The spiral is ubiquitous. It exists in nature, in architecture, in the weather, in our galaxies! It has been used in mythology and across many different cultures, including several in South America and in Celtic art. It’s in our DNA.
It’s used to symbolise growth and continuity.
It’s a powerful symbol to use when we’re thinking about our own development – and one that I’ve employed time and again.
We can often find ourselves in a place that seems familiar and question why we’re there. There can be a tendency to feel frustration at the fact that we’ve been there before, especially if it’s not a place we feel we want to be, and to be hard on ourselves. ‘Why am I here again?’; ‘Am I never going to change this?’; ‘I can’t believe this has happened to me again!’, for example.
While it’s super important to be aware of patterns of behavior and work on the changes we want to make, it can also be counter-productive to chastise ourselves when we feel like we’ve returned to a place.
Life isn’t linear (and it definitely doesn’t always feel like a beautiful spiral – often more a of messy squiggle!) and returning to things is part of our development.
It’s important to remind ourselves that while it may feel familiar, we’re not in the same place, we’ve changed since we were last there. Returning is part of our learning. We need to be there for a reason, to see the place again with slightly different eyes, with additional knowledge and experiences within us.
To return is to have the opportunity to reflect, to be aware, to shift how we respond on this occasion.