It can easily be argued that you are the sum total of your patterns. Your behavioral routines determine what you do and you are an amalgam of those repeated deeds, indeed.
But just like there are different ways to score your credit, there is another way to add up who you are – Subtraction.
Patterns are addition. Many of them are no longer useful or productive, yet we still run them every day.
We and our collected patterns are one in the eyes of the beholder. They can’t see the difference between the authentic you and the conditioned you. That’s because they too have summed up that they are their patterns.
We learn addition first so it’s quite natural to assume it’s the most important piece of life’s math. It’s more foundational than it is important. We cannot appreciate subtraction without first learning addition, sort of like not knowing “down” until we have a sense of “up.”
Once we learn that we are not what we have added to ourselves, it’s time to begin the process of subtraction. Subtraction takes you back to basics – back to an unadulterated you.
Subtraction begins by noticing what is no longer working for you. Just like a comedian who made you laugh with jokes he told 20 years ago, those same jokes now make you cringe. If he doesn’t notice and keeps telling them, the joke’s on him.
What collected pieces of behavior are defining you? It’s prudent to do an inventory. Some of those pieces are essential to functioning well in life, hang on to those. Other pieces are just additional baggage; those need a minus sign in front of them.
Subtraction leads you back to you – a beacon of light that wants to shine through.
Too much addition keeps the window to the soul covered over. Notice what additions are adding to your darkness and get curious about what no longer adds up.
It seems counter-intuitive at first, but subtraction adds to life’s score.
All the best,
Be Sociable, Share!