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What I Learned From Self-Observing And Breaking Patterns

Experience submitted by Fotis

While practicing self-observation, a technique I learned from Belsebuub’s work, I was able to discover some of the patterns that were repeating in my daily life and find out eventually, why they were happening.

I like what Belsebuub says about patterns. After exploring patterns while self-observing, I could relate more to his message:

“Negativity forms patterns, and so low emotions and ego states repeat, thus reinforcing and strengthening those patterns and states. When they become stronger it’s not easy to get out of them, unless the patterns can be recognized and you are able to step outside the ego states, by observing them and thus getting knowledge of them.”

~ Belsebuub, The Awakening of Perception – chapter four ‘On Removing Some of the Obstacles to Love’

In another book Belsebuub explains how such patterns also apply to the whole of humanity:

“The same psychological patterns go on; they repeat from one generation to the next. And these patterns repeat within each person’s life, causing everyone to go through a mechanical pattern. No matter how much someone may think that society is improving, the inner psychological world continues to go through this pattern.”

~ Belsebuub, Gazing into the Eternal – chapter two ‘What Is Valued in Life’

Observing Patterns in My Daily Life

A situation was repeating in my daily life and every time it left a sad and stressful outcome. At the beginning, I could see only the aftermath. Feeling sad and disappointed. Seeing the situation repeat quite a few times, with the same outcome I felt so terribly trapped and wanted to get out of it as soon as possible.

I began to notice the process repeating more. I could see it again and every time it was happening I had the “here we go again…” feeling.  I was trying to do something different, to respond in a different way, or not to respond, or to disorientate the process of it, but nothing worked sufficiently like it was too late. As though it wasn’t enough or it was just a patch to cover things for a while.

Overall it felt like I wasn’t doing the right thing.

Going down the Rabbit Hole

The problem was still there and every time was “ooh not again!!” and it felt unbearable. Applying the self-observation more attentively, gradually the situation became more familiar to me. It was like a game that I could learn to play, improvise and see what worked better. Combining the retrospection technique, (another exercise I learned from Belsebuub’s work) I managed to see the whole pattern that was repeating. It was a mixture of intentions, expectations, bad reactions and misunderstandings that were causing the mess.

It took me ages and I tried many different things, but what worked best was to catch the pattern at the very beginning and do my best from then on. It was like standing at the seaside where waves were crashing on me and I had to be prepared when I saw bigger ones coming in and try not to let them take me down. I was aware that they will come again at some point but the difficulty was to see them at the right time.

I thought the main part of a reaction was at the very beginning of an event; however, it wasn’t really…

Working on it I saw that the pattern could start even two days before the actual situation appeared. When I thought everything was “fine” and things were rolling smoothly… As I did this I observed a familiar thought pattern that kept repeating.

The situation kept repeating, but it was easier for me to deal with. I could catch the pattern in early stages and act in a different way, according to my understanding, with, let’s say, a wiser way. One key point was to stay detached from the things which were leading the situation to the same outcome. The situation is still repeating but it’s like a bubble which broke and it doesn’t look so big and overwhelming anymore.


  • Thanks Fotis for your post. I am also noticing a lot of patterns that trap me psychologically. They settle themselves in my emotions or thoughts either sometime before or well after the event has passed. It is helpful to want to experience awareness at that time as well as to remember the inner work. Awareness in particular is something that I am exploring now. I find that allowing myself to actually perceive what is around me fights the ego because it helps me come out of the scenario that it has created.

  • That was really helpful to hear what you went through Fotis, and I can relate on so many points you’ve made. These patterns are everywhere in our lives and I remember once someone telling me life itself is a pattern, with each day repeating the same activities, yet with our abilities to learn something and change how we go through our days. And this is so true and real, after all, we have the same commute, the same work, the same responsibilities, the same need to eat three times a day, to cook, to clean up and so forth..
    So really each day is a repeat of the previous day, but with a new change every morning to dig deeper, to do things differently, to change our mistakes and improve our understanding of whatever egos is brought up for each situation that is repeated every day.

    And the same goes for our relationships – each day a new chance.. Thanks again for sharing your experience, because it actually helped me understand something I thought I had understood but can see now, that I hadn’t really 🙂

    • Yeh, sometimes it reminds me the Groundhog Day movie… 🙂 but make such a big difference doing something towards awakening.
      I’m glad I helped. Thank you!

