So… we are not talking about taking apart your bicycle. We are talking about tearing down “strongholds” in thinking patterns that have been established, many times since our childhood. A stronghold is a regular pattern of thinking that your mind regularly gravitates to and travels down.
In talking with some friends today, they said they were in a process of “Cycle Dismantling”. So our conversation of course went in this direction. We started to discover and uncover regular thought patterns each of them have had, which created dysfunctional expectations of the other and themselves. This in turn brings “autoresponder” thought patterns based in these established attitudes and expectations, which in turn form and shape dysfunctional “symptoms”, or behavior patterns that keep repeating themselves.
This of course makes perfect sense, but when you are caught in one of these cyclical patterns, you easily wind up “doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result.” The definition of insanity. In this case, one of the offshoots over time that developed is… ” I don’t even care, when it gets to this place I just… shut down, walk way, blame it on the other person, sweep it under the rug and move on… take your pick. This is the only real variable in the equation. Over time, we lose hope and wind up here more often than not, when left unaddressed.
The good news is, when you face these cycles head on, usually with objective help, you can dismantle the cycle rationally using a model like the one in the graphic above, and change the thoughts, feelings and emotions that keep the cycle in place. In today’s example, we made tremendous headway in all these aspects and I am hopeful as they are, that they need not continue in this cyclical pattern. I told them it may take a few times of approaching and thinking it through to victory and have it “stick”, but when they do, it will establish a new, healthy “stronghold” of compassion, (Hogue -Forgiveness).
Cognitive Therapy in several forms, is a clinical approach to “taking your thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ… and being transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Truth is Truth. When our life experiences become completely subjective, the Truth remains the “plumbline” that we can return to to find the place that never changes, and we align ourselves to it.