Repeating the Same Things Over and Over The Spiritual Meaning of Deja Vu

Repeating the Same Things Over and Over — The Spiritual Meaning of Déjà Vu

Does it seem like you are repeating the same things over and over?  If so, you are not alone.  There are some excellent reasons.  Is the spiritual meaning of Déjà vu reflected in your life experience?  If so, what does it mean?

Repeating The Same Mistake?

Chances are, the reasons you are repeating unpleasant experiences fall into one or more of these categories.  Since we are creatures of habit, it is easy for us to fall into these patterns.   It could be you are repeating a cycle of poor decision-making, or perhaps it’s something more significant, like an important life lesson.  It could even be because we have an addiction of some sort.  Let’s explore the possibilities.

“You know the saying: he who doesn’t understand history is doomed to repeat it. And when it’s repeated, the stakes are doubled.” ― Pittacus Lore, I Am Number Four

The Spiritual Meaning of Déjà Vu

It is the feeling you’ve experienced something for the second time.  It’s like you have lived through this exact situation before.  If time is constant, then this is impossible.  Time has its quirks.   When we dream, we can experience events in a non-linear fashion, even in reverse.  It’s freaky.

When we have these experiences, they aren’t because of an error or mistake in judgment.  Some cultures place a great deal of importance on these experiences.  There are two primary schools of thought about these Eureka experiences.

“Déjà vu is more than just that fleeting moment of surprise, instantly forgotten because we never bother with things that make no sense. It shows that time doesn’t pass. It’s a leap into something we have already experienced, and that is being repeated.” ― Paulo Coelho, Aleph

First, your subconscious is trying to get your attention by drawing similarities in your experience.  The reasons for this wake-up call vary from a warning to avoiding making the same mistake.

Or perhaps it’s a way to get us to focus on the present moment.  The second theory regarding the spiritual meaning of déjà vu is the “Eureka,” the experience is the overlapping of an alternate reality.  (1) Perhaps there is some truth in both points of view.  There could be some other reasons for this pattern of experience.  Let’s look at a few more possibilities.

Are You Repeating the Same Things Over and Over?

It is often easier to see when someone else is committing the error.   It is helpful for us to enhance our inward observational skills to watch our behaviors.  If we do this, we can catch ourselves in the thinking phase and prevent judgment errors.

Even if we do not monitor our thoughts, the subconscious or the Universe has another way of getting our attention.  Let’s look at this mechanism next.

What About Repeating Lessons?

Life is mainly about lessons, but it also involves mistakes.  So, assume you haven’t learned the lesson.  If you are reliving something, stop.  Tell yourself there’s a lesson in here somewhere.  Ask yourself, what am I supposed to learn here?  What is behind the spiritual meaning of déjà vu in this situation?

It’s also possible that the Universe is arranging another learning opportunity to ensure you get the message.  Whenever you are uncomfortable, ask yourself, “What Is the lesson?” Why am I repeating the same things over and over?  Am I repeating the same mistake?  Do you have any options?  Is the experience something that is the result of your choices, or is it something that is beyond your control?

Sometimes the spiritual meaning of deja vu reveals itself immediately.  Other times, you need time to process the experience.  Compare it with memories of similar events and delve into the emotions attached.

Learning the reason for the experience makes it possible to change the future outcome.  You are still repeating lessons with the same negative experience, but you finally grasp what you need to know.

Another curious thing is that we all repeat many lessons, but this isn’t because we are “bad” or deserve it.  It’s that life is all about learning.  It’s a significant aspect of this “great spiritual experiment.”

For example, many life lessons revolve around loss and attachment issues.  So, there are plenty of opportunities for repeating lessons.  Why?  No one knows for sure.

I wish someone had told us we’d be repeating the same mistakes until we learned the underlying lesson.  Life is all about lessons.  So when it seems you are about to repeat something, stop.  Ask yourself, what lesson should I have learned the first time?  Reminding yourself to pay attention will help direct your awareness.  Then, you will notice patterns and lessons.

repeating lessons repeating the same mistake


Addiction is one of the root causes of repeating the same things over and over.  There probably isn’t any hidden message here.  It is the response to addiction.  We are all prone to addictive behavior because we are creatures of habit.  We know we are repeating the same mistake, yet we do it anyway.

