Most of my readers are target parents..or adult children that were alienated as a child from one of thier parents...
Most of my readers know I can't get enough information absorbed into my brain about the why's and how's of where we are as target parents... and perhaps our role in how we got here.. so on that note..
I came across this article .. researching something else.. not PAS but dayum .. what's that they say? If the shoe fits???
I hope the reader is open minded thinking not only about our chidren and what they may need help with .. but also about ourselves.. when reading this ..
My hope in posting this .. is that the reader.. get's some of the answers to the questions they didn't know they needed answered!
Now how's that for confusing (smile)
The article below is one of the best articles I've read in a while.. I have however altered it to fit the readers of this blog.. by adding a few things.. I will leave what I've added in red.. so there are no copyright or other legal problems... enjoy
Note- there are links within the story that do not appear to work from this blog... in order to get to the link you may have to use the maim article link below the title.
THE PATTERN PAGESWHAT A PATTERN IS ... (... AND IS NOT)
Our Pathway Home, Emotional Healing: People, Pain and Patterns
Patterns are repetitive behaviors or modes of response, created by frozen or denied pain. They are mostly outside our conscious awareness, existing in our blind spot, although often fairly easy for others to identify in us.
Patterns are both a way of behaving in the world, and a way of seeing the world.
A pattern helps create our Belief System, and is also then influenced by our beliefs. We may have patterns that have created a set of beliefs concerning how to survive in the world, what we deserve in life, how to get our needs met (or beliefs that we will never get our needs met), etc. etc. And we may also have beliefs that hold the patterns in place and keep us from being able to heal the pain and see the world differently. We call this interlocking system of beliefs and patterns the B.S., because that's mostly what it is. The beliefs held here in this maze of the mind are mostly untrue and can be healed and changed.
A pattern is also a cage, which imprisons us and locks us into ways of interacting that do not serve us.
The daughter of an alcoholic, who repeatedly finds herself with alcoholic men ...
The sexually abused man who sexually abuses his daughters ...
The woman who can't seem to keep a job ...
The man who repeatedly chooses women who pound him with their rage or emotional abuse ...
The person who came from an abusive home...
The person who was smothered by a dominating aggressive parent as a child...
The list is endless where a child can grow up with undealt with deep pain, sometimes emotional abuse alone... will cause it .. sometimes phsycial abuse will cause it..
These are examples of patterns, repeated ways of behaving and interacting with the world. Repeating realities.
We continue to act in the same ways and yet we expect different results. That's because we are not really expecting different results. What we consciously think we want and expect ... is not what is running our lives. In other words, we are not really living from our consciousness. We are operating mostly from the basement of the Unconscious. And the backlog of pain stored in the unconscious is both creating a reality that will outpicture whatever inner expectations we have there (failure, abuse, rage...) and causing us to respond (and PREspond) to
that reality with old, programmed behaviors.
It's time for a new path.It's time for a change.
What a Pattern is NOT: The Person - Innocent, Creative, Loving
It's important to know that there are three different things going on in this recovery process.
1) The person - the real person inside, who is essentially good and blameless.
2) The pain the person experienced. And in most cases, many repeats of that pain, so now pain is piled high, layer upon layer upon layer.
3) The behavior pattern created by those layers of unmoved pain.
These three things are sometimes hard to separate, because they are tightly woven together and often look and behave the same. The important thing to know is that the pattern is not the person.
We can start with the assumption that people are basically good, and that most of the acting out, most of the causing of pain, most of the hurting of others is caused by pain and patterns. And once the pain is cried, the patterns will cease, and the true person will begin to shine through. The true person has the capability of being creative and loving, in ways that we have not yet truly known here on earth. We have never been whole and healed and free of pain and patterns.
In order for this model to work, we need to understand the problem of fragmentation. Much has been written recently about fragmentation of self. Soul fragmentation is now a fairly well-accepted concept.
What we need to know about patterns and fragmentation is that it's possible for you to be interacting with a person who is so badly damaged and fragmented that they are mostly, if not entirely, pain and pattern.
These fragmented-people can appear to be wholly heartless or cruel. We've all met people like this. People who seem to have no shred of consciousness, who seem to be completely hateful or totally mired in victim-ness. But in the context of soul fragmentation, it's possible that many, if not most, may simply be fragmented essence - so fragmented that there is very little heart or consciousness in them with which to balance out the pain.
If they could cry their pain in a safe environment, they would cease to be heartless, etc. It seems very possible, however, that there are people who are so fragmented that they are unable to cry the pain and heal the patterns they are acting out. There is simply not enough consciousness in them to be able to find healing. It will be up to more parental aspects - other members of their soul family, if you will - to begin the healing process. But that's another topic. We'll assume that if you're reading this, you're one of the more parental aspects, and you have the ability, consciousness, and heart to do this healing work.
Love the Person
It is almost impossible to love a pattern. Patterns "act out" the reality they hold, often in dramatic and self-fulfilling ways that can infuriate and frustrate. If you're trying to reach a person who is acting out a pattern, they often won't hear you, or won't hear you correctly. Anything you say or do will be re-interpreted to fit within the drama they are acting out.
The Victim / Little Match Girl, as a pattern, unmoving and frozen, IS a pain in the ass... stuck in being a victim. She'll suck you dry and abuse you all in the name of her "poor me". But telling someone who is stuck in the Little Match Girl starvation pattern to just "stop being a victim" will either cause her to run away from you, or send her into rage that you "just don't understand how it is".
