CYCLES & BREAKING CYCLES
JoAnna Bennett, O’Brien Communications Group
30 September 2021
This morning, my son and I took a stroll around the neighborhood while we waited for his bus to arrive. We found a dead cricket being eaten by ants, a rotted piece of wood sticking out of the grass, a few pieces of trash to be added to the garbage bin, and we also had some lovely conversation. While we were looking at our neighbor’s hibiscus bush, we noticed two small flowers that were nearing their demise.
My son looked up at me and said, “When those flower’s die, will other ones grow?”
My response was, “Next Spring we’ll see the flowers again, but I doubt we’ll see more any time soon, Bud.”
At first, he looked a little sad, but then something clicked, and he said, “So we just keep going around and around in the seasons, but they always come back?”
They Always Come Back
A cycle is defined as a series of events that are regularly repeated in the same order. Our seasons absolutely are a cycle. And there are many others cycles that occur in our lives. There are business cycles, behavioral cycles, familial cycles, and even motorcycles. Okay. That last one doesn’t fit in here. Let me take that back and add social cycles. While some cycles may be largely out of our control – such as the seasonal cycle my son recently discovered — we do have some control over others, such as business or familial cycles. It isn’t easy to break or alter a cycle, but it is possible.
Are you aggravated with the way certain things progress at your place of business? Are you feeling anxious and overwhelmed after an interaction with a family member? Well, the first step in altering or breaking a cycle is to study it. Take a step back and try to see the common patterns. Read some books about the things you notice. And write notes about the way you feel before, during, and after certain altercations. You may be surprised at what you uncover.
As New York Times bestselling author, Colleen Hoover, wrote: “Cycles exist because they are excruciating to break. It takes an astronomical amount of pain and courage to disrupt a familiar pattern. Sometimes it seems easier to just keep running in the same familiar circles, rather than facing the fear of jumping and possibly not landing on your feet.”
Once you’ve studied the cycle and feel confident in your understanding, try to change things that are in your control. As Collen put it, Jump! And it’s okay if you don’t land on your feet. Try and try again. Dig into the pain and home in on your courage. Eventually you’ll get to a place your proud of and start a new cycle.
And maybe this new cycle can include peace over chaos. Neighborhood strolls over stress. And flowers that always come back.