What is Your Pattern?

written by Princess R. Lakshman

We are often too busy in our lives to spend a few moments to reflect on our self-talk, thoughts and behaviours. It is only upon reflection that we create conscious awareness of why we do what we do, choose what we choose, say what we say and act how we act. 

Daily reflection of self-talk, thoughts and behaviours also highlights our PATTERN. I refer to this pattern as living life on a DEFAULT mode.  

From childhood, we grow up with a pattern that we inherit from our parents. Our parents also inherited that pattern from their parents who inherited it from theirs and so on. 

For example, some years ago I was in an ice-cream shop where the retail assistant was offering free tastings. I observed a little boy who was keen to try the lemon sorbet flavour. His father was on his smartphone the whole time this child was trying to choose a flavour and kept looking at the lemon sorbet. Finally the child asked for it and as the retail assistant scooped a tiny spoon of lemon sorbet, the child’s father looked up and said to his son, “NO, no, that’s too sour. You won’t like it. Get chocolate or something that kids always get.” He turned to the retail assistant and said with a smirk on his face, “Give him chocolate or vanilla, always the safe option.”

The moral of this above anecdote is that there was a plethora of ice-creams and sorbets in the shop yet the father insisted to impose his own pattern on his son. It was not going to cost him any money to let the child at least try the lemon sorbet and find out for himself if it was to his liking.

What do you suppose happened to the child’s subconscious mind at that moment? The subconscious mind takes in information and stores it indiscriminately only to reuse that information discriminately for future decision-making. This child would probably never want to try a lemon sorbet because he trusts his father’s opinion. His belief about lemon sorbets is formed without even experiencing lemon sorbets. The only time this child will realise that his belief about lemon sorbets is, in fact, his father’s belief is when he becomes aware of the fact that he has a will to choose and decide for himself.

“No! They say: “We found our fathers following a certain religion, and we do guide ourselves by their footsteps.”  HOLY QURAN – (43:22)

It was the set inherited patterns of forefathers that stopped many from following our Prophet, peace be upon him. This pattern is the reason my own family of polytheists disowned me after I embraced Islam.

Become aware of your self-talk, thoughts and behaviours. You will notice that some or most of these beliefs about yourself are as a result of someone else’s opinion about you. 

Try this exercise for the next seven days. It may help you find clarity about what your inherited self-limiting beliefs look like. I have done the first one as an example.:

 

My beliefs about me

Is it true? Why do I think this about myself? What is the truth?
  1. I am fat and cranky because I can’t fit into anything I like.
No My mother called me fat since my childhood. I am a unique creation of Allah. My body does not define me. I respect food. I respect my body. I intend to eat wholesome food to nourish my body.

For more inspiration, check out the YouTube Channel for Muslimah Mind Matters

 

Photo by Ifrah Akhter on Unsplash

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