But when the person is crying and focused on moving their stuff, we can see through the pattern to the true pain beneath it. And seeing that vulnerable, hurting person, elicits a very different response. We can feel very differently listening to someone actually crying and healing than if we just see them standing around complaining about their lot in life and saying 'poor me', or ranting and raving and calling us names.
The important thing to remember is that at the heart of all essence is an innocent being,who carries the seed of great lovingness and creativity.What keeps us from being and expressing lovingness and creativityis layers and layers of unhealed pain.
Separate the pattern from the person.
Love / Forgive Yourself
It is especially important to make this separation when trying to heal our own patterns. So many people see themselves acting out of a pattern, and then get sunk in self-hate, and once THAT spiral starts, once the self-hate pattern takes over, it's hard to pull up out of it.
Remember, you are not your patterns. And no matter how much acting out you have done while IN a pattern, the damage can be repaired. No matter how many people you may have hurt (or even killed), you can cry the pain that made you act out in that way, you can break the behavior pattern, and you can break the hold unloving light may have on you. Patterns can do an awful lot of damage, and we need to heal and stop the perpetuation of pain and denial. But no matter what the patterns are, the pain can be cried, and we can be healed. The ones who have been hurt BY the patterns can cry their pain. Forgiveness can be found all around, not by force, not by guilt, not faked or phony forgiveness, but true healed forgiveness and understanding of how frozen pain has created all of this mess. It CAN be healed. All of it.
With that assurance, you can go forward knowing that no part of you is so lost or evil or bad that it is unredeemable. Open your arms to all your essence, even parts that feel heartless and hateful. They need your loving acceptance - not to allow them to continue to act out their patterns, but to allow them to cry their pain, and find healing and loving light. At long last.
There will be times in this process when you'll feel hopeless and you'll want to give up. Keep this in your mind if you can at those times... your reality springs from your emotional body. From your soul. From your unconscious. From your Soul. There is great power of creation built in to each and every one of us. We are a great untapped, misunderstood source of Creative Power. Imagine what we could do if we were fully healed!
HOW ARE PATTERNS CREATED?
There are basically two ways that patterns are formed: Layered pain, and imprinting.
1. LAYERED UNHEALED PAIN: It goes something like this:
We are hurt by someone or some situation.
We are unable (or not allowed) to cry the pain which would bring it naturally to healing.
The pain, and often the memory of the event, becomes frozen within us.
This is repeated over and over again, with new pain layering on top of the old pain.
Being repeatedly treated in hurtful ways, or being constantly/repeatedly thrown into painful situations, and not being able to express the pain we feel about it, conditions us to respond to the world in a certain way, and to expect certain things from the world. Many patterns are formed in just this way, simply by the repetitive layering and compression of unexpressed emotion.
When pain is unexpressed from one experience, it sits inside, heavy and hurting. When we are repeatedly treated in hurtful ways, the unexpressed pain builds up, layer upon layer, creating an onion with tightly compressed, but frozen, emotions and memories.
At first the pain may be close to our awareness, but the heavier it becomes, the MORE pain that is piled up there, the more we need to push it away from consciousness. Pushing it away is a survival mechanism. Without being able to cry and heal the pain, having it sitting there at the back of your throat or on your forehead is constant torture. So, we push it away, and "forget". Then it's like having a wound that you don't notice until something touches it.
Since emotions are magnetic in essence, similar emotions will be drawn together. When an experience occurs in your life that is similar to the original pain, it is drawn to the pain of the first, and attaches itself there in sympathetic resonance. So the onions grow, and accumulate, and we have to learn to swiftly tuck the pain away in a pocket and forget. After a while we have large pockets occupied by many onions, where lots of pain is glommed together.
For many of us, we don't even know this is happening. Our resistance response is so swift and so unconscious, we are not even aware of the new pain coming in, let alone the mega-ton, multi-pocketed, onion-filled bag sitting in a back corner of our psychological basement. We may be briefly aware of some little nagging pain, but our survival depends on not feeling those feelings! And so we've learned ways of avoiding and containing our pain, and never see the patterns we are reinforcing.
Patterns begin to form with the first few layers of unhealed pain, and are constantly being reinforced with each new layer that is added. The first painful event may create merely anger and hurt, or fear of it happening again, but it is not yet an expectation. It is not yet a BELIEF. But slowly as the layers build up, the pain we are holding becomes the platform for a belief system that tells us what to expect from the world. If we are treated in hurtful ways, we come to expect hurt from the world. We *believe* that is reality. And worse, we *believe* that that reality is what we deserve somehow.
The decisions that first go into forming these beliefs are primitive. They are based on primal response to pain that has no outlet. And because the emotions are frozen in time, they cannot evolve and grow to understanding or forgiveness. The pain is supporting decisions and beliefs that were incorrect, but changing your mind is only part of the solution. TRULY changing these beliefs and patterns can only be done by unraveling, or peeling, each onion; by allowing the pain to move, and the emotions to unfreeze and then the beliefs will evolve naturally.
NOTE: Sometimes the beliefs themselves keep the pattern locked in place and prevents us from reaching and feeling (and healing) our pain. If this is the case, it's needful to do some judgment release, goal setting, visualization, etc, to jostle the frozen belief enough to allow the pain to surface.
