In Pattern

In Pattern. Or, rather Back In Pattern. Or, rather, I am Back In Pattern.

That was a term I heard a lot at a former job. The term meant that a client was back into a pattern of behavior that had been deemed harmful. Example: A recovering alcoholic who slipped and had a weekend drinking binge.

We all have “bad habits”. Smoking, drinking, gossip, over-eating or lying. Often we develop bad habits to combat some type of behavior. Gary Moon, a former professor of mine, used to call them behavior narcotics. They could be anything we use to combat or compensate for a shortcoming.

Personally, I use busyness as a way to escape my anxiety. I have overloaded my schedule without thinking because I want to please people or escape something unpleasant. I secretly hate to be still because then I am more likely to listen to my anxious thoughts and anxious heart.

When I purposely slow down, I am forced to listen. My body has really started craving those slow down moments. Part of my soul screams for rest and for silence, but then the anxiety starts creeping in when I am still. I know that when I am still long enough that the wave of anxiety, usually in the form of a panic attack, does pass. Luckily, I have learned some tools that help me reduce the time a panic attack happens.

Part of me hates to admit that I struggle with this issue. After all, I trained as a counselor for a number of years, but still, I have those bouts of anxiety.

I think I have struggled lately with being back in pattern due to the back to school rush that happens each year. So many new things start after a relaxed summer. It sets up a pattern for me that usually goes like this: I feel rushed as a new year begins: sports start, homework expectations crowd in and a multitude of events are thrown my way. That rushed feeling increases my anxiety which in turn creates a need to be busy to avoid the anxiety. Talk about a recipe for disaster.

Thankfully, I had a reminder this week to realize what I was doing. It is a new opportunity to slow down. It is a new opportunity to choose living an unrushed life. Things will always happen to us that cause us to be back in pattern. The important thing is BEGIN AGAIN.

I wish you the best as you do just that.  Wish that for me too.

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