Have you ever done that exercise, the one where someone asks you to look around the room and spot all the things of a certain colour? Such as, spot everything ‘red’ and then the person asks you what blue things you saw. It’s a cute little exercise to prove the point that we see what we want to see.

We see not only what we ‘want’ to see, but also what we expect to see. Sometimes it takes someone who isn’t you to spot some of the themes you may be running. I have some great friends who are into personal development. They spot themes for me and I spot themes for them and, of course, I do this using intuition with clients.

So what do I mean by ‘theme’? Themes are negative beliefs we hold onto that we unconsciously think to be true. Such as, I’m not loveable, I’m always left out, I’m too much, I’m not enough, you get the picture. Like the colour exercise, we can look at ourselves and how other people treat us with tinted glasses on, sometimes totally misunderstanding someone else’s intention. Talking things through with friends honestly, without tainting the story, can help us to see with a much greater perspective and learn something about ourselves.

Themes can be why we date the same kinds of people, or why we have patterns of events that play out in our lives – such as always getting bullied at work, or always being the person that supports the underdog, or always being the person who makes sure the birthday card is signed by everyone, but who never gets a card on their birthday.

Once you uncover a theme it changes everything. It almost becomes impossible to still run the theme. When you can catch yourself doing it, you can stop doing it. The important thing is to not beat yourself up about it. We must have compassion, as under every theme we are playing out, we are playing it, to heal it. Somehow we gravitate to repeating our history to change an incorrect perception about ourselves.

One of mine was ‘I’m not enough’. This showed up as being a workaholic. It also showed up in a secondary theme. If someone told me I wasn’t good enough I would step into the theme of ‘I’ll show you!’ So sometimes you can find the deeper theme when the lighter theme becomes obvious. I would hear criticism when there wasn’t any being given. That can make you defensive. Now I have healed that part of myself, I can’t be triggered by other people’s judgements in those areas of my life. I also find myself to have more boundaries and at the same time, I am more loving. Less to prove and much more to give. It’s freeing. Let’s face it, we only ever get upset when what someone says about us has a hint of truth to it. Our sore trigger points are the only ones that get under our skin, anything else is water off a duck’s back.

Breaking our themes frees us up to live more interesting lives with fewer limiting patterns. It also allows us to love more deeply, especially loving ourselves.