There is a pattern I've started to observe unfolding in many lives. These are situations where one finds certain life circumstances or emotional situations repeating themselves. The phrase 'I thought I already worked through this' has been coming up a lot lately, in my personal life as well.
In the ancient Chinese book of virtues, The Tao Te Ching, by Lau Tzu there is a passage that speaks of the return of the Tao. “Return is the movement of the Tao. Yielding is the way of the Tao. All things are born of being. Being is born of non-being.”
The Tao quite simply means balance on every level. The yin yang symbol is the symbol for the Tao. It is the balance of night and day, summer and winter, male and female. When this is in alignment life is in harmony, balance, the Tao. There is a balance of Tao in everything we do, the Tao of doing the dishes, the Tao of sleeping, the Tao of eating, the Tao of making love. There is a balance for all things in life. When we resolve something in our life it doesn't come to a halt. To our perception we might see something as complete because we no longer are consciously working at it. We might think we’ve gotten through a hardship, only to find a similar situation has revealed itself. Then the lovely phrase, “I can’t believe this is repeating,” passes our lips.
"Every being in the universe is an expression of the Tao. It springs into existence, unconscious, perfect, free, takes on a physical body, lets circumstances complete it. That's why every being spontaneously honors the Tao. The Tao gives birth to all beings, nourishes them, maintains them, cares for them, comforts them, protects them, takes them back to itself, creating without possessing, acting without expecting, guiding without interfering. That is why love of the Tao is the very nature of things."
All things ebb and flow and move through time and space. Nothing is static, not even the stars. We do not exist in a linear dimension, but our thoughts like to think so.
As an example, someone could lose 40 pounds and feel they have completed their goal; they consciously worked to lose the weight, completed it, and are now done with it. Years down the road they might hurt their leg, rendering them unable to exercise the way they once did. They may also be going through a painful breakup at the same time. Old emotional habits that they thought were gone all of a sudden return. The same fears return. The weight returns. That person might say, "Damn! I thought I was done with the weight thing. I can't believe it is back!" The same may be true for emotional fears, anxiety, and depression.
Another example may be issues in a relationship that go round and round. You think you have resolved it with this person only to find it has reared its ugly head again out of the blue. There are many examples of this type of pattern repeating in our life. If you find yourself realizing this is a similar situation as once before it is a major clue that healing is upon you!
The return of the Tao is always working in our favor to continually come back into balance. We find our center, we find our peace, our resolve, our health, and so on, but did we learn the deeper lesson that there was all along? That lesson was there to change you, shape you, and evolve your life path. If we learned the lesson, but over time started living an old way of being, you will begin to find challenges that are merely leading you to the return of your Tao.