Toxic cycles are hard to break free from. We see these in our homes, workplace, and relationships. What’s ingrained is often difficult to untrain. After all, we don’t call these cycles for nothing. Breaking away from loops requires much more effort on our part. When negative behaviors surround us, our tendency is to absorb and fall into mimicking the same energy people exude on us. So how do we get out of the cycle and stop unhealthy patterns?
Gresson Peiffer’s Sharing My Light and Healing Energy: Journey to True Self explores the intricacies of past cycles and patterns and why it is important that we lose them. In her book, she highlights the most effective method of breaking cycles, which is looking inward instead of looking outward.
Oftentimes, when faced with adversity, our tendency is to pin the blame on external causes and other people instead of ourselves. Having a scapegoat for the things that go wrong with our lives is our quick excuse for staying in the loop. We hear people say, “I can’t reach for my dreams because I had to give in to societal standards. I blame conformity and the impracticality of my dreams.” We throw remarks like this because it’s easy. We all know that dreams are hard to achieve so we find the quick scapegoat that justifies our shortcomings for failing to reach them. This is an example of looking outwards. It exacerbates cycles.
The natural solution, therefore, is looking inwards. But how do the two concepts differ? We can also argue that when we look inwards, we can now blame ourselves for all the unfulfilled dreams and misfortunes life has thrown at us. But pinning the blame on ourselves doesn’t necessarily mean it can break cycles. We ought to remember that some cycles are ingrained in us, which are harder to fix than cycles made by external causes. Changing behaviors and attitudes instilled in us from a young age require years of slow reform. Simply knowing what’s wrong with us is not enough. But here’s where the cycle can end: control.
Control is the key difference between looking inward and looking outward. When we look inward, we have control. We can control change within us. We can’t predict, much less, control external factors. But we can control ourselves. Sure, it’s more complex to be at peace with ourselves internally and be objective about solving the toxic patterns we have. We need to delve deeper into our core and confront internal foes that either make or break us. But we are solving the root cause of most cycles we couldn’t break.
Cycles are driven by the force of human relationships. How we interact with ourselves and others has a domino effect we don’t see on a surface level but feel in our internal consciousness. So maybe next time, instead of waking up defeated and saying nothing in your life works, wake up and say, “I get to try today. And if I can’t break the cycle today, I have another chance tomorrow.”
- Written by Porsha Mangilit