needs to firstly be aware of what needs to change and to believe that change is possible. From here, one can take the steps to making that a reality.
We are all different and this means that different approaches will be needed. For some, reading a book that goes into this in depth may be enough. And for others, some form of coaching or therapy will be needed. There are many resources and options available to assist in this.
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Oliver J R Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.