I’m fond of the Zen proverb, “The obstacle is the path.” When something blocks my way, it’s an indicator of what my next steps should be. The obstacle is the teacher—the guidepost. Repeatedly encountering the same obstacle bears significance.
In Paulo Coelho’s book, The Warrior of Light, he writes:
A Warrior of the Light knows that certain moments repeat themselves.
He often finds himself faced by the same problems and situations, and seeing these difficult situations return, he grows depressed, thinking that he is incapable of making any progress in life.
“I’ve been through all this before,” he says to his heart.
“Yes, you have been through all this before,” replies his heart. “But you have never been beyond it.”
Then the Warrior realizes that these repeated experiences have but one aim: to teach him what he does not want to learn.
What do you not want to learn?