The Healing Compulsion to Repeat
Today we encounter the repetitious nature of existence and some of the reasons behind it. Freud long ago recognised the tendency for people to unconsciously repeat behaviour, situations and experiences. Little in human nature has changed since his first exploration of the issue in the early 1900’s.
We still do it – the same thing, over and over – usually something we wish we didn’t. Or we find ourselves in circumstances which reflect those of a previous difficult time in our life and no matter how much we vow to ‘never do that again’ somehow the same experience returns and we find ourselves once again crossing familiar but unwelcome terrain.
The area of relationships is one in which this phenomenon often occurs. Not just romantic relationships: any type will do! We may feel powerless in the presence of our boss the way we did in the presence of a domineering father. Or we choose a caring career which reflects the care we gave to a sick sibling during our childhood.
Patterns repeat over and over throughout life and our task is to discern which are repeating because they form an intrinsic part of our contribution to the fabric of the whole and which do so because we have yet to master their lesson and process the original issues which triggered the repetition in the first place.
It certainly seems, no matter how it feels from the inside, that our psyche is mobilised to move us towards a state of wholeness and authenticity. This is why we find ourselves living out the same problems, stresses and issues over and over – because we know, deep inside, that until we get to grips with them we can’t really move forward. Trouble is, until we realise that this is why we’re doing it, we become forever trapped in a repetitive cycle of pain, misunderstanding and trauma. We end up feeling like victims of a life which repeatedly moves to block, frustrate and punish us.
The cosmos offers some advice in this regard, encouraging us to spot the repetitions and own them as our creation, not the result of something outside of us forever acting against our best interests. This is our life and we are crafting it. However, being multi-layered as we are, there are parts of us doing the crafting that we’re not consciously in touch with and can only be encountered through their manifest action in our lives.
This action may appear to come at us from out of the blue but it doesn’t: it comes from inside of us, in an attempt to wake us up to the healing required. The fact that we find ourselves in yet another set of circumstances which mirrors so many problematic ones before is not because there’s no hope of improvement. Far from it! It’s because there is every possibility of improvement and our psyche wants us to manifest more satisfactory and fulfilling circumstances in our lives. Hence the repetition. Because how else will we learn if not by encountering the same dynamics and obstacles, eventually discovering the healing way through them which will defeat the need for us to ever walk back through their doors?
It can be downright depressing when we realise we’ve ‘done it again’, but today the heavens remind us that it’s not the cause for alarm we first thought, but merely an opportunity to discern the healing way through, instead of the habitual one, and out the other side into a brighter and more fulfilling future.
Have a good day everyone.