Some patterns are formed by a single force or impact at an early stage of development. An extremely traumatic or painful event acts on the pre-consciousness something like smashing a stamp down on a blank sheet of paper. In a pre-conscious state, we experience the pain of this impact without any ability to process it or understand it, and it goes into a state of hiding.
Imprinting can occur at later stages of life as well. The main difference between imprinting and layered pain is the magnitude of the pain, and the force of it.
If the impact is great enough - painful enough - to cause fragmentation, then the part of us that took the hit is severed from us. We retain the imprint, the stamp, where the pain was given, but we have no memory at all of what happened. This is not merely a hidden memory, but a fragmented one.
Whether hidden or fragmented, until we cry the pain and heal the wound, our psyche forever holds the imprint of that stamp, and its shape is forcefully embedded into our lives.
CLUES THAT A PATTERN IS OPERATING
The moment we recognize the pattern's behavior with our conscious mind, we have brought light to it. It can no longer operate in the dark, outside our awareness. We can then allow the feelings underneath the pattern to come up so we can acknowledge them, feel them, and release them.
This is a list that has been growing for some time. It began as a simple attempt to identify behaviors in us that are part of a pattern acting out. It's by no means finished.
Comparing myself to another person
Trying to defend myself
Seeking approval from someone
Saying "yes" when I don't really want to
Speaking crossly to someone
Not listening to someone who is talking to me, but instead planning what I'm going to say next.
Adding something in or leaving something out, exaggerating or distorting, when telling a story.
Complimenting in an overboard manner
Doing something for someone for a payoff, such as being seen as kind or good, rather than just to meet their needs.
Laughing at someone, not with them.
Being depressed, silent, moody, and expecting others to read my mind.
Being consistently late.
Hiding my anger.
Joking about somebody who isn't present, re: their weaknesses.
Sucking up / brown-nosing
Being "impressed" with someone.
Thinking about how someone will react or respond to my "neat" or "good" behavior.
Being silent and waiting for someone to ask me what's wrong.
Hiding my hurt and being tough, brave, or above it all.
Suffering or enduring in silence, but secretly feeling like I'm "better than" because of it.
Deferring the truth of what I think, feel or want.
Looking down on or hating any group.
Pitying someone (secretly feeling "better than").
Looking for a distraction, fun, thrill, or fear experience.
Endlessly making plans.
Responding to my plans being thwarted or delayed by pushing harder with anger, or making more plans.
Being conscious of (or obsessing on) my feelings of confidence, security, superiority.
Being conscious of (or obsessing on) my feelings of lack, inability, insecurity, and inferiority.
Being a "good" student, mother, friend, helper, do-gooder.
Being "teacher's pet", or best helper for the leader/guru.
Believing and acting as if I don't need anyone.
Waiting to be saved.
Trying to save others.
Avoiding things because I'm afraid, rather than just feel my fear.
Doing rash or dangerous things in an attempt to push past or control my fear, rather than just feel my fear.
Doing anything because I'm afraid, rather than just feel my fear.
Being closed minded about something.
Acting from a preconceived "should", either for myself or someone else.
Showing only my "Sunday Self".
Having to be first or most healed.
Having to be worst or in the most pain.
Being accident prone, constantly being injured, OR injuring myself.
Being jealous and possessive.
Trying to get vengeance.
Being clingy, desperate or demanding.
Acting different in the presence of someone with power, authority, wealth, importance or beauty.
Being "two-faced", acting one way with one person, and differently with another person.
How Patterns Affect (and Rule) Our Relationships
Patterns have been the cause of many relationships both forming and falling apart. How many times have you seen someone become involved with the same "type" of partner, over and over and over again, repeating the same roles and experiencing the same damaging things? This is because the pattern is choosing the relationship.
That is not to say there's no love involved. There is often great love because often those who we bonded with in love in past lives or shared love in Original Cause, have matching or complementary patterns to ours. Sometimes the other person is actually of the same essence family as ourselves, and so we are drawn together in need and hopes of healing.
Even if the other person does not share essence with you, the possibility is high that you are drawn together as an opportunity for healing, which is guided by the True Soul within each of you. At the base of all emotional activity is the desire for movement and healing. Beneath the patterns and the acting out is the True Soul seeking an outlet, an avenue for expression, looking for healing and love.
Breaking the Patterns & Finding Love
If you're in a relationship formed and bonded by mutually interacting patterns, you need to be aware that it's difficult - if not impossible - to break the patterns unless BOTH partners are willing to cry and work on the root causes of their patterns.
Many times one partner will begin the healing process and try to push the other into healing with them. That almost never works. A person has to feel the desire to go down this road from within themselves. No external prompting or threats or cajoling will give them the same desire for healing. It must come from within. This path is difficult enough, and it's not for everyone at this time. If your partner resists this type of healing, DO NOT PRESSURE them.
Breaking patterns within a relationship can be very scary. You will probably feel as if your survival is threatened and the other person will occasionally seem like the enemy to you. And vice versa. If you begin to step outside the relationship's interlocking patterns, the other person will likely see YOU as the enemy, because their patterns are being jostled and poked and forced out of the status quo by your shifts. To the pattern, your refusal to interact with it in the way you have in the past is received as an act of betrayal. If you refuse to fall back into the old behaviors, it could even be felt as an act of war. If the other person does not cry their own pain, they will most likely threaten to end the relationship with accusations that you don't love them anymore, or you've pulled back or withdrawn.
