Recently, I have been listening to some of the people in my life claim some titles in their lives. A few people have claimed to be the queen of procrastination. Another person I know told me he was the king of trifling. I used to say that I was the queen of serious. As I have listened to my friends, colleagues, former congregants, students (past and present), family members, and people I do not even know how I know, I have come to realize that just about everyone has at one point or time in their lives earned the title of the king or queen of repetition. There are some things in my life that I have done for so long that I no longer realize why I do them or why I do them the way I do them. For example, I have specific days of the week that I clean each room in the house. Or I have to sleep on the left side of the bed. Whether I am with someone or not, I have my side of the bed. I can be sleeping in a king size bed by myself, but I always wind up in the same place, in the same position on the bed. I am not even sure how this became a pattern, but it is.
The thing that I have been thinking about lately is how often our repetitions go unchecked. We just keep doing things because that is how we have always done them. We do not take the time to think about why we do what we do, we just do it. There might be a reason that we do what we do. For example, it makes sense that I would put toothpaste on my toothbrush before I brush my teeth. I guess I could brush my teeth without toothpaste, but I somehow doubt it would have the same effect. Occasionally it is helpful to check my patterns and see which of them is helping to cultivate and nurture my spirit and which of them needs to go.
Some of the patterns in my life, I can see. However, others are less visible. For example, I used to think that there was a way I was supposed to pray. Every night I would say, “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep.” It wasn’t until years later that I realized I did not have to pray that way. I didn’t have to be formal in my personal time with my Higher Power, who I call the Infinite Presence. The last few years I have been thinking quite a bit about the things I have agreed to in my life without even realizing I have agreed to them. What things am I consciously doing and what things am I unconsciously doing? In what ways am I giving my power away? In what ways am I claiming my power over my life?
What I have come to realize is that everyone has the power to make choices in their lives. We always have the power to change an attitude or behavior. We choose to maintain or not maintain a behavior. We do not have to go through life as if we are robots. When we realize that we have power over all the choices in our life, we have the power to make changes in our lives. We have the power to renounce our title as the king or queen of unconscious repetition and become the king or queen of our consciousness.