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Why do we repeat patterns?

Do you ever wonder why you end up working on the same issues in life, repeatedly and cyclically? I liken this issue to going around on a spiral staircase.  Let’s imagine, for a moment, that this spiral staircase is in the center of a field. You walk up the stairs, and as you rotate upwards, you notice mountains to the North, forest to the east, the ocean to the south, and a desert to the west. As your path winds, the scenery you see changes.

As you continue to walk, you may start to feel frustrated, as though you are a hamster on a wheel, not getting anywhere no matter how much energy you expend. It is demoralizing to just remain in the same spot with the same vantage point.  After continuing to go round and round, however, you start to see the scenery just a little bit differently the higher you get. You notice that there is another forest behind the mountains and a lush oasis deep in the desert. As you put in more work, you start to see things both differently and with more depth, and details that were hidden from you before are now distinct against the scenery that had become boring and repetitive. You and your patterns have changed.

After more climbing and more observation, you notice one day, with amazement, that the forest behind the mountains is actually a part of the same forest you see to the east. They are one, a single enormous forest that extends back and behind those mountains.  You look to the east and you notice that the reason for the oasis in the desert is because the ocean wraps back around and feeds it. Finally, you’ve achieved enough altitude to notice how things connect.

As more time passes and you continue to ascend to the point where you now possess a bird’s eye view, you notice there is a river that runs through the forest, but not the desert. You notice how the mountains at times of day shade the desert, but not the forest. You see how the river actually appears where the snow melts from the mountains, and that the river eventually runs into the sea.  You finally begin to notice how all things work together and how they came to be.

The key to understanding how our patterns work is to never stop exploring, never stop ascending the stairs. The purpose of the work might not always be apparent, but keep climbing. Gain insight by talking to others, and continue to explore both your inner world and your outer world. Continue to grow!

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