03 Sep Bonus YSS: A common trap the past sets: repetition!
Your friend Amy flits from one nasty boyfriend to the next. What is the deal with these mean boys? Why does Amy, a totally sweet person, choose these boys who treat her like discarded gum trapped on the bottom of their shoes? It drives you bonkers. You totally see what she keeps doing. She tells you all the horrible things and when you ask her why, why do you keep dating jerks? She says, “He’s not a jerk. No, he’s so nice to me.” And you want to shake Amy until she wakes up and sees the truth.
Then one day you go to Amy’s house and her father is there working from home. You’ve met him only once before on a sleep over, so you politely say hello and go up to Amy’s room. A few minutes later you hear him screaming at Amy’s mother, the sweetest woman on the planet. He is telling her that her cooking is terrible and that she needs to lose weight. You hear her go upstairs and change her outfit, return to him and ask, “Is this ok?” You are mortified. This is what Amy witnesses as a role model for how a man treats a woman? Suddenly it all makes sense. Amy has no idea that she should be treated better because her father treats her mother just as horribly as Amy allows the boys to treat her.
We often repeat the past until we learn the lesson, grow from it and move on.
Amy is repeating what she knows. She hasn’t seen what a loving, supportive relationship might look like. She may be looking for a wonderfully loving partner, like she sees in the movies sometimes, but until she makes the connection between how her father treats her mother and how she allows boyfriends to treat her, she is going to repeat the experiences. This is why understanding your past can be so helpful- it can help people to break negative patterns from the past.
We will continue to repeat patterns of destructive behavior until we learn the lesson. To learn the lesson we need to connect the dots (with courage and honesty), set a goal (make a plan and use discipline) and free ourselves of negative feelings so we can live a happier and more productive life!
Then help a friend do the same!