Am I the architect of my own problems?

You’ve seen the repeating patterns in your life. You’ve seen the roles others have cast you in, and maybe the roles you’ve created for yourself. You’ve seen that this isn’t working for you. It may, at this point, be appropriate to point a finger of blame somewhere else, and take a dramatic leap out of the story you’ve been trapped in. If you can do that, then it wasn’t your story. But what happens when you point the finger of blame, and then after the drama this brings, you settle down and find that you’re back in that same story again, playing the same role?

It is a hard and painful thing to consider that you may be the architect of your own problems. It is the least comfortable outcome to find that you are the one making up the roles and doing the casting that keeps the same story playing on repeat in your life. The good news is that you have great power to change things in this situation. The bad news is that you may put up massive resistance to admitting your own role.

When we spend our time casting other people in roles, we don’t get to know them as people. We just treat them how we treat the story we have about that role. This can be deeply disorientating for the person put into the story. I’ve had a few rounds of people treating me in incomprehensible ways, telling me I am things, or I do things, or that something means something else… This is what it looks like when a person is relating to an idea, not another person. And I think this indicates the best way out of such a mess, too.

If you are making your own problems by repeating stories, all you have to do is quietly stop casting people in roles. No one has to be your twin soul, your nemesis, your mother, your perfect lover, the child you never had… Without creating any drama or weirdness, you can just let go of these ways of relating. Replace it by getting to know people as individuals. Find out who they actually are and where they want to be in your life and you’ll be well under way to creating new stories full of open ended possibility.

Squaring up to this, you may feel silly, or fraudulent, or like everyone can see what you’ve been doing. You may feel shame, and regret and misery. And actually, this is all ok. These are fair and appropriate responses to having been making a mess of things. It’s when we’re unwilling to feel difficult and discomforting emotions that we are most likely to make a mess of things. Fear of our own dark sides can be a big motivator for casting other people in roles rather than properly relating to them. Feel the things, but don’t let it turn into an excuse for mostly just feeling sorry for yourself or you could find you’ve wandered back into the old story again.


About Nimue Brown

Druid, author, dreamer, folk enthusiast, parent, wife to the most amazing artist -Tom Brown. Drinker of coffee, maker of puddings. Exploring life as a Pagan, seeking good and meaningful ways to be, struggling with mental health issues and worried about many things. View all posts by Nimue Brown

2 responses to “Am I the architect of my own problems?

  • neptunesdolphins

    A lot of people repeat patterns since that is what makes them comfortable. In my forays into group therapy, I met many people who wanted to change but didn’t want to do the work. It is hard to venture beyond what you know into the unknown. People would rather put with what they know – pain and all.

    The other thing is that some people want to rewrite the story by casting people into particular roles, and then rewriting the outcome. In my experience, it is better to accept that story as complete and start a new one. Self-examination and starting a new story is very difficult for many people. Very few people, if ever, get that far before they bail in therapy.

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