Breaking Patterns and Finding Clarity
Often, the medicine you need is exactly what you resist.
I had a breakthrough last week. I feel it in my body. I feel different now: lighter, open, like there’s a weight off. I can breathe more deeply. I feel myself standing taller. I feel less anxious.
My parents came to visit for the March Break. I didn’t like the person I became when I was with my mom. I was impatient. I felt frustrated and then I felt ashamed. I noticed my patterns—many of which I thought I’d acknowledged, integrated and reprogrammed—running the show. She complained. I complained. I noticed myself bracing. I checked out.
I had nothing left in the tank. It had been weeks of hypervigilance, of concern about Josh, of staying on top of all of the things for my family while he was in the hospital or sick at home. I wanted my parents to step in and take care of everything. But I didn’t ask for that. I kept being in charge. I planned the week. I felt frustrated by my mom’s lack of leadership. And so, I was irritable and abrasive. I reacted thoughtlessly.
It was a swirl. I felt disappointed, angry, sad. I wanted to blame my mom; I wanted to blame myself. I wished that things were different. I struggled to see how I was creating the situation.
They went home, and the sadness lingered. I felt relief and I felt guilt. I could also see vividly how I had forgotten all of my tools. I had been sucked into the vortex of teenage Lauren’s behaviour. It felt heavy and prickly and gross.
AND holy crap was it an extraordinary learning opportunity.
I wept. I raged. I traced the threads of the pattern back in time. I identified the source. I discovered that I felt a lot of anger toward the teenage version of myself. She was the one who took over, and I was angry at her for being a know-it-all, believing that she needed to be perfect, for believing that she wouldn’t be loved unless she showed she was better than everyone else.
We all have these parts of us—the versions of ourselves we’re not proud of, or frankly don’t like but haven’t taken the time or had the courage to face. I was exhausted, so it was hard to be the adult in the room. Hindsight reminds me that those are the moments when it’s best to take a break, to acknowledge that I was having a hard time, to give myself space and grace.
It’s the hardest to do those things when you’re with the people you love the most. But it’s also the most important. Rather than feeling trapped or complaining or reacting in ways that I regret, I could have acknowledged that I was having a hard time. Maybe they wouldn’t have understood but likely they would have.
The biggest reminders of these past few weeks are that I don’t have to put on a brave face and try to muddle through it alone. I can ask for help. I can cry and be held and supported as I process my feelings. I can be a complete disaster for a moment, an hour, a day, and it will be all right. I don’t have to be composed or “put together”. Connection is fostered through authenticity not perfection.
The hard parts are also what you tend to remember most. There’s always a lesson if you’re willing to zoom out. If you can notice what you didn’t see before, recognize that the stories you were telling yourself aren’t actually true, and you can free yourself. You can break the pattern.
This week I feel like a different person. I’m grateful for that shit show. I’m grateful for the incredible people in my life who helped me process my emotions and get clarity. I was behaving in ways I’m not proud of but without the drama, I wouldn’t have seen that I was still trying to be “perfect”—just in a different way. I wouldn’t have forgiven myself. I wouldn’t have moved all of this energy. I wouldn’t feel the way I do now.
If you’ve been working with me or reading my words for some time, I know you have tools. I know you have the ability to bring yourself back to presence, to clarity. So this is a reminder: Take space when you need it. Ask for support. Speaking of support, I have created this guide for you so you can break patterns and get clarity too.
Life gets better and better for you and everyone else when you can show up from this place.
Remember, breaking patterns and finding clarity is a process. Take your time and be kind to yourself along the way. These are all practices I teach in-depth, and would be happy to support you within the Shift Membership community, or one-on-one. The first month in Shift is free, so there’s no downside to joining us 😁 Scroll down to join Shift!