Thursday, March 13, 2008

P4E.062 A Rat in a Maze?

(The 1st in a series on predator patterning.)

In the early evening gloom.
Impaled on my wall
My eyes can dimly see
The pattern of my life
And the puzzle that is me.

From the moment of my birth
To the instant of my death,
There are patterns I must follow
Just as I must breathe each breath.
Like a rat in a maze
The path before me lies,
And the pattern never alters
Until the rat dies.

And the pattern still remains
On the wall where darkness fell,
And it's fitting that it should,
For in darkness I must dwell.
Like the color of my skin,
Or the day that I grow old,
My life is made of patterns
That can scarcely be controlled.

Patterns, by Paul Simon

I've been deeply affected by some of what my wife, Gwen, is sharing about what she's learning about "natural horsemanship." To give credit where credit is due, we are learning about these things from Monty Roberts (considered by many to be "the" Horse Whisperer), Clinton Anderson and last, but not nearly least, Pat and Linda Parelli and their colleague, Dr. Stephanie Burns. These people have studied horse behavior and human behavior and are promoting a more natural, non-violent, approach to the relationship between the two. There's also a man named Cesar Millan who has earned a reputation as the "Dog Whisperer." These people have broken the code so that we humans can understand and communicate with horses and dogs. As unusual as it may sound, much of what we are learning about the relationship between humans and horses cross-references to husbands and wives. I consider my mentor, Ken Nair, to be the "Wife Whisperer." He's written a book called "Discovering the Mind of a Woman," that is a classic in breaking the code of communication and understanding between husbands and wives. All of these wonderful people have identified patterns in human and/or animal behavior that have been key in helping to understand and communicate one to another.

When I'm in counseling, a large part of what my counselor does is to help me to become more sensitive to and more self-aware of patterning that exists in my life. Some of the patterning has led to strengths, but other patterning has led to "areas of concern." That patterning was established by many factors. Genes, environment, parental upbringing, siblings, birth order, gender, epochal events, age, peers and other things influence the patterns of my life. Becoming self-aware of these patterns is the first and extremely important step in benefiting from the counseling.

I'm starting to believe that an important part of what Christ is looking for in me (since I am His and He is mine) is behavior modification. A more spiritually natural, non-violent approach to my relationships with my wife, my children and others around me. Changing the way I think, act and talk. A part of behavior modification is recognizing the patterns in my life that cause areas of concern and interrupting them. It's called "pattern interruption."

Am I a rat in a maze whose pattern never alters until the rat dies? God help me, I hope not. More to follow...

Your ally in the pursuit of Christlikeness, Kim


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  2. Oh, I like this. Pattern interruption is an interesting way to conceive of the process. I do look forward to more on this, perhaps from a practical angle, with whatever examples you feel free to share as illustration.