Some say that this personal transformation work is like peeling layers of an onion. That might be because it can cause you to cry a lot.
Instead I liken it to cleaning. Big cleaning, like a road or driveway after a flood. (Think of it as a Pathway if you want.) First time through you go to work with a front end loader. The road gets cleared and you can make your way. But if you look around closely there is more that can be cleaned. You go after it with a shovel. It all gets scooped up. After a while the shovel doesn’t pick anything up anymore so you think you are done. But if you look more closely at the path, between the bumps in the asphalt there are granules of dirt and sand. Granules that could sometimes collect in areas and create bumps or slick spots where it isn’t as safe to drive the car or brake. So you get a broom and sweep. Now this dust comes up that the shovel never touched.
It may seem like you are going over the same area covering the same issues and stories as before, and, like you might have failed to do a good job. (Careful about a judge victim story like that. Wouldn’t be the first time someone fell for it though. ) Truth was that you are showing up as a different person now looking at the same issues and can do a more detailed cleaning that you couldn’t do the first time. It made no sense to start with a broom. You needed a front end loader the first time. Now the front loader won’t do the job for these details that were hiding between the cracks and bumps. So you have to go back over the area of the same story,,, but in a different way this time. You the cleaner can be more thorough this time with your broom in a way that you couldn’t do with a shovel. That’s why sometimes these same stories/issues have to be revisited again.
In a way the thing that you are cleaning is your Self from all the false beliefs and false images you carry around in your mind. At the same time You are the cleaning instrument. The first time around you,,, the instrument, were still pretty clouded and so you probably didn’t clean your self up 100%. So now, after you’ve done a thorough inventory and let go a great many beliefs, you are cleaner. You also are a more finely tuned instrument. So when you go back and you look at the same set of beliefs that you cleaned up a year or two ago, you see them differently. You can find the distortions now that you couldn’t see before. You see the dust in the cracks and can sweep those thoughts out. When you were using a shovel you didn’t have the skills as the cleaning instrument to finish the job. Therefore returning to the same topic more than once isn’t a measurement of failure. Rather it is a progression of your skills to refine, grow, and be more thorough and complete in your changes.