Repeating patterns in life

UNIVERSE WITHIN by Gwen Randall-Young

Portrait of Gwen Randall-Young
Reincarnation occurs because we decide that we haven’t learned enough lessons.
– Sylvia Browne

“That’s the story of my life!” This comment is made when a negative event seems to parallel many others in one’s past.

In my clients, I often see patterns or themes that have run through their lives. Sometimes they are consciously aware of them; other times, I need to draw it to their attention. It might be a woman who was not allowed a voice as a child who ends up with a domineering partner and a micromanaging boss. Now her teenaged children are disrespecting her.

We can find reason enough in the person’s lifetime to explain these repetitions. It could be low self-esteem, feeling un-deserving or having an increased tolerance for unhealthy relationships. Sometimes they just struggle along, powerless to do anything about their situation.

In other cases, the person feels a real sense of crisis because she absolutely does not want to go on living in an unhappy way. In cases like this, I imagine the person has had many lifetimes living out the same patterns in various guises: perhaps as a serf in the Middle Ages, a slave or a member of a low class or caste.

Having experienced the struggle and sorrow over many lifetimes, the individual decides this is the lifetime she will change that pattern. In order to feel that strong desire to stop reliving the past, the person would have to first repeat the old pattern in this lifetime to be reminded of it. Then, somewhere in midlife or later, there is a crisis of consciousness and a voice inside rises up and says, “No more! I can’t stand living like this.” There then follows a crisis in the individual’s life. The “What do I do now?” question is like a glowing neon billboard. The question is whether to leave the situation or try to change it.

Both choices require courage. In past lifetimes, there likely really was no choice. The person truly was powerless. In this lifetime, the person has the opportunity to draw on his or her own inner power, find their voice and take action to better their situation. This is the hardest part. In past lifetimes, to speak up may have meant being beaten or killed. In present day, I sometimes see my clients are afraid of their own voice. They feel like something horrible will happen if they begin to speak their truth.

My first task as a therapist is to help the person express what they are feeling inside. Then, having little trust in themselves, they wonder if it is okay to feel that way. Those inner feelings may be the voice of the soul, which is urging and reminding us it is time to take action and change the patterns.

The next step is to help them begin the process of speaking their truth. Sometimes, it means writing a letter or beginning a process of stating what is no longer acceptable. One of my clients wrote a letter to her husband about his criticisms and angry reactions. She said that while she loved him, she no longer wished to be treated that way and would have to leave if it continued. Nearly six months later, he has not had a single outburst or criticized her about anything.

We may have had many lifetimes, but this one is short and we deserve to be happy.

Gwen Randall-Young is an author and psychotherapist in private practice. For articles and information about her books, “Deep Powerful Change” hypnosis CDs and “Creating Effective Relationships” series, visit www.gwen.ca. Follow on Facebook.

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