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We tend to assume the growth and healing we need in life will take a fairly straightforward path. Once we see an issue we’re ready to tackle it and put it behind us. And while occasionally this might be the case, often growth is along an orbital path with many accompanying layers.

For instance, we might wrestle with certain fears and insecurities, childhood wounds, particular temptations, or troubling relational dynamics. And we’re diligent to address the issues in front of us. We don’t turn a blind eye to the things we need to work on and it does seem like we’re taking steps forward.

It can then be disheartening when these issues resurface later. What we thought was behind us is now in front of us and it feels like we’re back at the beginning in square one once again.

But if we’ve truly been doing the work, this is not likely square one. Rather it’s another pass by our issues now at a deeper level.

Instead of a straight line forward our growth often takes an orbital path at ever-deepening layers.

And so, when familiar issues resurface, we’re not simply stuck repeating the past, but we’re now going deeper and getting closer to the true heart of the issue.

And this might also be a type of resistance training – giving us repeated opportunities to grow in offering our strength and loving well.

Either way, revisiting past issues doesn’t necessarily mean a setback. This might very well be our way forward that just happens along an orbital path.

In the end, learn to accept you will orbit around some issues multiple times. But this is not a point of despair. Rather it’s a path that allows for many layers of healing and growth.

Photo by Tom Gainor on Unsplash

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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