“We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking.”  ― Santosh Kalwar, Quote Me Everyday

There are far many more things that are addictive than people realize.  Addiction is why people like skydiving, scary movies, and amusement parks.  They all have the same common habit of adrenaline.

It’s simple.  We enjoy the Adrenaline rush we get from the terror of monsters.  It triggers the “fight or flight” response, increasing the heart rate. In turn, this signals the adrenal glands to release cortisol, adrenaline, and glucose.  It is a fear-induced “high.” Here, fear becomes the motive for controlling decisions.  It compels people to repeat the experience, and it becomes an addiction to a fear-induced high.  It’s the same as the addiction to drugs and the same chronic compulsion.

This same addictive force draws us to certain types of people.  We may know nothing about their background and may not even be physically attracted to them, but they draw us to them all the same.  It’s only later that we discover some familiarity with them.  After we get to know them, we realize a deeper connection.  It might be a personality disorder (2) or similar life history.  It’s something we’ve encountered before, pulling us back because it is familiar, even if it is harmful.  Ask yourself some questions; what Is the lesson?  Why am I repeating the same mistake?

Any pattern of thinking can become a harmful addictive behavior.  Some people fall into addictive behaviors to cope with trauma, others because of personality disorders.  One way to find the source of these issues is the Enneagram Personality Profile.  This tool uses a questionnaire to identify your default personality and instinctual settings.

“When you repeat a mistake, it isn’t a mistake anymore, it’s a decision.” ― Paulo Coelho


Repetition is a tactic to spark creativity.  To increase inspiration, we can find a stimulus to heighten emotions.  You can’t get a higher source of mental stimulation than emotional pain or pleasure.  And, since people know what causes their pain, they return to it.  Be careful with using negative experiences as the only source of inspiration.  You can get stuck in a downward spiral if you relive negative emotions.

When we relive experiences that cause emotional distress, they can become a tool for inspiration if we learn to reduce the volume of the emotion.  It is not a healthy way to find inspiration in the bad things that happen, but it works.  We wouldn’t have any love songs if people didn’t do this.

“But inspiration is still sitting there right beside me, and it is trying. Inspiration is trying to send me messages in every form it can—through dreams, through portents, through clues, through coincidences, through déjà vu, through kismet, through surprising waves of attraction and reaction, through the chills that run up my arms, through the hair that stands up on the back of my neck, through the pleasure of something new and surprising, through stubborn ideas that keep me awake all night long . . . whatever works. Inspiration is always trying to work with me.” ― Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

The misuse of alcohol and drugs as sources of inspiration was a tool of the music recording industry for many years.  We don’t recommend using alcohol and drugs, as they are a slippery slope toward addiction.   Our commercially oriented culture doesn’t help.  It drives artists to create on-demand.  So, when inspiration doesn’t come naturally, they need additives to speed up the creative process.  But the “drive to create” can become an addiction. So, the initial reason for taking mind-altering substances is to open up the creative source.  But then it becomes a debilitating addiction.

People often commission artists to create specific content on a schedule, which puts pressure on the creative process.  It is hard to conjure creativity on demand.  Some people argue that we have such glorious music from the 1960s and 70s because the record companies gave drugs to artists.  This type of drug abuse led directly to the demise of many artists.

Art can be an excellent vehicle in and of itself.  The path to greater creativity is creating more art.  However, inspiration comes at its own pace.  Almost every artist goes through slumps when creative energy is absent.  Creative inspiration is sometimes fleeting.  We strongly suggest you seek positive sources of inspiration that do not have harmful side effects.

In Conclusion

If we are repeating the same things over and over, there’s a reason for it.  Déjà vu events help us identify them.  It could be our subconscious ringing a bell or the Universe reaching out to guide us.  The point is we need to narrow down the reason.  We need to ask two essential questions.  What is the lesson?  Or why am I repeating the same mistake?  Am I missing the learning opportunity, so I must repeat the experience, or am I following an addiction?  Find out which of these reasons resonates with the particular life experience.  Then take steps to either find the lesson or break the habitual pattern that leads to the poor decision.


(1) Piquing Curiosity: Déjà vu-Like States Are Associated with Feelings of Curiosity and Information-Seeking Behaviors.  The National Library of Medicine

(2) Interpersonal Dysfunction in Personality Disorders: A Meta-Analytic Review.  The National Library of Medicine

You Might Also Like

Leave a Reply