It's entirely possible that you will have to accept the end of the relationship if the person cannot cry and heal and break their own pattern. Try to remember that the pattern - which may hate you and blame you - is not the person. However, if they are unwilling or unable to cry and shift and heal, you have to decide if you want to stay in the relationship and continue to interact with their patterns. You should not REQUIRE that of yourself ... do not let guilt to force you to stay in a situation which is not healing for you. To require that of yourself, without hope of the pattern healing or breaking, is not only unfair to yourself, but could potentially be damaging.
When Love Wants to Stay
I don't mean to say that it's hopeless. It is possible to maintain the relationship with love intact, while continuing to move and shift and heal your own patterns. It's not easy, though.
At first, staying outside the pattern will seem almost impossible. First, your partner knows your patterns, and secretly knows your pain underlying them, just as you secretly know theirs. One of the ways they will try to draw you back into the pattern is to poke at your pain. And since these ruts have been ingrained for a long time, it won't be easy to keep your wheels out of them. The wagon will just want to slide back into the same old tracks. You will need to decide if staying in the relationship is worth it for your own healing. It can be done, if the love is great enough.
You will need to find creative ways to live outside the pattern, while maintaining a loving relationship with somebody inside their own patterns. Not an easy task. And not one that has pat, easy answers.
You can unhook your needs from your partner, and focus on living your own life. You can release them from your expectations and free them to live their own lives, while maintaining the relationship.
The solution really depends on what the pattern wants, expects, and is covering up.
Therefore, the true solution can only be found by thoroughly crying your own pain, healing YOUR side of the pattern, and then allowing creative solutions to come to you through your healed Soul. Trust me, you will find yourself receiving answers you never thought of before. This process really does work, and healing the soul releases a kind of magic that isn't really magic. It's just the way the soul works. It is creative, and productive, and capable of literally saving our lives.
If you find yourself alone, just remember ... there will come a time in your own healing when you will be able to draw to you a partner that more truly fits your desire, not just your patterns. Or at least, you will be able to draw in a partner who is willing and able to do the healing work WITH you, which means you'll have greater possibility of breaking through both your patterns. In the meantime, you don't have to do without love. Just remember that many of your choices are springing from the pain hidden in the pockets of your dark basement, and until you have those things healed, you can't expect your life to outpicture anything different. If you can try to look at your relationships as signposts - let them show you where your pain is and where your patterns are acting out - then your expectations of yourself (and your partners) will be much more realistic. Find love where you can, BUILD love where you can, and heal as much as you can along the way.
Any part of us that has been in denial is vulnerable to unloving light's imprint/influence. And any part of us that has been in denial - if it has been outside us, outside our acceptance, especially if it has been in the gap - has been touched by unloving light.
Unloving Light's favorite turf is the confusion and blindness of the patterns we live within. Since we've been so heavily conditioned not to look at what's hiding in the basement, and since we have so much of our own essence either missing or buried, it's a little like leaving the cellar door open for thieves to move in. Guilt, essence denied by others and looking for a home, unloving light, buggers and entities, all have an inroad to us through our denied pain.
And once they are in, they can use our patterns to act out on others and create havoc and MORE denial. Some of this unloving light activity just wants to have a home and wants to keep us in denial of what's in our basement so it will continue to have a place to live. But some actually feeds on denied emotions and uses our pain to cause fights, conflicts, misunderstandings, fear, and rage.
For instance, I have a better-than pattern that I feel running sometimes when I "speak my truth"... I feel it as my guru/queen wanting to speak her feelings and perceptions, and that's not wrong. But the pattern - which comes from the pain of being wrong, crazy, stupid, to blame, deserving to die - acts out on others in a "I know better than you" fashion. That pain was in a state of denial for a long time. Unloving light has an inroad to me there. Unloving light provokes my feelings of being wrong and stupid, which tweaks my rage and desire to SPEAK at all costs, and causes things to come out of my mouth in a twisted way. I feel it in the way I say things with an edge of anger, or judgment, or a hardness that sounds uncompromising and superior. And then, when people react to that with anger or withdrawing or some kind of closing up, the pattern can claim it has been validated. I am rejected, again, judged as stupid, crazy, wrong.
The result (in the pattern) is that I shut down and stop speaking. Unloving light has won. I have been made to feel wrong and silenced again, and I have probably hurt someone else, or triggered them into feelings of rage or not good enough. Unloving light pushes on everybody in every possible way. It pushes on us from the inside, using guilt and our own pain to entrench our patterns, and it pushes on others who respond to our patterns with rage or hatred from their own patterns.
Becoming aware of our patterns is one way that we can stop being manipulated by unloving light. Becoming aware of when others are acting out of their patterns is one way we can stop unloving light from creating more gaps between us. Many of the gaps and arguments that take place are simply two patterns fighting, and often the patterns are not even really fighting each other. They are fighting phantoms from our own past, projected on the screen in front of our eyes. Unloving light will try to keep these wars with illusionary enemies going as long as possible, and will actually try to provoke greater and greater gapping and arguing. Doesn't that make you mad as hell? Not only are we dealing with our own pain, and patterns that lock us up and keep us from being able to respond in new and creative ways, but we have a force outside ourselves that is feeding on our pain and actually trying to keep us enslaved to the patterns so we don't heal it.
