Things in nature don’t happen in a straight line. They unfold, unfurl, uncurl. Growth in our lives follows this same natural principle. So, when we expect our lives to go from point A to point B in a straight line, I’m sorry to tell you but, that’s literally not natural.
In nature, we can see examples of this beautiful sacred geometry in spirals. Things may end up looking like a straight line- a tree trunk, a flower stem, a fern frond, but they began in a curled up manner.
In our lives, we also evolve in a spiral shaped pattern. The growth spiral can be enlightening or maddening depending on how we respond to it. We often experience a challenge in our lives and afterward, we think that we are done with that never to be bothered by it again. But, that’s not necessarily true. Regardless of how we handle the issue the first time around- even if we feel that we handled it “perfectly”- that may not be the end of our experience. In the spiral of growth, things tend to come around again so that we can learn more, grow more, and understand more.
Once we recognize going through things more than once as an opportunity rather than some sort of universal punishment, we can be aware of what is happening and embrace it. This doesn’t mean that we automatically know what to do about it, but we may be able to see a way to respond differently this time around or learn something more about ourselves.
The magic of the growth spiral is that when things come back around, we don’t have to get mired down in thinking that we are stuck, but rather, that we are moving forward on the spiral. Yes, the same situation is arising again, but this time, we have the advantage of being further up the spiral. We have lived through other experiences, we have seen this happen before, and hopefully, we have learned something along the way that will help us to handle it differently this time.
There are different theories as to why things come back around for us. Perhaps it’s our karma, perhaps our soul is still in need of the lesson to be learned, perhaps our ego is drawing us toward the same thing over and over. Or maybe it’s a bit of all of these things. Whatever the reason, rather than looking at how far away we are from where we want to be, we must learn to look at how far we have already come. And we must also work to accept where we currently are as a step forward.
We so often fight against where we already are, wishing things were different. But, if we can learn to accept where we are, allowing ourselves to be HERE, then we can continue to move forward and better see how we can grow from our present state.
Often in therapy working with patients who are experiencing the same or similar challenges yet again, they lament and feel that they are “right back where they were”. However, when we focus the microscope and look at all of the little steps of progress that have been made along the way, they are able to see that they are further along the spiral and more equipped to handle the stress of the situation. Going through something more than once does not mean failure. It simply means that life is happening.
The next time something pops up AGAIN, let’s try to look at it as an opportunity to grow and to take a step closer to the person we want to be. Let’s imagine how our best self would respond to the situation and do one thing that that person would do. Let’s recognize how far we have come and what we have learned since the last time this popped up in our life. Let’s practice gratitude for the awareness of recognizing this opportunity. And let’s accept what is happening and recognize that we have the choice to crumble or to rise. I know that we can do it, one little step at a time.
Believe me, I am right here next to you trying as well.
Chat again soon,