Anyway, I found this quote from Sally Kempton- meditation guru. I feel like it really describes that I was trying to say.
"I see it as part of the spiraling process of development, which...usually means moving one step back for every two steps forward. Just as we think we've aced it in one area of life, life in her wisdom will point out that, oops, here's a place where you still have some growing up to do. Its helpful here to look at development as a spiral rather than as a line, because the spiral lets us see how we keep cycling back to where we started, but at a higher level than the last time we were there. And this process happens in every area of our life, as we evolve towards integration..."
This much more eloquently explains what I unsuccessfully tried to share with my students. Part of our practice is to recognize the advances of our spiral and to become more aware when our path takes us through a place where we've been before. Remember the places you've been, because you're likely to return there again.
With any luck, you'll do it better the second time:)