“Hidden within the patterns of your personal history is a code that once deciphered reveals the meaning, purpose, and direction of this life.” – Carl Jung
It is within the patterns of our life that we find our purpose. There’s a popular movie from the early 1990’s called Groundhog’s Day. It’s a comedy about a man who becomes stuck in a loop where the same day repeats itself. Each morning, Phil awakens and its February 2nd all over again. No matter what he does, he cannot seem to progress to the following day. At first, he sees this as carte blanche to do whatever he pleases. However, it’s not long before Phil becomes disillusioned with the state of his repetitive life and attempts to end it all. Still he inevitably awakens on the morning of February 2nd.
It is in Phil’s exhaustion and hopelessness that he begins to contemplate his place and purpose in the loop. He understands that he can use the repetition the universe has provided him to make himself and the world better: He learns to speak French, play the piano, and after witnessing the death of a homeless man, creates a plan to avert this and other disasters from happening. It is only then that the cycle is broken.
It’s a funny and clever film, but perhaps the greatest reason it has become such a classic is because it speaks truth to our soul.
Each of us has our own “Groundhog’s Day,” an unpleasant situation that continuously repeats. Maybe we leave one job to get away from our tyrant of a boss only to arrive at a new one where the boss is an even greater nightmare. Many people divorce their spouse only to end up marrying the same kind of person with similar shortcomings years later. What is this phenomenon that sees the universe placing recurring patterns before us? And more to the point, how do we break the cycle?