Focusing on new patterns exposes old patterns, I’ve noticed. Things that were taken for granted as normal behaviors become singled out for examination where they can be manipulated like objects.
I noticed an old pattern come out last night, and while it was playing, much like a movie I’ve watched many times, I got the realization that I could just not watch the movie. The movie was accompanied by emotions; all my thoughts have “some” kind of emotion, good, bad or seemingly neutral. This particular movie had a sadness and a kind of heaviness to it. I wanted to dwell on it. I asked myself in a sort of self-aware way – and all this was happening while I was lying awake last night – “Am I dwelling on this because I like the drama, because I like the familiarity of the misery, or am I dwelling on it because I want to examine it?”
Well, everyone goes to the movies to be emotionally touched; people do everything to be emotionally touched. They meet with friends; they try new things, new foods; try to win at sports; try to cook a great meal and have someone enjoy it. It could be anything. So I looked at the situation and acknowledged my need for an emotional connection to an experience, then looked at my desire to examine the emotion of this particular movie. And that is when I made the discovery that I have a lifelong habit of doing that. It’s the equivalent of browsing through an antique store, walking around until you find something, knowing that you will find something, but not knowing what. And when you find it, you’ll feel the elation of discovery. Just like when I write a story or an article: I often don’t know how it will end until the end reveals itself.
So what has more of a cost? Browsing through your mind and your emotions while a movie is playing itself out, or simply deciding to turn the movie off? Browsing the mind can be a maze, like playing solitaire on the computer all day or surfing the internet; an endless waste of time.
The conclusion? I turned the movie off and replaced the heavy emotions with some affirmations and slowly dozed off.
Hours later, waking up… heaviness gone.