There is a quote attributed to Edna St Vincent Millay: "Life isn't one damn thing after another, it's the same damn thing over and over." Not sure if she is the person who said it, but no matter. It's one of those quotes that seems strikingly true.
In yoga, we may refer to such wisdom as karma. If there is a lesson that we need to learn, it will continue to present itself to us over and over and over again. This can show up in different ways. Perhaps at times, we feel as though we are coming across the same person; at other times, it may be similar situations.
I'm the first to admit that I am a work in progress -- always trying to improve myself -- whether that be spiritually, mentally, physically. I want to learn everything that I can. I have two Master's degrees, a certificate in coaching, training as a yoga teacher, classes in spiritual formation, and subscriptions to Shine and Blinkist and Medium and Elephant Journal and the New York Times and the Washington Post. I have a membership to Audible, I listen to podcasts. I teach yoga, but I also practice with excellent teachers and mentors who help me strengthen my practice and my teaching. I am always learning, or trying to.
But I also seem to keep coming across the same personalities in my life -- ones that support and appreciate the "me" that I am becoming, and ones that don't. Ones that love the strength of my convictions and others that feel threatened by them. Ones that will love and support me, and ones that cannot. These are my other teachers.
My natural tendency is to allow others in easily; sometimes that serves me well and other times it does not. I will trust until you betray that trust. I will support until you show me that my support is not important to you.
However, I will never sacrifice my integrity for you.
I will never compromise my deeply held beliefs, nor will I ask you to compromise yours.
So, while I am still learning and growing and striving to be better and do better and live more gently on the earth everyday, I trust that the Universe/God/Spirit/Love will continue to challenge me to grow more deeply in spirit and more deeply in love.
Same damn thing over and over? Maybe. Hopefully, as we learn and grow, we encounter others in new and different ways because it we who have been changed. It is we who have grown. Maybe rather than a never-ending circle, we are on an ever expanding and ever ascending spiral that will elevate us toward what is best and truest and highest in ourselves. And maybe that's the way it's supposed to be.