Have you ever wondered, “Why is this happening? I thought that I already dealt with that issue and finally put it to rest. How come it’s resurfacing… again? What have I missed?”
Confronting the same or similar situations can be exhausting. It’s frustrating to think we’ve figured something out only to be faced with it once again. But while we may have grown from former investigations, perhaps there’s still precious information waiting for us to discover. Ignoring the Universe’s persistent reminders to keep searching only invites additional situations… most often, ones that intensify in consequence each time they arise.
Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know. – PEMA CHÖDRÖN
No doubt, the Universe delivers repeated life lessons such as heartache, financial struggles, health challenges, or failed friendships so we can fully grasp the meanings we are meant to extract. This can be quite confusing, especially when we’ve spent significant time and effort examining our past behaviors, triggers, thought patterns, and other elements in an attempt to learn these teachings. Often, we believe we have figured out a significant missing piece to our puzzle only to discover there is more to learn. This may cause us to feel defeated, perhaps even resigned that we will never truly understand what we are meant to know.
While certainly frustrating, whenever similar circumstances keep appearing on our doorstep, it’s a signal to pause and reflect. Instead of automatically responding, take some time and ask if there could be a hidden meaning to the situation. Perhaps what we think we’ve solved has deeper layers to uncover. While we may have learned a great deal from our prior work, maybe there’s more to absorb.
If we accept that additional lessons await us, we can consciously delve deeper to search for truths that we might not have been prepared to see in the past. Yet, now, we are ready to fully accept the information. And, integrating this new knowledge often leads us to the greatest personal growth.
Looking within ourselves, especially at our shadow sides, may be the most difficult self-work we attempt. However, if we show up to this exercise with an open heart and ready to see, the benefits can be endless.
Baby steps. That’s what life is all about. Similar to how we teach children through a spiral curriculum – revisiting the same topics yet diving deeper each time they’re reintroduced – our spiritual journey follows a similar pattern. Slowly, we dig away at the matters so necessary for our development. These are the karmic lessons we are on Earth to learn… so that we can evolve. That’s why it is critical that we absorb small, digestible pieces of knowledge, allowing the information to nourish our souls and promote positive change. Swallowing something whole, when we are not properly prepared, prevents us from absorbing the nutritional benefits. And if the pieces are too big for us to handle, we may even choke.
Of course, at times it feels as though the information comes to us in huge chunks. Instead of deliberately traveling along our path, we are sprinting down the track, running a hundred-meter race, not a life marathon.
But there’s always the pause, a time for us to wonder, question, become curious. It’s during these moments that the biggest shifts occur. Here is when the “aha’s” appear and we connect the dots. The silence and awareness promote assimilation, giving us the fortitude to elevate.
This is when the magic happens – when we realize who we are and then learn to love and accept ourselves unconditionally, allowing us to make the bold decisions, stand up for ourselves, and realign to who we truly are. Only then are we capable of extending this love outward, embracing those around us as we suspend judgment and criticism and open our hearts to compassion, empathy, and love.
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