Why do patterns hold on?
The patterns of identification that limit us weren’t always limiting. They were adaptive.
If you grew up in a threatening environment, learning how to fly under the radar was adaptive. Playing small and keeping quiet protected you.
The pattern protected you.
But your life has changed. You’ve matured. The world you live in is not that of your childhood. But the pattern persists.
It doesn’t have any other choice. Because the pattern is not self-aware. It cannot turn around in consciousness and witness itself. It needs you to do that.
And as long as you are unconsciously identified with the pattern, you can’t witness it.
Unobserved patterns continue to generate thoughts, speech, actions, and results that conform with the needs of the pattern. Not the needs of your life-as-a-whole. Yes, the pattern cannot embrace your life-as-a-whole. Its horizon of awareness is limited, focused on its own emotional needs.
And, as long as you don’t witness patterns—the pattern’s limited horizon of awareness will continue to define your life.
Building your witnessing capacity is the key that opens the door of freedom.
Through the practice of meditation, you build witnessing capacity. As you practice, you observe how the mind drifts from the object of meditation . . . and re-attaches itself to the familiar patterns.
But rather than becoming lost in that identification, you return your attention to the object of meditation.
Rather than allow the mind to drift into habitual patterns of thought and emotion, you re-center gently, gently, gently on the object of meditation.
What are you really doing?
You’re cultivating witnessing capacity.
As your witnessing capacity develops, your identification with patterns releases. The consciousness and energy that has been fragmented and spent fueling the patterns is freed. In that letting go, you re-discover yourself as freedom, as consciousness.
You are not a pattern of consciousness—you are, fundamentally, consciousness itself.
With each meditation, you become more and more capable of witnessing the patterns and more and more able to rest in the un-patterned presence.
So, why do patterns hold on?
Because they are waiting for you to witness and infuse them with loving awareness.
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Ed: Brianna Bemel