  • Thank you Fotis, I appreciate your sharing this experience. It is an ongoing learning curve from what I can see – it is encouraging to read your efforts in trying to understanding you own inner world and how this was impacting on the external events of your life…repeatedly. I can so relate to this feeling of repetition and a sense of ‘here we go again’.

  • Thanks for sharing these situations Fotis.

    I like how, as it seemed to me, it really started as a big ‘blob’ of a manifestation. But then you really started to bring consciousness into that bit by bit, to dig into it, investigate and dissect things.

    I’m already looking forward for you to totally understand all of it and to entirely move beyond it! Good luck!

  • Thank you Fotis very much for sharing about your journey of discovering, and then breaking the patterns. It is an interesting perspective about these patterns, and shows the complexity of the egos we are trapped in. That it is not just a simple anger that’s causing a situation for example, but several egos at once, one leading to another, always producing the same, undesirable outcome. It is this complexity I feel, that causes us to often fall into the same trap again and again, always reacting in the same way. Your analogy of a wave is great too. Like the sea (the daily life with all its traps and temptations) is going to continue creating these waves, as it is in its nature, but its up to us to learn about them, understand and then overcome them.

    The self-observation and later reflection on what happened is the key it seems. As Michael aptly commented here, if you are standing with your back to the wave, you will never know when its going to hit.

  • I can really relate Foti, as I’m sure most people can. It makes me realise the truth of ‘we learn through suffering’. It seems that it’s in these periods of intense suffering and struggling with a situation that feels like it’s trapped us internally, that our desperation to find a way out leads to breakthroughs. It sounds like you got to a position of real detachment at some point, to start to see the repeating patterns as a ‘game’ and even how to the behaviour and painful outcome can begin far before what you initially thought.

    I really agree that retrospection coupled with observation is a powerful tool. One without the other is lacking. To honestly retrospect my day with the emphasis on seeing myself and my own reactions, to find the flaw in how I behave, not other people, has been one of the most powerful tools for igniting the inner work, I’ve found over and over again. Reading your story has reminded me – thanks!

  • Thanks for sharing your experiences of working to reduce recurring inner states Fotis. The analogy you gave of the waves crashing in on the beach is a good one. I can imagine someone standing with their back to the sea, knowing the waves would come in, but not knowing when. I’ve experienced the same thing many times when trying to reduce a particular inner state.

    It’s great that you managed to get a greater understanding of the repeating situation, in order to improve its outcome.

    • Thank you Michael and everyone.
      About the waves, I think repetition in general works as part of nature programme and I learn so much observing that. It’s so easy though to switch off and turn my back as you said, but it’s difficult to ignore the repercussions of it which eventually will come.

      All the strength to face and come out of this, in your case Michael, Mike and everyone else.

  • Thank your for sharing this, Fotis. I can really relate to painful patterns repeating again and again. Especially with all the expectations I have, different miscommunications, etc.

    As I can see a potential recurrence of a painful event coming up in my own life, your insights on the days leading up to such events is quite helpful. It’s not only during the main event that one needs to be on guard; even in the times leading up to it, the various thoughts and emotions going on then matter a lot, too. I’m going to be on guard. Thank you.

    • Good point Mike I agree. I also recently noticed how much I was thinking about an upcoming event and psychologically already attached and such. It was great to see this, because I didn’t have to wait for the event or anything but could get to studying right there. This was very helpful to detach when the actual time came around.

      • It’s kinda funny how the egos work, isn’t it? We don’t even need the event in front of us to react…

        • Haha, exactly 🙂 The amount of times I catch myself talking/trying to convince/argue with people in my head when they’re not around is ridiculous 🙂 ‘All’ the time basically. Much nicer to be on the other side of that spectrum— actually with those people yet silent internally and to actually listen and communicate with meaning.

  • Thanks for sharing Fotis. I concur that combo of the restrospection and observing during the day is a really powerful way of helping to get free of patterns of behaviour. Thanks for the inspiration and the reminder!

About Belsebuub

Prior to withdrawing from public life in 2010, author Belsebuub had written several books and many articles on the topic of self-discovery. Read more

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