In my book The Hero's Journey Challenge, I emphasize that if we repeat the same negative patterns, we will likely find ourselves falling into an Abyss. Let's look at destructive behavior as an example.
As humans, we are emotional creatures. It's okay to have our emotions, but is it okay to act negatively as a result of them?
Let's look at anger and deconstruct how it effects us. Usually we become angry because of an old wound we haven't fully dealt with. I'll use myself and one of my triggers as an example. When someone does something (intentional or unintentional) to make me feel less than, unimportant, shushed, or not validated...I get angry. It's okay to feel the anger, but it's what I do next that's important. If I hold on to the anger and macerate in it and think destructive thoughts on how to "get back" at the person that made me feel the anger, I turn into giant ball of negative energy. Now that does no one good, and it hurt's me more than anyone. How do I make a positive change for the better?
1. I feel the anger (as unpleasant as that is) and identify it with "hello anger, why are you here?"
2. Identify what brought it here (my trigger): someone did or said something that made me feel "less than"
3. Notice the trigger, "hello old wound, so you're back again".
4. Make a choice: am I going to macerate here or change my behavior so that I don't repeat old negative patterns? Make a change for the better if I choose it.
5. Be thankful for the awareness I've brought to recognizing both the emotion and the old wound or trigger.
6. Make the change, and refuse to dwell in the pit of anger. I see it, feel it, and release it. "Good- by anger...for now. I'm sure you will be back, but I now have a better understanding of you."
There! Congratulations! You have brought awareness to and identified a problem, corrected the behavior, and progressed. Well done!