We have to stop the insanity, drop down beneath the spinning record, and cry the pain that is causing it all. We have to take back our power, our spontaneity, our creativity. Once the pain is cried and the pattern is broken, once we have our own essence reclaimed from the pockets in the basement, unloving light can no longer control us or manipulate us. Its power is only over the pain, over the parts of us that are hurting, that we don't want to feel, that we have shoved away or buried or hidden. Once these parts are healed and owned and accepted by us, unloving light no longer has power over any part of us.
The Power Patterns:
Sharks, Impactors, Controllers, Dominators
The Impactor primarily wants to know that they have the ability to affect you in some way. They need to influence their environment, have an impact. Their greatest fear is that they are invisible and powerless. The impact doesn't have to be positive. In fact, they will most often resort to negative impact because the result is so much greater. If you do something good, you might get a few words of praise, a smile, or a hug, all of which are usually over in a minute or two. If you do something bad, the impact could last days! Just visit some of the forums and watch the impactors at work, creating pages and pages of responses with just one flaming message. What an impact they are having! And then you'll usually see them sitting calmly in the middle of the storm they've created. If they can make you lose control, they're ecstatic.
The worst thing you can do to the Impactor is ignore them.
At the bottom of this pattern is terror - fear of being nothing, having no self. This will be very difficult for the person to connect with, as their patterns help keep the feelings of terror far away from their consciousness.
The Control pattern is similar to the Impactor, in that it needs to have an affect on others, but the difference is in the primary goal. The primary purpose of the Control pattern is to ... have control, to direct traffic, to be "the boss". This usually extends to all parts of the person's world - family, loved ones, bedroom, household, and job.
Consider the boss or parent who gives you detailed instructions about how to do something, and once you've done it, changes everything around and tells you to do it differently. Or never allows you to finish one task, but constantly switches you to another one. The child who demands something loudly, and then when it's given, changes his mind and wants something else from you. The lover who tells you one day they want more space, and then complains the next day that you've pulled back from them. This is common Controller activity.
The point of all this behavior is never to actually complete a task, or have the toy, or be happy in the relationship. The point is to control your behavior. To keep you jumping.
The Controller will use whatever means necessary to keep you jumping at their command. Guilt, fear, threat of loss of love, tantrums, rage, cowering and claiming to be the victim ... any tactic will work, as long as it keeps others under their control.
Again, this pattern is primarily run by terror. The pattern says that control is the antidote to helplessness and nothingness. There may be a well of untapped heartbreak and rage here too, that makes the Controller determined to never be the underdog. Even when they play the victim, they are never out of control.
The "Power Victim"
This type of pattern is primarily a power pattern, but it uses a victim stance as its primary tool. This is where you get people who use guilt to make you feel bad so you'll do what they want. They sometimes actually have poor-me victim feelings running undercurrent, but the primary goal in this case, is control and power. The poor-me stance is purely and solely in order to manipulate others. The best way to tell what pattern is running here is simply to say no to it, and then wait to see what happens. If it's a power-victim pattern, the person will often slide into one of the other power tactics. If it's truly a victim pattern, , saying no will cause the person to slide into one of the other victim patterns.
Also often known as The Guru, Sharks are a very particular kind of predator. The Shark pattern is the most dangerous of the power patterns. Sharks are willing to prey on anyone, but they especially like the vulnerable, those with big hearts and low guilt tolerance, those with large consciences and concern for others ... in other words, people that can be easily intimidated or overridden.
The behaviors the Shark displays may be similar to the other Power Patterns, but the biggest difference between this pattern and the others is its flexibility and ability to plan ahead. The Impactor cannot go very long without doing something to impact their environment. The Controller must have something or someone to control. But the Shark can go long periods without prey. They are able to wait and watch and will sometimes spend long periods looking for the weak spots in people before moving in. And their attack is usually so subtle at that point that most people wouldn't call it an "attack". Sharks can also move from the one-on-one arena into groups. And whereas the Impactor and Controller patterns will often sabotage themselves or go "over the top" and expose their own patterns, the Shark pattern is usually clever enough to hide behind a complex array of masks and blinds, unless combined with other more self-sabotaging patterns. In other words, Sharks are extremely clever and dangerous.
Because our tendency is to want to excuse and understand people, and we don't want to see ourselves as unloving, we are usually very willing to overlook the behaviors of the Shark and dismiss our own gut responses that say, "something doesn't feel right here".
The primary goal of the shark pattern is to "eat" others.
There are many ways to describe this -- stealing your essence, feeding off your emotions, sucking out your energy, leaving you feeling drained and tired, or buzzing with adrenalin overload. They dominate your will, and cause you to give up your power, essence, and energy to them. Many sharks become gurus or religious leaders, because submission to them, giving up your personal power to the them, is desire that drives the shark.
In order to do this, the Shark must first find the chink in your armor, and sadly, for most people this is pretty easy to do. We all have openings where we are missing Self or are simply unaware. Places where we have pain in denial, parts of ourselves that we don't want to look at, these are the places where the Shark can seep in. But the Shark has some very powerful tools to help confuse people and mess with their heads. The worst of these is boundary blurring.
