Here’s one pattern I see repeating across my life:
- I have friends. I belong to a group. We have fun.
- Then, times get hard, people stop hanging out, stop making excuses to get together. This can be as much as economic hard times (2006-2008) or as little as “it’s winter and we don’t want to walk to the bus stop if we don’t have to” (1998 - 99).
- Internally, I take “people not going out of their way to do stuff with me” to be a personal rejection in some way. I get anxious about whether or not it means I offended somebody, if it was something that I did, if it was a rejection of someone I let into my life... generally anxious about what it means about ME that I’m no longer on the A-list. Even if there isn’t an A-list and people just aren’t into being social right then.
- Feeling anxious makes me pull away even further from people, to prevent them from hurting me. Meanwhile, if they notice me pulling away, they ??? [assume that I’m doing it for my own reasons?] [wonder if they’ve offended me and feel anxious about not being wanted?] [WOW - here’s a really deep part of that pattern - I keep trying to read their minds to see why they let me pull back when, really, I don’t know what they’re thinking. And since “they” are more than one person, each of them could be thinking something completely different.]
- Cycle continues in a spiral until eventually, I give up and move to another city, where I (hopefully) make new friends and start over. After a few years, it's highly likely that something will happen to trigger the same pattern.
It's hardly the first time I've noticed this pattern, and it's repeated about 3 times so far. It came to my notice this morning after Shiva Nata, so I wrote it down. Right now, I'm not feeling a huge amount of pain relating to this pattern, which makes it easier to look at. But I also don't know what to do with it. I mean - it's BIG!
Now that I've asked the question - what do I DO with this pattern, some sparkly possibilities are approaching me (they're like fireflies!)
- I could write up a "personal ad" asking a solution to get in touch with me.
- I could talk to FutureMe who has already moved past this pattern to see what advice she has.
- I could keep on with the self-compassion study and the Shiva Nata and see if they combine in interesting ways to open doors I can't see now.
- I could ask the monkeys that keep me awake at night if they could hammer out something while I'm sleeping
- I could do a LOT more writing on it.
Commenting Picnic Shelter
What I'm open to receiving:
- Your history with a similar pattern
- Warm wishes
What I'm not open to receiving:
- Advice on how to handle this pattern
- Advertisements for your patented Problem Solving Method