Do you ever feel like you’re just going in circles? Those cycles of the same kinds of people or the same kinds of situations that keep coming over and over and though we finally take note and start dealing with them in different ways, they still keep coming into our lives over and over and over. It’s like the movie Groundhog’s Day. Different day, but same situation.
I’ve had the same character come into my life over and over. No matter how I attempted to change the situation with the repeat selfish, callous character by trying to understand and learn compassion for them or attempting to avoid them like the plague, it always ended the same way – being run roughshod over.
They say that we humans are caught on the karmic wheel – constantly being reborn into a new life until we FINALLY understand the lesson that we are meant to learn. This concept seems to also occur on a smaller scale, within the life we currently live, in cycles of situations and/or characters that seem to be on repeat. It’s easy to see when we look at relationships, such as the women who keep choosing the man who beats them or cheats on them. But we also do this with our employers, friendships, and coworkers. If you don’t have these repeat cycles, either you’re learning your lessons, or you’re not remotely self-aware.
Traditional photographic film begins with what is called negative film. In black and white film, the whites are black and vice versa. In color film, colors are reversed to their complementary color such as red being green or purple instead as yellow. Think of these characters or situations that come into our life as complementary colors – meant to enhance our lives or characters with more depth and substance:
One thing that has changed in these situations for me is that in the last year, there seems to have been a veil that was lifted so I could better see the truth that lay beneath. Throughout my life, I have always had really good intuition about people and situations. Upon my first glance on another person, I can assess fairly well who they are – character, values, likes and dislikes. That’s never been a problem, so inauthentic people I had learned to watch with extreme wariness. (And, to be quite honest, I was never good at hiding behind a facade when dealing with these individuals either.) In the past year, however, I have been allowed a better assessment that goes beyond the initial intuitive sense – that of seeing the “why’s” of their inauthentic behavior. To me, this seems to be the most telling of all when attempting to understand the reasoning behind why this character keeps showing up.
“I didn’t want to create a world of heroes and villains. I wanted to create a world of infinite complexity and confusion, … I just wanted to see characters try to live an authentic life in a world that’s increasingly inauthentic.” – Alan Ball
I found the following intuitive exercise recently in Love and Intuition by Sherrie Dillard that is an excellent tool for developing one’s intuitive understanding in regards to these contrary situations and characters:
Find a comfortable position and go into a meditative state, however you wish to do this (such as through focusing on your breathing or listening to one isolated continuous sound like a clock ticking or the running of the A/C or heat.) Imagine a triangle and really examine it. Place a question into the center or, like me, imagine a certain person within the triangle. If you imagine a person, really visualize what they look like. When you feel you have a thorough visual in your mind, examine the outside of the triangle. What kind of symbols or images are produced? Remember to write everything down that you see for reference later.
In my meditation, I was attempting to understand a coworker. He seems to have the capacity to unnerve everyone around him and appears to be very self-absorbed, not understanding his effect on those around him. When I visualized the outside of the triangle I had this symbol of a contraption that rotated on its top, spinning relentlessly. To me, this made amazing sense as I feel like he’s lost his direction in life, and because he can’t figuratively stop spinning in circles, he ends up making everyone around him wary of being in his presence.
Note of warning: In able to stop these relentless cycles of characters and situations, it will be inevitable that we find not only compassion for ourselves but compassion for others.