“There is no expected pace for inner learning. What we need to learn comes when we need it, no matter how old or young, no matter how many times we have to start over, no matter how many times we have to learn the same lesson. We fall down as many times as we need to, to learn how to fall and get up. We fall in love as many times as we need to, to learn how to hold and be held. We misunderstand the many voices of truth as many times as we need to, to truly hear the choir of diversity that surrounds us. We suffer our pain as often as is necessary for us to learn how to break and how to heal. No one really likes this, of course, but we deal with our dislike in the same way, again and again, until we learn what we need to know about the humility of acceptance.” – Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening
When you find yourself struggling with something that you’ve already battled before, it can be hard not to feel like you’ve failed and are back to where you started. Sometimes coming face to face with those same issues is what we need to grow. You won’t always get something on the first, second, or third try, but that doesn’t mean that you’re back at the beginning. You can always learn something from each experience, and sometimes it takes a few tries for a habit to stick or to get to where you want to be.
Since their run to game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals in 2011, the Canucks haven’t made it past the first round of the playoffs, and this year they didn’t even make the playoffs. Having little playoff success for a team that believes it should compete with the best makes it hard for them to find themselves in the same place for the past few seasons. But even though they haven’t been able to reach the success that they wanted, it doesn’t mean that they’re right back where they started. Each year they’ve tried new things, brought in new players, new coaches, new management, and they keep learning what works and what doesn’t. They haven’t given up. As long as you try to learn something from your mistakes or the things that you keep coming up against, you’re not failing – it might just take you awhile to get there. Be patient with yourself and allow yourself that grace. Just because it appears that you keep doing the same thing again doesn’t mean that you haven’t made any progress. Keep going.
Game Plan: Pay attention to the patterns that you find in your behaviour, or those mistakes that you seem to keep making again and again. What are the reasons why you seem to keep coming across it, and what can you do to improve your behaviour or the situation that you haven’t done in the past?
Photo source: The Vancouver Canucks salute their fans after defeating the Calgary Flames in their final NHL game this season at Rogers Arena April 13, 2014 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Vancouver won 5-1. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)