Groundhog Day – Living the Loop

So, it might seem like a strange title for this blog given that Groundhog Day was two weeks ago.   It’s also a funny thing, because almost everyone has seen the movie Groundhog Day with Bill Murray and the mere mention of it, makes people smile or laugh with the recall. It made me laugh, but then I’m easily amused.

Today, I finally got around to skimming the Time magazine that arrived several days ago.  Yep, that’s me, just a skim and always after the fact.   Now, right there, on Page 7 of Time Magazine was a short article on Groundhog Day and the 5 different groundhogs that are reported on.   Seems we’ve increased the numbers; maybe to increase the odds?  Who knew there were five?  Not me! The amount of the time, energy and priority we place on our little furry prognosticators made me laugh.

I found the whole thing very funny.  Time magazine, an iconic weekly news reporting source, dedicated space on page 7 to report on these funny furry little rodents. Was there really nothing more important happening that I needed to be informed of?  I recalled the amount of time I spent on this important day in my younger days. After finally hearing the reports of our furry friend’s activities I was free to move forward.  In my generous ways I felt it important to mention it to others.  It makes me laugh.  How such a simple, and possibly nonsensical bit of information made me feel better or worse depending on the winter conditions that year.  The more I thought about how iconic this process is every February, the funnier it was.  Within moments I was reliving the storyline of Groundhog Day, the movie.  Suddenly, there I was again living “life in the moment.”

Think about how funny it is.  Despite decades of advancements in technological atmospheric monitoring, the weather report is their ‘best guess’.   With numerous reports available, many of which we don’t often trust or believe, we await our furry friends’ predictions on the status of Spring.  Despite knowing year after year that there is random accuracy in these predictions, we dedicate time and resources to watch our little rodent friends come out of the ground; then even more time and resources reporting to others who weren’t there.   We anxiously await a comforting message that winter is nearly over so we can start planning for spring, or the converse, an indication that the winter we’re tired of will relentlessly last even longer. Happy or sad. Oh, the power of Phil.

Like the movie, we’re replaying or reliving stories, over and over again: repeating the patterns of our lives endlessly.  How long before we realize that we have the ability to change that story and the related outcome of it?  Isn’t this what we do in our own lives?  We have stories we are attached to. We revisit, and retell them over and over again, reliving the details along with any associated pain or discomfort.  It’s as if by review we will actually affect change; become suddenly struck by an epiphany.  Despite our own known history, we think something different will happen this time.  However, it’s only when we start to change some aspect of the story that the outcome changes.   Usually little by little.

So, let’s say we’ve started to ‘get’ the lesson and change our approach. Despite our best efforts to move forward, sometimes there will be others that have ties to our storytelling.  The control or comfort they find in the repetition soothes them in some way.  Even when we are making changes, the influence of others can retrieve the old stories that we thought we had changed.  Before you know it, we’re repeating the patterns again.  It’s only after the loop replays a few times before we realize the ‘Groundhog Day’ effect, and remember that we have a choice to affect change.

What stories are you telling? What part of them soothes you?  Who else in your life knows your stories.  Where are you reliving the old patterns? How much energy do you put into the reports of others about the conditions of your future?  Where can you take action to affect change, and the established outcome?  What new story do you want to tell?

Do it now.  No one needs another Groundhog Day.

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