Power-Over Tactics to Watch For: Boundary Blurring
Boundary blurring can be done in a variety of ways. There are the "negative" power-overing and bullying tactics, using insults and put-downs, and making you doubt your feelings and perceptions and intent. And there are (so-called) positive extreme of sexual (or emotional) seduction, promises of love or salvation, promises of power, flattery and false stroking of ego.
A shark may resort to personal manipulation. They may display hurt or need, they may say YOU are the answer to THEIR prayers, they may claim that you are withholding yourself and your love (and therefore hurting/rejecting them) by not opening up to them fully. This tactic is a lie, and - for the most part - is not real. That is, sometimes there is a real Soul within the Shark that really does feel hurt by you or love for you. But the true feeling is being used as a tool to manipulate you, to get you to drop your guard and blur your boundaries.
They may pressure you with soft words ... or hard. They may tell you that you are closing the door to God by not opening to them. They may give you sweet attention that makes you feel like you're special. And then they may withdraw that attention abruptly, or change tactics on you and become cold and aloof or "angry". You'd think this kind of emotional manipulation would make people angry. But usually what happens is our need for love and attention takes over and responds to the tactics, is drawn into the game of trying to please them and keep their "love".
How can you tell when you're being "sharked"? It's easy to say "just feel with your Soul", but many of us have parts that have been messed with, brainwashed, turned upside down, drugged, confused, made to doubt reality, made to doubt their own perceptions, and most of all, made to doubt their own feelings. I have cried parts that don't know who to believe. I have parts that are so starving for light and love, they're willing to follow almost anyone who might have a shred of light/love to give us, even when they KNOW it's a false promise. I have parts that want to believe someone "out there" will speak in the voice of the Mother or God and show us the way.
All these parts could willingly fall under the spell of a guru. And have done, many times in the past.
So I know how easy it is to get hypnotized and caught up in the rapture of someone with charisma (and humor) who wants to play the guru. Some of them are very good, some of them, not so clever. Some are easy to see through, if you're standing off to one side, or not in the path of their "voice". Like Saruman's voice, in his fading power, or a magic trick that only works from one angle. But they all do seem to have great life force and charisma and wit.
A shark is not necessarily evil. They may have some very good qualities, including the ability to love. A shark is simply someone who dominates and harvests others, someone whose good qualities are used for one aim - gaining power over others. Now, I have seen some sharks who appeared to me to be tightly intertwined with a denial spirit or two, and it did occur to me that the shark activity was being provoked from within. That is, the denial spirit may have been controlling and provoking the person's true emotions, perhaps a terrified Soul, and causing the person to believe they needed absolute control, and that they were acting rightly.
There is only one way to keep oneself from becoming victim to one of the power patterns, and that is to continue to cry the pain, to reclaim all of our lost parts until we have ourselves fully healed and whole and intact. Then we can live from within our core, , and nobody will ever be able to invade us or dominate us or confuse us or manipulate us again. EVER.
Unlike the "Power Victim", these Powerless Patterns spring from real feelings of powerlessness, from real situations of helplessness. They continue acting out the state of helplessness that they are locked in, regardless of the current-day reality.
For instance, as children we have few options when being abused. As children our position of powerlessness is very real - physically, emotionally, and economically. But as adults we have many more choices available to us. What keeps us locked into repeating patterns of powerlessness is the unhealed pain from the earlier reality.
There is no substitute for healing the old wounds. There is no shortcut to regaining personal power. Those who are in positions of power, who are severed from their own feelings of powerlessness (or are pretending to be) will say "Hey, it's easy, just get up and take back your power, stop being a victim." It's easy to criticise from outside the pattern, to look down on the victim and say "Well, you must like it down there in the mud then, if that's what you choose." Or to accuse the victim of being merely manipulative.
Unfortunately, the powerless patterns often do manipulate others. However, like all patterns, there is real pain beneath the spinning, and if that pain can be felt and cried, then the pattern can be broken.
With this pattern, the person pretty much lies down in life, letting others walk all over them. They constantly find themselves in awkward situations where others are taking advantage of them, but they somehow just couldn't say "no". The feelings running undercurrent to this pattern are usually terror of punishment and/or loss of love - "if I don't do what is asked, others will be angry, hate me, reject me, think of me as unloving, uncooperative, unwilling..." etc. etc.
The danger with this pattern is the rage that results from constantly being taken advantage of usually turns inward and begins to eat at the person from the inside. This can manifest in self-destructive behaviors, hurting one's self, becoming accident prone, illnesses, etc. But saying "no" triggers such strong terror and guilt that the Doormat pattern rarely says it. And if they do, they usually have to punish themselves for it, or find ways for others to punish them. The pattern says "It's not ok to have your own needs, desires, or to deny the needs/desires of others."
This pattern, like the other Victim patterns, is primarily run by self-hate and fear, and a belief that life will only deal out blows. The HangDog anticipates the blows, and like a dog that has been beaten, goes into a submissive stance before a hand can even be raised. In fact, many HangDog people walk around constantly with their heads down. They enter the door with apologies and submissive stances. Unfortunately, most people respond to this ultra-submissiveness with irritation. And an angry response only reinforces the HangDog's belief that life will deal only blows. Instead of standing up and fighting back, they will cower even lower in hopes that you won't hit them with your anger.
