We’ve all been there. You tell yourself, never again only to find yourself back in the same situation. It could be with the same person or someone else entirely but with the same set of circumstances. So how does this happen? The short answer is, very easily. In fact, most of us are unaware that there are lessons repeating in our lives constantly.
As humans, we are on an evolutionary journey and we need earthly experiences and life lessons in order for us to evolve. Put simply, lessons will keep repeating until we either get it right or learn whatever it is we are meant to learn from that experience. Once something has been learnt, it generally will not repeat. It sounds simple right? The problem is most of us don't know what it is we're meant to be learning, which is why we find ourselves in these recurring patterns.
So how do we stop this from happening? In order to stop an experience from repeating, we need to recognise why it is happening, what we are doing wrong and bring it to consciousness. Listed below are a few suggestions:
The first step towards self realisation is to be completely honest with yourself. Whilst our ego tells us that we are perfect and innocent, the reality is that we’re not. We are human beings and as such we are flawed. You need to be able to look at yourself in an honest way and accept your bad parts as well as the good parts. A good exercise is to ask someone you trust to list all your negative traits. Be prepared to feel uncomfortable! The ego doesn't like being attacked and will put up obstacles to prove the other person wrong.
Accept full accountability for your actions
Blaming others and pointing the finger will only lead to further pain. Until you accept full accountability for the part you played in the drama, the lesson will keep repeating. It takes two to tango and if you find yourself in the same or similar situation, you need to accept that you have subconsciously put yourself there in order to learn something.
Seeing the situation clearly
It goes without saying that regular meditation will give you insight and help you see everything more clearly. If you find yourself repeating a life lesson, you need to start analysing why. Ask yourself what drew you to that particular person or scenario in the first place? What is it about that person/situation that you find detrimental? How does that impact on you personally? For example, maybe you didn’t set clear boundaries or maybe you’re too forgiving? Our weaknesses are not necessarily bad, sometimes they’re just personality traits that need to be worked on.
Often it’s difficult to see the situation clearly when you’re the one involved. A good way to be more objective is to imagine you are giving advice to a friend about their situation, but with you being the friend. What would you say to them? What advice would give them? Whatever the answer, chances are that’s the advice you need to give yourself.
Seeing another point of view
Another way to gain objectivity is to imagine how the other person is feeling. Having empathy is a great skill as it allows you to gain insight into another person’s point of view. Understanding why someone may have reacted in a certain way will allow you to identify any negative behaviour patterns within yourself.
Do something different
As the saying goes if you change nothing, nothing changes. Try to identify patterns in your life and do something else. For example, if you keep meeting the wrong type of person, try going out with someone you normally wouldn't go out with. It may seem obvious, but the person you need to meet may be the complete opposite to what you think you need. Keep an open mind and take some chances. Stepping outside of the box and changing things up may be the solution.
Getting the answer
Sometimes we don’t know the answer and we never will. No matter how much work we do on ourselves and do the right thing you still may still find yourself questioning why something is repeating in your life. That’s okay, because often it’s not about the lesson itself but how well we recover from that particular experience. Judging yourself too harshly is essentially a waste of time and non productive. Learning to pick yourself up and getting on with things could be what it is you need to learn.
Be Kind to yourself
Finally, it’s important to be kind to yourself. As I mentioned before, we are all human and therefore flawed. It’s important to understand that sometimes we need to be in a situation for longer than we want to be in order to gain something from that experience. There’s nothing wrong with that. There's no time limit on learning. Every soul is different and each of us are here on our own journey.
Self realisation takes effort. Stepping outside of the ego is often difficult as admitting fault with ourselves can be uncomfortable. By recognising and being aware of repeating life lessons it can release you from unnecessary pain and allow you to move forward in your life.