Have you ever noticed patterns in your life repeating themselves? How life lessons have a way of coming back around to teach you seemingly the same thing all over again?
This is something I like to call The Spiral Effect.
When things in life repeat themselves it can feel like you’re moving in circles, never actually making any progress. A good example of this can be someone going on a diet, getting down to their goal weight, then gaining weight again and having to go back on a diet. They learned how to eat healthier and take care of themselves, but then they got lazy about it for a while and had to repeat the lesson all over again.
There are endless examples of things in our lives repeating themselves. Sort of like we didn’t quite learn it all the way the first time, so it’s coming back around to teach us again. It can make us feel defeated and like we’ll never really learn whatever it is we’re trying to learn.
Some people after finally getting out of an abusive relationship will find themselves back in one. By all accounts it looks like a cycle that is repeating itself. Or it can be something less negative, like losing interest in a hobby you once loved, then finding yourself getting back into it. Life is full of what appears at first glance to be circles.
But if you look a little closer, I think you’ll find that these aren’t necessarily circles you’re moving in. I think you’re actually moving in more of a spiral pattern. Yes, you’re coming back to the same experiences over and over, but each time you come back to that experience you already have the knowledge and wisdom you gained from it the last time. You’re higher up on the spiral, hitting the same spot from a higher vantage point. You didn’t fail at learning the lesson. You learned what you needed to learn at that point in time, and now you’re ready to learn the next level of the lesson, armed with the knowledge and experience you’ve already gained.
Once you’ve officially learned all there is to learn, the spiral will be complete. But until then it’s okay if the experience comes back around a few times until you’ve gleaned all you can from it.
Last time you found yourself in an abusive relationship, you didn’t have the knowledge and understanding you have now that will help you find your way out of it much quicker. You’re now able to recognize patterns of behavior in your partner that you weren’t able to see the first time around. You’ve spiraled up to the next level of this lesson. Maybe this time you can complete the spiral and get out of that series of lessons once and for all.
Last time you lost weight you were totally new to eating healthily and treating your body with respect. Now that the need to lose weight has come back around, you’re already armed with your previous knowledge and you can start learning more than what you were ready to learn the last time. You’ve leveled up and you’re ready to dig your teeth even deeper into this lesson.
For me, a life lesson that seems to repeat itself a lot is the lesson of trust. I know not everybody believes in God or the Universe, or whatever you prefer calling it. But it’s something that I personally believe in, and I find myself coming back around to the lesson of trusting that everything’s okay. But looking back on my life I can see that lesson repeating itself, and I can see that each time it did I was a little more capable of trusting God than I was the last time. Each time I move up on the spiral of that lesson, I am better equipped to “let go and let God”. I don’t know if or when that particular spiral will end for me, but I do know that it will only get easier from here, not harder. I intend to spiral up, not down.
It’s within our power to choose whether we want to spiral up or down. We can choose to give up and feel like a failure when a lesson repeats itself, or we can choose to accept the challenge and to use whatever knowledge and resources we gained from it the last time. We are the ones steering our ship. We’re the captains. Life isn’t some omniscient dictator, forcing us to live in an endlessly cycling hellish existence. I think life is simply the playground on which we have decided to play. And the objective of the game we’re playing is to learn all the things we want to learn while having as much fun as possible. In this game, we get to spiral up through challenges or lessons of our choosing, and the higher on the spiral we go the better we conquer those challenges or learn from those lessons. It’s all just play. No need to take it too seriously. You’re not failing. You’re learning at a pace that works best for you. If you find yourself moving down on a spiral, feeling like a failure, just pick yourself back up and decide you want to move up and not down. You have that power. It’s your game. You can decide to change direction at any time.
So, next time you feel like you’re just moving in endless circles and not getting anywhere… remember that what looks like a circle is actually a spiral. Choose to move up on the spiral, knowing that you’re just a kid playing in a giant playground called The Universe, and that in this game there are no losers. Only people who forgot they were playing a game. Have fun with it! You’re doing good.
That’s all I’ve got for now so that’s what I’ll leave you with.
Until Next Time,
Keep Calm and Grow On