Habit Pattern! By Joseph Ghabi
Do you ever wonder about your daily routines? Think about it, from the minute you wake up in the morning until you lay your head down to sleep. Think of the habits you have become accustomed to, or what you have been programmed to do in the morning. For example, taking your shower after your coffee or smoking a cigarette with that coffee, but before you brush your teeth! Regardless of what it is, think about the many habits you accumulate over time. So it goes on…you eat, you go to work, you eat again, you talk with a colleague and then eat again. After work you come home and talk to your husband or wife about your day, eat again, then crash on the sofa and watch TV. Then after a few beers head to bed and either make love or go to sleep. Until the next morning when you will awake again and it is another day with the same routine, with its same habits and it goes on and on for days, weeks, months and even years pass you by un-noticed and, I must say, in many instances wasted! That’s an example of life for the majority of us. All we seem to do is argue about our lives and complain. Well, what’s my point? In reality, in order to break a routine or a pattern we have created in life we must first recognize the need to and then try to make some change. Otherwise nothing, just simply nothing, will ever change. It is that simple! This is the story of our earthly life!
So what’s next, well, we decide to take the initiative and to begin digging into a deeper level of thinking, and perhaps understanding, of our life here. Oh Boy! We have a headache now! Is this what we usually try? Analyzing and thinking won’t get us anywhere. We must first begin looking for a way to change, and understand the need to change, before we will see any outlet or way in which our idea for change can manifest itself.
We were born on this plane in order to grow, progress and evolve at a soul level. This is in order to gain a conscious awareness of existence, life and the essence of experiences, which brings our soul its growth from coming to experience this earth plane. That’s really great! What does that sound like to you? I know, just another load of fancy words that again will probably mean nothing to most of us! That’s great!
Just how many of us are actually aware of this ‘conscious awareness’ of our soul? Perhaps many or maybe only a few, and does it really matter? What is it that really makes it so difficult for us humans to realize our true purpose on this plane? Is it simply some pattern habit that we have become used to which has contributed to us losing sight of the truth of our being here? Or have we managed to find some other means to help us find our own truth. To help convince us otherwise, of who we really are, or should be, according to these terms? In reality it doesn’t matter when or how this has come to be, but we must now realize and see that on the grand scale of things we are stuck and we will keep turning and turning in the same circle!
Do you really think for a moment that we are born with habit patterns? The answer is usually no, however, many of our souls do carry karmic lessons from past lives because in those lives we were stuck with our habit patterns. Until we learn the lesson required to break those patterns, to elevate above them, our soul will keep dragging them from one lifetime to another making it harder for us as humans to let go of them. These habits then become our reality, in a sense, where we cannot see life as being anything different, and don’t know any better. In life’s lessons and the experiences for our soul, we do stagnate by repeating many different patterns for a simple reason. We never seem to understand our lessons, experiences and the circumstances. These were brought upon us for their real purpose, which is for bringing about a conscious awareness for our soul, and that is all.
One time when I was watching TV, Dr. Phillip C. McGraw was a guest on the ‘Oprah’ show. He was interviewing a woman (I do not recall her name) who was driving her husband nuts, all for the sake of satisfying her habit patterns. She believed things ‘should’ be done in a certain way, ‘her’ way, but never mind her husband’s way of doing it! This perception of hers was created by the accumulation of many events she experienced in her life, and which she basically had never really ‘dealt’ with. This caused her to build her own ‘safe niche’ by attempting to control the most important person in her life.
I do not recall what Dr. Phil’s response was on that matter, but my personal impression of what was going on in her case was that the situation was related to a need to have control over something in order to satisfy an internal void that resulted from previous un-dealt with experiences, perhaps from when she was a young girl. The irony is right there! We all move through life disregarding the effects of our past experiences and resist accepting them. We allow them to go on until it gets to a point where it affects our ability to have a successful relationship in the future. We resist embracing these principles and then complain by saying “how come my relationships do not work?” Why, of course they won’t ever work while we have our feet and minds stuck in the past!