The Great Martyr
This pattern has many manifestations, and is often found in conjunction with other patterns. For instance, it's very common to find a Guru/Shark flip into the Martyr pattern when confronted. Then they claim all they wanted was to help, to share information or their wisdom, etc, and now they suffer from being misunderstood by the great unwashed masses that they are trying to help.
When the Martyr is the dominant pattern however, the person will actually set up situations in which they can be rejected.
A particularly irritating form of Martyr, The Fool is the guy who used to entertain kings at court by imitating the rich and pompous. The Fool believes it is his job, his DUTY, to disturb people, to shake up their belief systems. He will do this in any way he can. He will be confrontive, he will make fun of others, he will tease, provoke, mimic, and he tells himself that it is all for the good of others. He is only showing you to yourself, after all, and if you become angry, that's further evidence of your denials, and he is satisfied that he has succeeded in shaking you up.
However, the important part of this pattern is that he inevitably does make people angry and finds himself rejected. He will continue provoking the situation until this happens. He's not fully satisfied with someone saying "Yes, you're right, I have denial there, thanks for pointing that out to me." The pattern will only be fully satisfied when he has provoked anger and rejection. So he always ends up as the victim, rejected, cast out, unappreciated, nailed to the cross. And then, when he skulks away by himself, he mutters to himself angrily, "I was only trying to help. I am always so misunderstood, a prophet crucified again." He tells himself that he doesn't care. But he does. Rejection hurts. But it's what he expects. Anticipates. Acceptance would run so contrary to the pattern that he has to make sure it never happens.
Another manifestation of the Martyr pattern, the Ever-Giver never thinks of themselves. The are constantly giving to others, and never are appreciated for how much they give... and they usually find a way to make sure you know it. The stereotype of this is the Jewish mother who makes sure her children suffer with guilt every minute of the day for how much she has done for them, "selflessly".
This type of Martyr can suffer in silence. Part of the pattern here is that they suffer more than anybody else, and nobody cares. Nobody notices. Except of course that they secretly want you to notice and feel sorry for them.
The reality this pattern lives in is truly alone and hurting, and so any attempt to cross the walls and give comfort and caring will usually be rejected or sabotaged somehow. The pattern lives in its aloneness and can't allow love or comfort in. This is truly frustrating from the outside, if you love somebody with this pattern, because nothing you do will be able to reach them. Nothing you do can stop the suffering.
This pattern is one of the hardest to heal, because continued suffering is part of the pattern, and so getting the person to stop acting out the suffering and actually CRY the pain is really tough. The first thing they have to deal with is that once they cry their pain, they won't be suffering anymore. Any payoff they've been getting from being the Sufferer will be lost. Many Sufferers don't want to give up the payoff.
There are many more manifestations of the Martyr. Usually if there's guilt involved, you're dealing with one of the Martyr patterns.
The Little Match Girl (or Boy)
This is a sad-sack of a pattern that is very hard to get out of. The spiral of this pattern is like a sucking whirlpool. The Little Match Girl moves through life in a constant state of lack. She hangs her head, walks with a shuffle, never has enough of anything - love, food, comfort, warmth, shelter - her reality is entirely one of lack.
They will often attract someone with a Rescuer pattern, but no matter how much you do for a Little Match Girl, it will never be enough. You will either be sucked dry (at which point the Rescuer pattern may flip into the Martyr pattern) or they'll drag you down to their level of lack. Or you'll become angry and disgusted and leave them to their own reality.
Since the feelings underlying this pattern are real, they can be cried and changed. But all too often the Little Match Girl is judged as weak and whiny, and so she goes underground and acts out in a state of denial. Then you get a person who is trying consciously to have a normal life, but who seems to be constantly sabotaged by life or themselves. They lose jobs and they can't always tell you why. They may be constantly late, but it's never their fault. They are always in debt. In trouble. Things just go wrong, and they don't seem to have any control over it.
The Ultimate Victim
Someone who has Victim as their Life Pattern will often act out in a combination of all the above ways. They may be a Doormat, and a Little Match Girl. They may take these to extremes and become a punching bag for an abusive husband or wife. Women most often get trapped in the Ultimate Victim patterns, but men can have this pattern too.
When Victim is a Life Pattern, there are many complex emotions underlying. There is the fear of saying no that the Doormat carries. There is belief in lack and woe that the Little Match Girl carries. And there is layer upon layer of self-hate that finds a multitude of ways to act out on itself.
The belief that you deserve to be hurt, hit, rejected, punished, or even killed, cannot be changed by just knowing or thinking. There is pain that needs to be healed, pain that says "I am nothing."
Things are further tangled up and made more complicated by the desperate desire for love and the mistaken belief that if you let the other person hate you, abuse you, etc., they will love you. This is somewhat reinforced by the abuser's apology afterwards, but in truth, it's a never ending spiral downward, with the abuse escalating.
For more on Abusive Patterns, see
Chart of Coercion
The important thing to remember here is that the patterns keep the real feelings at bay, and prevent actual healing from taking place. It's necessary to cry the pain underlying every pattern in order to truly stop the spinning and destructive behaviors. If you simply attempt to stop the pattern or force a change in the behavior, you'll often find yourself acting out the opposite side of the pattern. Victims will act out as perpetrators.
