I watched a movie the other day. If you know me, this is a rarity in my household. We have a tendency to not create a lot of time for movies, but lately...well...I have really been enjoying the distraction. But this particular movie, 28 Days, really got me thinking. The character, Gwen (played by Sandra Bullock) is an alcoholic. Like most, she drinks to cover pain and escape the beauty all around her. She hits her rock bottom and is sentenced to recovery...for 28 days. In the beginning of her recovery, the counselor gives an exercise in lifting up the back of a horse's leg. Gwen tries unsuccessfully several times throughout her treatment, but it isn't until the last day that she realizes she has been trying to lift the horse's leg up the SAME way every time. It wasn't until she shifted her way of doing something that she was successful. It wasn't until she changed her pattern of reacting and handling problems, was she able to accomplish what she wanted.
It wasn't until she unlearned everything she had learned throughout her life about survival and replaced it with new ways of thinking about living, did her life shift.
Readers...I get it. Staying in our comfort zone, doing what we know, coping with our problems the same way...all of that feels safe. It may even be easier. It may even sometimes be necessary, as it helps us to survive. But survival is no longer what we are after. Living on autopilot is no longer useful. Doing the same things over and over again will get you exactly where you are right now. In pain. And friends, we don't have time for that anymore. Our beautiful life is moving right past us. And before you know it, all of the people that were once in it loving you, will have moved on. All of the wonderful experiences you could have been having, have been passed up. The time is now.
Because really...that is all we have.
And if we stay stuck...if we stay in our old patterns, it blocks us from the things we need to allow to happen in order for healing...real healing...to take place.
And when we do the same thing over and over again, when we solve our problems the same way over and over again, we will get the same results. And if we want to heal...if we want to grow...it just may be time to shift.
Our patterns may have been the way we learned to survive, but they may not be the way we want to continue to live. It's time to dig deep, friends...
All of the drinking, the ignoring of things that matter, the sweeping things under the rug. The overeating, the yelling, the arguing. The smoking, self-harm, sabotaging behavior. The busy-ness, the distractions, the cell phone checking. They are all patterns. They all contribute to our way of being, over time. They all contribute to us losing awareness of what really matters and then the programming just takes over. It's what we are used to. It's what is comfortable. But it no longer serves us.
Take that chance. Do one thing today that starts the reprogramming. Reach out to someone you need to. Go for that walk, bike ride or run when the impulse to do something old arises. Recognize your patterns. Sit with them. Dissect them. Move them through. Write, sing, dance, connect...and above all...love. Be gentle with yourself during this process. Be gentle with others during your process. We are all just doing the very best we can...and that is the beginning of something really meaningful.