It is not uncommon for me to hear the comment 'It can't be about that, I thought I had dealt with that' from people who have done a lot of personal/spiritual work.
Many of us have been delving deep into the mind for a long time and have come to realize the kinds of thoughts and beliefs that have been driving us and making us unhappy. We've brought love to it, we've questioned, we've changed our minds, we've done affirmations, you name it; so why is it those old beliefs keep cropping up and creating havoc in our lives?
All too often people think they've failed somehow or done something wrong when they find themselves unwittingly caught up in old thought patterns. From my perspective this is not the case. Having 'dealt' with a pattern doesn't necessarily mean it is gone from our lives, though sometimes that does happen. Most often however what it really means is that when we become aware of false beliefs we can deal with them with much more ease and in a much timelier fashion.
For example, I have a deeply held thought pattern of lack. It is easy for me to fall into it's clutches because it is so very familiar. It's also much easier now for me to notice when I have fallen prey to this insidious idea and bring new energy to it. By new energy I mean bring soothing to that in me which is afraid and remind myself gently that it simply isn't the truth. If I am in a phase where business is quiet, which is when the thought tends to arise, instead of dwelling on what I perceive to be missing I can gently shift my focus to appreciating how much I do have and how much beauty and wonder there is in my life. I can also short circuit the future focused thoughts from dire ones to wondering about what amazing things this space might bring forth. There is so much more available than what my limited thinking can even imagine why stay caught up on those things that make me unhappy?
Here's the thing I want to convey about the idea 'I thought I dealt with that'; even if you have, the old pattern of thought will most likely show up again when circumstances come up that remind you of it in some way. It's OK, the old belief is still floating around but so are millions of other ways of seeing what is happening right now. You don't have to hitch your wagon to the most familiar thought, you can try on a new idea, a new thought or simply let yourself rest in the field of unlimited possibility until you spot something new and more in alignment with who you are becoming.
Be gentle with yourself in the process; there is nothing wrong with you even if you did get lost for a time. Learn to recognize the signs that tell you when you've gotten caught up in old patterns. Some signs might be:
1) Getting upset easily at the most trivial things
2) Feeling uncomfortable and restless
3) Being angry with others when they are caught up in their patterns
4) Getting into compulsive behaviours (over eating, drinking, shopping, sleeping, etc)
You get my drift.
Pay attention, be kind to yourself and find another way of seeing whatever is making you unhappy. Do it as often as you need to, even if it is for the rest of your life. Who knows when the old thought might get tired of showing up? Sure beats falling into the trap of giving up because 'it didn't work'.