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  • Amanda Hoock

Going within to allow for the experience to change.

Have you ever quit your job for something different, broke up with someone and started dating someone new or moved to another city for more opportunity? Every time you made these changes you felt invigorated and inspired. You were finally moving in the right direction, a more positive one. You were finally giving yourself permission to allow in the good that you felt you deserved. Others congratulated you for making the much-needed change. As time passed, that initial euphoria you felt from the change began to settle down and things started to feel familiar. The initial transition provided you with new feelings, faces, places and experiences. You were enveloped in possibility. Then suddenly things became recognizable, not because you were now settled into this new reality, but because you were falling back into old patterns. Essentially you were in the same position you were before leaving your job, breaking up with your partner or moving to a new city. Except now you were with different people and places. As things continued to remain stagnant, your mind reflected back on your past and you think to yourself here I am again, this always happens to me! Your friends and family would call to see how this new life was treating you and you would notice your explanation for the new was eerily like your description of the past. You begin ruminating in those negative thoughts that came so naturally, I never received proper training, they stopped calling me a few days ago and won’t return any of my messages, or I can’t seem to catch a break.

Of course, your friends and family also notice the similar pattern. What was once congratulations from friends and family now transformed into distance and frustration. A person is only able to handle the same story over and over before it becomes too frustrating to listen to anymore, or in some cases, too annoying to have to keep filling their truck with your stuff! They may start to think or even gossip “they are never happy no matter what they do”, “ok, here we go again, the next bad relationship”, or “I have to remember next time to not buy a truck.” Consequentially, your support for change becomes less and less, yet your dispassion with your current experience drives you to make another change. So, you make one, you find something new, and shortly thereafter the something new you created begins to feel familiar again. Many will never question what is happening and think that eventually the partner will be found, the job that is deserved will come along or the right city will materialize. Unfortunately, they never get to that type of peace and either settle into the victim mentality, why do all the bad things happen to me or they keep jumping to new jobs, relationships or cities, ultimately feeling defeated.

The question becomes, not what app do I use to find a date, a new city or a job, but what is happening? Well it’s simple, you want out of the uncomfortable, unhappy situation that you are currently residing and anticipate that these moves will do the trick. Your action has been inspired by removing the negative experience to eliminate the negative feelings. Hoping that a different experience would help you heal. After the move is made, you get to have a short reprieve from the past negative experience, but it doesn’t last long. The original feeling that forced you to make a change has returned. Again, you start the process over only to end up in a very similar situation. You are tired of this, but don’t understand why this keeps happening to you. Basically, your focus has been on the external. You changed the person or place but didn’t go within.

You skipped the entire reason for why you were originally at the job that repeatedly gave you an upset stomach on Sunday evening, why you were with that person who wasn’t good for you or living in the city that didn’t give you success. It wasn’t the experience that was creating the bad feeling in you, it was what was emanating from inside you that was bringing you the experience. The situation that would bring those negative emotions (i.e., anger, boredom, lack of love, sadness) and experiences. We don’t necessarily live in a world that appreciates working on the internal to change the outward experience. When you complain to a friend about your current experience don’t you normally hear “well get a new job”, “ask for that promotion”, “dump that jerk”, “you can make so much more money living in this city”, or “you will be able to find a better job there”. Think to yourself, do your friends ever ask, what’s going on inside of you? I would say unless your friend is a therapist, coach or generally interested in the inner self, you will not likely hear that type of question when you are in the darkness.

It’s difficult to put the experience on yourself. It tends to be much easier to blame others. Putting it on ourselves opens us up to being vulnerable to our failures. This may bring shame and who wants to feel that emotion? Of course, these particular people or places are making you unhappy, but it’s ultimately your internal state that allowed these people and experiences to form in your current reality. Generally, the internal work is not pleasant. During my time in therapy, I recall thinking to myself, If I knew what this was going to be about, I would have never started it. Although after completing therapy my thoughts were more like, Now that I know how good things can become, I would do that process over and over again. We are always a work in progress, we are always able to keep moving toward our potential, but if we don’t examine the reasons why we continue to have similar experiences in our lives we won’t be able to get far. Patterns have to be broken, beliefs need to be examined and replaced with ones that promote growth. Unless we go internal to examine these beliefs, we stay in the cyclical pattern indefinitely. Although once we go internal and make those changes from within, our external world starts to reflect those modifications and at that point fundamental changes are inevitable.

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