Over and over again until you learn

I freaked out a few friends with this in the past couple of weeks, so I thought I’d share it with you too. I recently remembered something I had read two or three years ago, something that back then I kind of already knew but managed to forget. Take a deep breath and do not panic after reading the following statement – it is not bad.

The Universe will send you the same lesson over and over again until you learn.

My people reacted with a gasp or the blue faced emoji with its hand on their face or with a “Please, don’t tell me that, Maria!”. I understand it is a frightening thought, certainly if you adhere to Nietzsche’s theory on the eternal recurrence  (I’ll let you google and interpret that your way; to the 18 year old Maria, it meant “why worry about anything as it is bound to repeat anyway?” – all doom and gloom, as my haircut and my mild depression suggested back then).

If you do not believe in anything “out there” (the Universe, Source, The Holy Spirit, any god, etc) just take it rationally: we repeat schemes. You know the quote that has been misattributed to Einstein: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
The point being: we need to change what we are doing. This does not mean that you have been stupid or wrong or inadequate or even insane. You have reacted according to your own experiences and traumas. You are only human. But now that you accept that this (a person, a situation, a spiral) is a lesson, stop. Take a step back and look at it. Listen to it. What is it telling you? What is it you are telling yourself? You need to have an honest look at your beliefs. Do not judge, just acknowledge. Recognize it, dwell on it if need be, dissect it to find the seed that planted that thought. Then forgive yourself and allow it to heal.

I make it sound easy while I know it can be daunting. You might not even want to try. It is fine. You will when you are ready. Maybe you’ll read this again in two years and that is when it will resonate with you. It is okay, it means you needed a moment to get there. Time is just a concept so don’t sweat it.
If you repeat the “mistake”, love and forgive yourself more. Repeat self-compassion until it is a learned behaviour.

Mind you, yours truly said this to her friends because she was applying it to her own life, but almost missed one of those vortexes herself in the process. A few days ago, I said the following:
– I was angry back then because I had said that many times in the 20 years we’ve known each other. The reason got worse over time but I had used the exact same words more than once. So, I was mad at me too for having to repeat myself. Why was I expecting a different outcome?

Suddenly I heard myself. In those moments of clarity, I have an out of body experience of some sorts. I guess that is just me taking an honest look at myself. I frowned as my own voice whispered in my ear “Until you learn.” Shit.
That conversation turned out to be a humbling lesson on expectations. To me, loving someone is admiring them (for one reason or another; doesn’t have to be transcendent), putting them on a pedestal and when they love you back, they do the same and you end up on the same level (I’ve actually written a short story on that – it’s in French though).
Today I realise how unstable that vision is. By putting them that high, how easily can they fall… It is not fair. I set them up for failure and disappointment. I should know better, I have crumbled under that pressure.
It was nearly 20 years ago, a friend was visiting me for a few days and little by little, he had gotten on my nerves. To the point where, one day, I unleashed a tsunami of reproaches. I can still see him in my kitchen with dangling arms:
– Maria… why did you accumulate? You should tell as these things happen or you fill and fill and fill until you blow up and we can’t understand the reason.
I remember that day as one of my biggest lessons in life… I should have remembered the whole thing as a teaching moment. When he said that he’d never do anything to upset me, that him and the other guys were holding me in such high esteem, that I was (he lifted his hand) “up there”, I burst:
– Get me down that pedestal! You have no idea how hard it is to maintain that image of perfection in your eyes!


Yup. Until I learned.

So, I guess… here, take my hand; I will help you step down and love you at eye level.


3 thoughts on “Over and over again until you learn

    1. It is terrifying. There’s comfort in toxic behaviours too because, as paradoxical as it may sound, we are used to them, we know how to function despite them. One has to stop and question what is their own interpretation on things. I spent (chances are I will do it again but I’ll use the past for the kick of it) an awful lot of time interpreting other people’s behaviour or words. As a writer, both are important to me. The first is the story in itself, the second forms it. It took me a long time to admit that my linguistic precision, my truthfulness in actions was my personal take on life. I am still learning on other people’s perspective and expression of it. I am still dealing with the silence. I think I have opened up though… at least it is what I am striving for.

      Liked by 1 person

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