Don’t you just hate it when you keep repeating the same goofy mistakes over and over again?
You may remember this verse and picture from last week’s post.
As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his foolishness.
After praying this verse for my kids last week, I started to feel the tug of conviction at my own tendency to fall into the “Repeating Folly Cycle.”
I have good intentions. Truly. I don’t want to be the one making the same mistakes over and over again. I would much rather that happen to someone else. Despite my good intentions, there are some acts of foolishness that I just seem prone to. I often wonder if these feats of folly are coded into my DNA.
Good Intentions Gone Awry
Somehow my good intentions get crossed in my brain and I repeat the same broken circuit. It is a humbling thing when you work on something and you still keep doing the same thing. Ah well…
Here’s one area that seems to trip me up more than any other.
When I think I know something, I don’t double check my information.
After all, if you know something, you know it–no need to look it up.
9 times out of 10 I might remember correctly…but that leaves 10% of the time when I think I know something. But I don’t.
It’s that renegade 10% that will get you.
Don’t think I am quibbling about useless things like getting the questions wrong in Trivial Pursuit. You see, I am talking about something really important:
CALENDAR FOLLIES of the Disorganized Brain.
True confessions here–
I work hard to get information on my calendar. Some folks effortlessly breeze through calendar feats of organized bliss. Not me.
I strain my mental faculties, trying to make sure I don’t overlook something of importance. I know that I can be challenged to get to the right place at the right time…on the right day. Appointments, events, and so on. And I look at my calendar…
Most of the time.
And here runs the folly:
I still fall into the folly of not double checking myself every day. Those are the days that I just might forget about this… or that….
Some folks might consider this a symptom of ADD, or possibly a symptom of limited intelligence. Very limited.
I prefer to call it a creative temperament.
This repeating folly of mine drives my poor husband nuts. He tries to understand, but since his brain is wired for organization, he is often baffled how I could make the same kind of goofs repeatedly. Bless his heart.
I am not the only one.
The very fact that this troubling syndrome got space in the book of Proverbs, shows that I am not alone in this struggle.
We all have struggles, traits, or bad habits that offer a consistent challenge.
Like it or Not…
We all have the capacity to return to the same foolishness over and over again. For some it might be functional, like my Calendar Follies. For others, the foolishness is more relational, frustrating relationships or communication patterns–things like always saying, “I told you so…” That never goes over well with others, yet it can be so hard to curb the tongue. For others, the source of returning folly might be emotional–impatient drivers who rant and rave, shaking their fists and shortening their life-span due to excess stress.
So what’s a girl to do?
Six Steps for Overcoming the Repeated Folly Cycle:
1. Identify your folly. Yes, get tough with yourself and call it what it is.
2. Fess up to someone who can encourage you…and hold you accountable.
3. If your folly is sinful rather than just plain stupid, fess up on that too. Ask for God’s forgiveness and help.
4. If it is a skill or lack of knowledge…learn something new.
5. Figure out what you need to do and do it. Plan your work and work your plan. Yep, work it. Change is work.
6. When that smell of dog vomit tickles your nose, clean it up and move on. In other words, when you miss the mark, don’t get discouraged. Keep at it.
For most of us, change does not come easily. Give yourself grace to be less than perfect…on occassion.
How does the Repeated Folly Cycle show up in your life?