Trapped in patterns?

By Stacy Fassberg

Why are we trapped in patterns that keep repeating themselves? Past experiences and conditioning have gradually created in your mind a list of rights and wrongs, a series of understandings, expectations, and attitudes that define your Ego Formed Self and shape its building blocks. When you face certain situations – at work, with your partner, or with your family – your Ego Formed Self kicks off preconceived reactions, organised responses that reflect a certain aspect of it. We are rarely able to choose our response; the response is already there before you come in touch with the moment, it is embodied in your Ego Formed Self. And that is why you are trapped in a pattern of recurring emotional reactions, always pushing away and attracting similar people and situations. There is no magic here, no underlying metaphysical law; it is simply the outcome of the rigidly constructed manner by which your Ego Formed Self approaches life, producing a similar result time and again. All these characteristics, expectations, and ideas have been welded together to create the greatest obstacle standing in your way to freedom – your own self.


Not only do your accumulated ego concepts perpetuate these patterns, they also restrict your own perspective of life and set limits to your self. By adopting certain ego concepts you define your self but at the same time you define what you are not. For example, if you carry an idea that defines you as insensitive, your self would reject the very notion of sensitivity. At the relevant moment the option of being sensitive will not be at your disposal. Numerous ways of being are simply not available to you because your self is not programmed to accommodate them. By limiting your self this way, you are limiting your capacity to face life as it is. So many situations are outside your comfort zone simply because you have defined your self in a certain way, and you now lack the tools that could potentially show you how to deal with the moment as it is. An example could be the issue of feminine and masculine qualities in a person – male or female. All males and females have both masculine and feminine qualities, but are mostly conditioned to adopt only those that match their gender. Most of us feel that we must make a choice. We can be either this or that. Once this choice is made, our experience of life necessarily becomes more restricted, as certain moments require an interaction that is feminine-like, and others, the opposite. Psychological research indicates that the ability to contain both the feminine and the masculine within you has many advantages. In one of my studies, participants who scored high in both the masculine and feminine scales also displayed higher levels of self-actualisation, that is, better fulfilment of their potential. These findings suggest that the capacity to embrace both aspects of your self rather than regard them as mutually exclusive directly impacts your capability to live your life in full. This can only be achieved if you let go of your ego concepts about masculinity or femininity. As long as you are not burdened with such preconceptions you have the capacity to apply each of those qualities to suit the moment. This is when you live with greater freedom.