Spinning in Guilt and Blame
Guilt (my fault) and blame (your fault) are two sides of the same coin, opposite extremes of a primarily mental activity that is designed to stop, suppress, or mask the real feelings.Guilt and blame manifest in a sort of "spinning". When I'm in one of these spins, whether it is focused outward or inward, I find I can't cry my feelings. Guilt masks and uses self-hate, primarily.Blame masks and uses rage, primarily.I say primarily, because both these activities can be used to mask, stop, or suppress other feelings as well.
Blame uses real and true blaming-rage / hurt-rage. Sometimes it masks terror and other feelings, but most often it uses my real rage as the bedrock for its judgments and proclamations and assigning of fault. Then I find myself spinning in thoughts of blame and rage and how they did XYZ, and s/he said ABC, and so on, cataloging all the nitpicking details of how the person harmed or wronged my. I may tell myself "If I could only tell them how I feel, that would make it better, if they would just listen and hear me, then it would heal." Actually, the healing doesn't happen like that.
I know this. I KNOW it. From many years of experience healing my rage, I really do KNOW it. But it still doesn't stop me from wanting to lambast somebody or tell them how rotten I think they are.
Guilt uses real and true feelings of self-hate, shame, regret, and so on, to keep me spinning in a cycle of self-judgments. Again, there may be other feelings involved, but often guilt uses self-hate as the bedrock for its judgments and proclamations against me. Then I find myself spinning in thoughts of embarrassment, shame, self-loathing, wishing I hadn't done XYZ, or how I should have ABC.
Until the activities and spinning are stopped, the true feelings held hostage beneath the surface will never be able to rise up and cry and truly be healed. But until the real feelings underneath are healed, the pattern won't really be stopped.
It's an important distinction to know that guilt and blame at this level are not feelings. In order to move guilt off our planet and out of our souls, we need to really see it for what it is. And what it is not.
Real pain can be cried and healed. Blame and guilt do not cry. That is how you can know what is a pattern and what is not. That is how you will know when you have succeeded in reaching beneath the pattern to the real feelings.
Blame generates guilt, which generates blame, which generates guilt....
When someone hurls their blame at me, I feel BLAMED. It hurts. It triggers my self-hate which says I must deserve to be hated and blamed. When I accept this blame, when I take it in as something I deserve, I let guilt steal my essence, take my space.
Guilt pressurizes. Guilt pushes on us and makes us smaller and smaller. Guilt lives in the space we abdicate. Guilt manipulates, and little by little, erodes your life so that pretty soon, something OTHER than you is in charge of your life.
The smaller I feel, the more helpless rage is generated.
I may not be able to rage at the person or situation that is blaming me and compressing me. But deep down, in the pit of my stomach and lower, in my survival chakra, a churning rage boils and bubbles. This rage turns to the acting out mask of blame.
Guilt has generated blame.
My blame may not manifest directly. My rage may feel so helpless and suppressed that it may come out as blame at another person entirely. I may blame someone smaller or more helpless than me.
They in turn might feel bad, suppressed, pushed on, pushed down, hated and blamed. They might accept the blame and let guilt take a little more of their space.
And so on, and so on. And round and round it goes.
How to Stop the Spinning?
I have had the experience when trying to stop the guilt spinning, of having the needle "jump" to the other side of the record. I notice myself spinning in guilt, and I try to stop the thoughts, stop the run-on litany of how awful I am, and all of a sudden I find myself running on the track of blame and spinning in the litany of how awful "they" are. I haven't stopped the pattern from spinning, I've just jumped over to the opposite side of it. The same thing often happens when I try to stop myself from spinning in blame. I flip over into guilt and self-hate.
It helps me to think of the patterns as if they're somewhat alive. They are powered by many many years of survival that says we must not feel what we really feel. And so they have an investment in continuing to spin, in keeping the real feelings suppressed.
Since our goal is healing, it's essential to get to the real feelings underneath it all. When I find myself spinning in blame, I try to let myself cry the helpless rage I feel. When I find myself spinning in guilt, I try to let myself cry the self-hate I feel. Or whatever the feelings are that are hiding beneath the mental activity.
The first time you do this it might be surprisingly easy. The next time it might not be so easy. That's because the guilt/blame pattern itself, and your own resistance is caught off-guard the first time. But after that it becomes aware that you're trying to break its control, and it clamps down harder.
Blaming rage has been stuck spinning in blaming and acting out for so long that it knows no other way. The best way to start with stuck blaming rage is to make it non-verbal. Blaming rage, at the deep gut level, IS a true feeling, and it can be cried, but it's one of the hardest feelings to get to because it has been conditioned to go immediately to masking, which means acting out either blame on others, or guilt on one's self.
Good solid blaming rage that moves in sounds and tears is an immensely healing thing. But it needs to be allowed to really cry so that it doesn't continue to act out on others and cause more harm in the world.
You might need to use some tricks to get around the walls that suddenly appear between you and your real feelings.
Once you've cried the true feelings under the blame, then the magic happens. You'll find new and creative ways to resolve your relationships. You may need to talk to the person about your angry/hurt feelings, but you'll be able to do it without attacking them. And if the relationship needs to be severed, you'll be able to do it without guilt or shame or doubt. And you'll find new acceptance for yourself, faults and all. You'll be able to take up the space that belongs to you, and take your life back from the guilt that has been sitting in your rightful place.
It won't happen all at once, and it's not easy. It's a process, it's a path we walk one step at a time. But as long as we keep crying, we can't help but move forward.
That's the real magic of the Path of Tears.
Path of Tears.