Universal Inner Work insight: When we are able to notice what we are doing now, to experience our current state completely and without judgment, the old patterns will begin to fall away. (The Wisdom of the Enneagram, 37)
I’ve been noticing some repeating patterns lately, and it seems that the “Georgette Playbook” is alive and well. A number of habits and strategies that I honed in my 20’s are still in rotation as I approach 50 — particularly with my reactions to stressors and my interactions with others. Instead of simply executing the plays as I always have, it’s been interesting to:
- Have the realization that some behavior or reaction is just a “thing I do”
- Consider whether or not I want to continue to do the “thing I do”
- Move forward, maybe trying something else, but maybe not
Now, to be fair, I like some of my plays, and some of them work well for me. But others… not so much.
To evaluate each play as it rolls out in real time is a game-changer. In the past, at BEST I’ve been a Monday morning quarterback, reviewing the footage but not able to change the course of the game in the moment. Perhaps I can take a learning into the next week’s game, but there’s always a delay, and it’s rarely the same game/play, so results are mixed.
At WORST, I’ve been completely oblivious to my role, and I’ve just given up the game.
Usually, my brain turns into the SportsCenter color commentator 2-3 days after the fact, and she comes up with some pretty brutal judgements.
I am aware that some of my plays have caused real pain — both for myself and those closest to me. Noticing, pausing, and acknowledging my less-than-healthy habits is reopening some old wounds, but I can see that I am offering myself a path through the pain, instead of avoiding or compounding it. It’s requiring far more vulnerability than I am generally comfortable with, but I am learning to lean in to the uncomfortable and wait it out. It always passes, and I (and those close to me) am the better for it.
I believe that I have done the best I could with the tools I had at the time, and I see now that some things I had been putting on others actually belong to me. Maybe not entirely, but certainly to a degree that I have been unable/unwilling to take responsibility for before.
But what do I do with this? I am trying to be patient and kind with myself as I grieve. And to make different plays when I can see that my old plays have led to misunderstandings, hurt feelings, and resentments. Maybe I won’t suddenly transform it all, but every little bit helps, and Lord knows I need the practice.
And, oh yeah, I went snowboarding this morning before the storm rolled in. This particular play is a good one, and I’m going to keep working it for the foreseeable future.