Negative patterns within us sometimes evolve for very good reasons. For example, growing up in an alcoholic and/or abusive environment may create a wall around you for protection. This type of defensive behavior helped ensure your survival emotionally and physically through challenging and threatening times. Years pass, however, and these walls and other defensive mechanisms may sabotage our personal and professional lives. The wall is no longer needed yet it remains. It has become habitual. The first step is to become aware of what we have built around us. What stories do you continue to tell yourself to fortify the wall (consciously or subconsciously)? Stories from the past live on in us long after the cause or effect is gone.
As we grow these negative, protective patterns outlive their use. Then as maturity comes, we seek to create new, healthier patterns. It’s not that the negative patterns leave, they simply go dormant, and the new healthier patterns take over, as it were. It makes sense to accept this and have compassion for not only the old negative patterns but for our selves as children or young adults who needed them at the time.
Only when old patterns, which no longer serve, are released can new ones emerge. Sometimes new, healthier habits must be in place before releasing the old ones. Sometimes, it takes working with a skilled, compassionate therapist, to be along side you during this journey.