This is a philosophical statement. It is intended to spark thinking and examining.
One of the seven* pitfalls of being human is thinking that once we deal with something, we will never have to deal with it again.
It’s not surprising, given how many things we do in our daily lives that are just like that. Staple some papers, they’re done and stapled. Rake the leaves, and they’re good and raked. Bake the pie, and the pie is delicious and done.
And so we live as though once a concern, upset, question, frustration, worry, issue, baggage, trauma, or otherwise has been dealt with, handled, or completed, that we can dust off our hands and walk away, task complete.
But in many areas of our interpersonal lives, that is not the case.
Experiences of resentment, regret, upset, aloneness, anger, and more, are still available to be triggered anew.
Even when they’ve been dormant for a while, they can erupt unexpectedly.
And when they do, we can so readily invalidate ourselves, or others, for it not being done and gone. We lash out, we withdraw, we blame.
“This is done… why is this coming up now/again?”
Because we feel that we’ve dealt with it, it feels all the more immediate, real, fresh, pressing.
But it’s just one of our pitfalls. It doesn’t necessarily mean anything about us, or about the other or others.
We just got hooked for a moment. Our central self got hijacked by this old pattern.
When we recognize it’s just a pattern, when we can divorce it from immediate emergency reality, we gain perspective. We can be present. We can check in – is this accurate?
If there’s danger, then we can respond.
If there’s not, we can communicate.
We can clean things up and get clear.
We can be in the inquiry for ourselves.
Maybe there’s still something left to complete. Maybe there’s an adjunct upset that triggered this one. Maybe we just need to renew ourselves. Maybe we’re just worn down and need to take care of ourselves. Maybe there’s something we just need to say, or a request we want to make.
One of the amazing things about transformation is that every time we get something for ourselves, even if it’s a ‘repeat’, we experience it, experience that rush, as though it was the first time.
Every time, it reinforces the transformation. Inside that freedom we get to create and re-create.
Pitfalls always suck, in the moment.
Climbing out of the pit, however, is a chance to reinforce both who we want to be and what we want for ourselves and our world.
* – More or less…