Every single habit pattern has something attached to it on a conscious level and on a sub-conscious level. This is what causes it to flourish and eventually becomes our reality. We must learn to be honest, and brave enough, to go deep inside ourselves in order to get to the bottom of the problem. But who has time to do that? In reality very few people will be able to challenge themselves enough, without making all the excuses in the world to avoid handling their own reality.
What I have found interesting in our ‘human’ way of thinking is that we often seem to have a hard time admitting when we are wrong even when we already know we are. This has a lot to do with our inner security and the fact that most of us are afraid to let go of our familiar circumstances.
What is a habit pattern?
I had a discussion with a good friend of mine before I conducted a lecture on this subject. She advised me that a ‘Habit’ and a ‘Pattern’ is the same thing? I did agree with her to an extent, but somehow, writing this article did not help me to define the two. Therefore, I wrote it again.
Let me define a habit. A habit is something we pick up and insist upon repeating many times on a conscious level. This sometimes makes us disregard the fact that it is being used to cover up something else, perhaps another habit! A few examples of this could be smoking cigarettes, drinking or using drugs. These are all habits we use to replace something else which is missing in our lives.
Let me now define a pattern. A pattern is something that remains frequent on a bigger picture and is stuck in our sub-conscious, usually without us even being aware of its presence because it becomes so normal. Anytime we have a situation occurring in life that can trigger something from the depths of our sub-conscious that feels familiar to us, or similar to a previous situation, then it becomes a pattern. An example of this will be a situation of always being a ‘doormat’ for other people or constantly ending up in the same situation when it comes to your relationships, or even as far as feeling guilty.
A habit pattern is any event or experience in our life that is repeating itself over and over, time after time, year after year. This occurs even when we know on a conscious or unconscious level that this life situation is not the best for us, yet, for any seen or unseen reason we still fall into our same old trap. It is when what seems to be our own reality becomes too familiar that we will have a hard time distinguishing between what is real, or what actually is not, to us.
This will apply to everything we do in our lives. It is when we regularly fall into similar situations whether they relate to events, relationships, work, finances, with our relationships with our kids, our parents. Whatever the circumstance is, it is considered to be a habit pattern.
Why do we fall into creating our own habit patterns?
There are many reasons as to why we do this. First of all, we need to understand that we do not inherit this from our family and that it is our own personal self-inflicted attitude, towards ourselves, that creates this. Whether it is our satisfaction towards our self, our self-esteem or gratitude towards our selves, it doesn’t matter. It can still be a habit pattern. Although, some can be partly inherited from our families, it all depends on the circumstances of our upbringing. Regardless of any circumstances, we always have our ‘Free Will’. It is entirely up to us, and in the end it is our own responsibility to reverse our life events. The whole idea of the ‘ME, ME, ME’ mentality is driving many of us towards maintaining focus and attention on ‘us’ rather than on the conflicting habit pattern that we need to work towards handling, in order to manifest, a change in our life.
These patterns grow with us and are enriched by our family, culture, and religion in a direct and indirect way, in order that they become a part of who we are as individuals. In some instances you might say, “Well, I can’t let go of my past experiences or else I will lose my identity”, and you are absolutely right! But in such a case it is not about losing your identity, it’s about knowing when things are NOT working in your life and insisting on repeating the cycle just because it has become so familiar to you. As a matter of fact, our human nature seems to naturally love safety. Anything to do with new ventures or trying something new is perceived by us to be unknown territory and will be likely negated before we even try it! A simple example of this is when you ask a friend “let’s go and have some Indian or Japanese food” and their immediate reaction is “OH NO!! Indian or Japanese!” then you ask them if they have had a bad experience with it. They say “No but my friend did not like it”, or whatever lame excuse they can come up with! This is a very small example but think of the many other silly excuses we make throughout our lives whether it is in our relationships, how we deal with people, how we understand ourselves, how we deal with our own sexuality, and with sexuality altogether, as a matter of fact!
