We have all said it, maybe even screamed it: Why am I here again?? Maybe we don’t even want the answer to that particular question; its more of rhetorical call of pain. It does seem to be a common experience–that we tend to cycle through the same issues many times in our lifetime. At first, we don’t recognize the similarities, then after a couple more passes, its like…wait a minute…then eventually comes the aforementioned hair-pulling realization that the cycle has happened once again. Now what?
What if we could experience the Ground Hog Day movie phenomenon, where each time we take the insight from the time before and improve upon our responses. It seems like we could do that. Yet, frustration and embarrassment can block us from embracing this opportunity. Shaming ourselves with statements like, “I can’t believe I let someone walk all over me again” or, “Another lie!” We could instead be our best coach. How about telling ourselves things like: ”I’ve been here before so I don’t need to as anxious as I have been in the past about this crossroads,” or “I really need to set that boundary on a full night of sleep.” Its the advice we would give to a friend so why not be your own, very good friend.
Life has a lot of game to it, a lot of opportunity for play and movement. However, just like we are sore after the first workout getting back in shape, emotions hurt when we pull them out again after successfully stuffing them away for awhile. We want to think that once we move through something painful, we never have to deal with anything like that again. But why would we be different than other life cycles on the earth? Everything cycles, and so do we.
The real work is to embrace wholeheartedly each pass we get to make at the things we have been working with our whole life. We have constant opportunity to become experts at the things with which we struggle. We can then turn around and share our knowledge of what works and doesn’t work with others. And with deep compassion because we know just how many blunders and pitfalls there can be.
So next time you recognize the place you in, take stock, and maybe change a little something and see what happens. We humans learn through mistakes and failure, and there is no shame in that.
Good luck on the next pass. Can’t wait to hear what you learned for all of us.