• Dr. Leah Fortson

Break Pattern

I've been thinking a lot about patterns... Immediately, your mind may have gone to a decorative design that's recurring or repetitive - polkadots, checkers, animal print. When we hear the word pattern we often think of fabric. But what if there's a different kind of pattern, a type of pattern that reveals the fabric of our character, the longings of our heart, and the deep wounds we have lost our capacity to talk about.

I have patterns, cycles of behaving, thinking and being in the world that cause me to experience the same results time and time again. Have you ever thought about the arguments you repeatedly have with your loved one or the relational decisions you make time and again leading to the same results? We talk about the outcomes, we talk about the results, but rarely do we talk about the cyclical patterns that lead us to experience the same things over and over again - unfinished projects, unattained goals, violations of your own boundaries in relationships - we continue to revert to old patterns because they are familiar and familiarity feels safe.

Have you ever heard of a holding pattern? It's the flight path maintained by an aircraft awaiting permission to land. It is literally when an aircraft remains in a certain path or pattern until it is safe to land. If the aircraft were to remain in this position indefinitely, eventually it would run out of fuel and crash. However, when the aircraft receives word that it is safe to land, the aircraft must break pattern and advance toward landing.

What am I saying you ask? Simple, if you remain stuck in your patterns you will eventually run out of fuel and be unable to reach your desired destination. This is what makes holding patterns dangerous. But if you are willing to receive this message as your pronouncement that it is safe to land, if you are willing to break pattern, to do something different, something you have never done before perhaps; it will be scary, there may be some turbulence, it might feel bumpy, but I promise you, you will land, you will reach your desired destination!

Take some time this week and think about your unhealthy patterns. We can go deep and try to understand why those patterns exist but what's most important for us today is to recognize that these patterns give us a false sense of safety. Playing it safe never promised success! Take a risk, break pattern and see where you land.