You fall into this pattern: things are going well, as if you’re gliding down the road of life timing all the traffic lights perfectly.
Then suddenly out of nowhere, something appears in front of your path and blocks your way. Your progress comes to a screeching halt. You don’t know where the familiar obstacle came from, why it is has returned, or how to get past it.
You are confused and disoriented. You wonder, why is this happening to me?
Your once peaceful mind changes to a frustrated apprehension. It’s a mixed message that is perplexing; on one hand you think, Why is this happening to me? Meanwhile, deep down you feel another question: What is wrong with me? Either way, you take it personally and the love you have for yourself diminishes and throws your life out of balance.
These are two very different questions.
Why is this happening to me? is externalizing the experience. Nothing happens independently from you. Seeing things outside and separate is the victim mentality. It does not take responsibility. Everything is cause and effect! This may be the karma from a past life or this life.
If you can’t see this, it is just a lack of understanding and memory of cause and effect; you don’t remember what you did in past lives, or even understand what you did in this life to bring about these consequences.
The other question, What is wrong with me? is self-judgment. While what is happening is the effect of something that you have caused, you have to let go of this idea of judging yourself.
What is the correct perspective to aid in overcoming the self-limiting pattern?
To begin with, how you react to problems in your life will determine whether or not you are creating the space to become more authentic. Accepting and letting go of judgment creates the environment for awareness and understanding.
It’s not what happens to you that determines who you are, but how you react. This doesn’t mean that you didn’t create the condition for this experience, it just means that you aren’t going to reinforce the pattern by reacting the same way you have in the past.
You have a choice.
You can react with self-judgment and reinforce the pattern; or accept the situation without condemning the self and act with understanding.
If you choose the first way of dealing with the situation, you are reinforcing the pattern. Your reaction will be based on the emotional and physical stimulus that the condition creates. However, if you accept the experience without judgment, you create the environment for understanding. It is understanding that will provide the capacity to overcome the pattern.
Sometimes you are able to clearly understand the cause and effect of the pattern. However, more often your understanding is limited to just the effect. How do you eliminate the pattern in these two different scenarios?
There are two ways to kill a weed.
The first method is to get a good hold of the bottom of the weed and pull it out by its roots. This is equivalent to understanding the origin of the pattern and correcting the cause to prevent the effect.
The second way is to deprive the weed of nutrients until it eventually dies. This is analogous to knowing the effect of a pattern without understanding the cause. As long as you are aware of the behavior pattern of your reaction, you can correct it without understanding the cause. Eventually, the new reaction will become your pattern because you didn’t reinforce the old pattern by reacting to the stimulus as in the past.
Make room for love.
It is easy to get down on yourself when you experience difficulties, especially when they are patterns that are frequently repeating.
The feeling that the love you have for yourself is diminishing is an experience of the ego. The ego feels hurt and insufficient. To overcome this feeling of lost self-worth, you need to let go of aspects of the ego that you have built up.
You are identifying with the mind. The ego is just a collection of thoughts emanating from the mind. Furthermore, you are fixing your self-worth to these thoughts. When something is contradicting these thoughts, the ego is no longer able to protect you.
Moreover, you are mistaking an emotion for love. Emotion is a temporary feeling. Love is your natural state. It doesn’t change based on how you feel. You need to focus your worth on the true self–the soul. This never changes! Even when you are going through the most trying times, the eternal self remains the same. However, if you receive your worth from the temporary, you will suffer when it inevitably changes.
Another thing to keep in mind is that doing the same thing everyday and expecting a different life is the essence of ignorance. Similarly, you react the same way, reinforcing old patterns and can’t understand why you are having the same problems throughout your life.
You need to let go of all the restrictions that you put on yourself through false identification. Let go of who you think you are to become who you are.