We don't rise the level of our expectations, we sink to the level of our training.
∞ Navy SEAL Standard quoted by Steven Kotler in The Habit of Ferocity
If working actively and consciously with the patterns of your past were a martial art, you would already have a black belt. Absolutely no one has been more fierce in confronting who they have been. Your inner sun is shining brightly in your heart. Much to your delight, you are no longer in emotional pain from the things that happened to you. You have processed them, felt them, integrated them.
The end result: You have no more tolerance for the things you built into your life from within your trauma patterns. You are ready to burn this whole thing to the ground if necessary to free yourself from the lingering manifestations of who you were.
That means you are ready to destroy your livelihood, your marriage, your friendships...whatever it takes to finally walk in the freedom you feel dawning within you.
Bravo! I applaud your legendary tenacity.
Now be still!
You are not nearly as ready as you think you are for the challenge you are about to face. No, I am not talking about the challenge of walking out on the things that are not working. You have already proven you can withstand a few shocks to your system and you are an expert at "starting over."
I am talking about the challenge of walking into the things that will work.
Consider for a moment that you have been to this place between worlds at least half a dozen times before. You may not think that is the case because you were not yet a black belt. You were fighting your inner demons with only a fraction of the awareness you have now. But if you look closely you will see that I am right.
Remember that hopeful feeling you had when you went running, albeit with scorched hair, from the emotional fire you set to free yourself from...
Remember how you thought if only you could leave that circumstance everything would be fine. You were a victim to a bad man, a bad mother, a bad job, no one can dispute that. Whatever it was for you, it was not your fault and the only thing you needed to do was get free of it. It was not your fault last time, or the time before, or the time before that.
Yes. I know. You have now seen how your own inner world DID play a fair part in your demise last time and the time before and the time before. You have now been so brutally honest with yourself not just about what was done to you, but about how it turned your insides upside down, and inside out, and put you into the round and round of repeat patterns. Naturally, right now you feel even a tiny bit smug about this next move. You have got this in hand. You feel cock sure and ready to MOVE ON.
And that right there is your problem.
Nothing in your training has actually equipped you to move on. It has equipped you to WANT to move on.
In fact, your training, including your black belt in working with the patterns of the past, is about to put you in grave danger of succumbing to the siren song of the familiar.
I can hear you shouting now: How can this be true?
You have left no stone unturned. Your diligence is astounding.
Over the years you came to realize that leaving doesn't necessarily equate to achieving a different outcome. So you have practiced staying put in dreadful (or just horrifyingly mediocre) circumstances so you could change yourself first. Truly, you have milked the latest manifestation of your repeat pattern for all you can imagine it will ever be worth.
Don't get me wrong. It is as worthless as anything dead and buried can be.
Once again I urge you to be still.
You need something more than your current level of training can supply. In a minute I will tell you what it is. But first, I want you to understand that I do not want you to discover what this is the hard way.
The hard way looks like this: You leave. You burn it to the ground or you run for your life. You put yourself under an incredible strain. Either your finances blow out or you become super isolated and life threateningly lonely. Then what do you do?
You look for comfort. And what looks comforting in the midst of life threatening loneliness and desperate circumstances? The familiar. That sense of home that everyone craves when the adventure into the wild unknown becomes more than we bargained for.
That hunger for the familiar is the very thing that will drop you from the level of your expectations to the level of your training. You will absolutely fall back on what you know. The trauma patterns you have erased in your emotional life are still active in the patterns of your brain. Not in the patterns of your conscious mind, perhaps. But your brain was shaped by truly treacherous circumstances. It knows how to survive in those circumstances. Put it in those circumstances again (from transitional stress and loneliness) and it will do for you what you don't want to do for yourself. Your subconscious wiring will find the safe haven of one more disaster.
As human beings we prefer something habitual yet devastating to something unrecognizable! That is a hard reality to swallow when you are trying to create something brand new.
Which, of course, brings us to what you actually need. You need to raise the level of your training to level of the life you want to create; to the level of the expectations you want to realize. That means wiring new habits into your brain. Otherwise, when you find yourself falling victim to the siren song of your familiar relationship patterns, you will do what you have always done: Work with the pain of your past in order to find meaning in the fetid connections of the present.
You have been forewarned. And that means you are forearmed.
More is possible. But first you must let go of the cocky sense of reassurance your emotional healing has given you and get down to the nuts and bolts of creating the inner and outer structures your expectations demand.
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