I do believe that in order to break any habit you just need to learn to try something new at least once, whatever your situation may be. But you must do it without judgment to avoid negating it before you even try. You might miss an opportunity of a lifetime if you do not. Why? There are no coincidences in life. There are experiences that are in fact all part of our growth even if it is as silly as a meal of Indian food. It is the principle behind trying it that is important, not the food itself. Think about it!
Going to India may not have to be in your mind at all, especially if your friend had a bad experience with Indian food! Imagine you tried Indian food and discovered that you really liked it, well, this might well eventually lead to the opening up of an opportunity for you to go to India and it may turn out to be the experience of a lifetime for you. Can you see what you might have missed out on just by saying ‘no’ without even trying it? What is my experience, is my experience, and is not attached to someone else’s experience. I have traveled to 35 countries but I never asked someone if they liked their trip to those countries before having gone there and for simple reasons. First of all, an opportunity occurred which drove me to consider going to a particular country and that was not by coincidence. My learning experience from a trip to a particular country will never be the same as someone else’s. This is normal for the simple reason that we all do have different attitudes about culture, food, ethnic groups, and even about religions. We might have the attitude that we think we are superior to everyone else and so with that, very few things will ever satisfy us. So, you see how I will see my own experiences from a different perspective as somebody else’s. Even if we do the same activities together, on the same trip. I believe many of you can identify with similar situations after being on a trip with your wife or husband!
Now what “can” we do, what do we “have” to do, to get rid of our habit pattern? The most important factor is that we need to be able to identify them first. Remember, if you are still unaware of it in your own mind, even if many people around you tell you about it. If it still does not make sense to you, you will never see it. Until this happens, and only then, can you begin to handle dealing with it and clearing up this pattern.
Once it has been identified your next step is to learn to listen. Accept what others are telling you and just say thank you for their advice, whether you like what they are saying or not. Do not react! Take what they say and, when you are on your own, think about what you have been told. I am NOT saying you must blindly accept other people’s opinions, but at least listen to them in a responsible manner. If the problem is with a relationship you are involved in then sit down and write down a list of all positive and negative aspects of your previous relationships. Write down everything! Do not look back and analyze what you are writing because in reality it is not important. Most of what you are writing is from your past and you can not relive your past even if you wish you could! Please don’t get me wrong here! If you are going to write for only five minutes every two weeks and make a big deal of what you are trying to accomplish, then simply don’t bother doing it in the first place!
In the end you are doing it for yourself, because you are aware that there is something that is not working in your life and that requires your immediate attention. Take it seriously. Six to nine months later sit down and slowly read what you had previously written. With that you will begin to have a clearer idea of the bigger picture of your habit pattern. Why? Because you will have it written out in front of you in an indirect way from the different occasions when you were writing! Try it and you can be your own judge!
Why it is important to retrace the roots of a pattern? Very simple indeed! Our habit patterns of today have created our own reality and have been accumulating throughout our lives, or for whatever length of time, we have been dragging it along with us. These patterns we create become our safety zones, our security and our protection because we grow to believe that they are.
Do not waste time with making excuses by telling your self it is from a past life and you do not know how to deal with it. It is easy, just learn how to deal with the experiences that happened to you in this lifetime, and this will be enough ammunition for you to begin moving with it.
It the end, and in order for us to really move forward, we are not allowed to drag our past with us. The experiences of the past should stay there. All that is required is that you take from it the essence of the understanding, that these experiences and lessons have brought to you, in terms of strength and awareness, to help you to move forward in your life. Not the other way around, by making you stagnant or be stuck in your experiences. It is necessary that you understand the lessons and events that happened to you, regardless of how tough or difficult they were. You will say “It is easier said than done”, but think of this, when you go to university, do you graduate if you do not pass by making your grades and understanding the essence of your courses? How come we can accept that concept of learning but we cannot accept our past experiences as being lessons? We need only to understand, accept, and bless the people who were involved in our life in the past, not to blame ourselves for what happened and simply just move forward in our lives. Life is an attitude of our understanding of the ‘I’ and of ‘our selves’.
Copyright © Joseph Ghabi