Spiritual ADD

[ 8 ] Comments

by Michaela

Too often I find myself going through the following cycle:

  1. I discover a fault I have or a virtue that I want to acquire in my life.  I make a determination that I will improve on it.
  2. Two days later I forget about it because I find a different fault I want to remove from my life or a different virtue to acquire.  I make a determination that I will focus on this thing.  Very carefully.  For sure.
  3. A few days later I forget about the second thing because I have either remembered that I was going to work on the first thing, or I find a third thing that I want to improve on. Lather, rinse, repeat, to the point of insanity.

Does this happen to you?  What do you do to implement consistent improvements?


About Michaela

Michaela (Scriptorium Blogorium) is a true-blue, dyed-in-the-wool BYU Cougar who just happened to finish her degree at Arizona State University in Literature, Writing, and Film. She loves reading, writing, studying the scriptures, singing with the primary kids as chorister, helping people organize and de-clutter their stuff, and generally exuding enthusiasm for the simple pleasures and victories of life. She’s an honorary member of the elder’s quorum moving company and aspires to become many things, one of which is a good cook. She blogs at Scriptorium Blogorium and a few other places too..

8 Responses to Spiritual ADD

  1. Sundy DeGooyer says:

    Me too… I didn’t realize there was a diagnosis for this disorder.

  2. Janet Clawson says:

    The only tried-and-true way I have found that makes me accountable to myself for my goals, is to make myself be accountable daily to my Heavenly Father for them. What I mean by this is, if I do not check in with my Father in Heaven each night, to go over my day with Him and talk to him about my aspirations for the day and how everything worked out (or didn’t work out!), then I just seem to lose my focus. You can call it daily repentance or a daily reality check, or whatever it is that you want — but for me, this nightly ritual coupled with something similar at the start of each day too, is what keeps me on track with myself. If I know I have to report to Him, my focus is so much better and I am much less inclined to be all over the place, looking at every little detail of my life that needs fixing. I do think some of the focus comes from Father in Heaven himself, and for me, it really seems like a spiritual gift — there is nothing more soothing than the voice of the Spirit, which gently keeps reminding you that you only need to take one step at a time, one step at a time….that you really CAN do the things you have determined do and make the changes in your life that you are determined to make. For me, this is how the grace of God works. Asking for His help all the time — every day — and then receiving it in small doses, is how I am able to change from the person I currently am, to the person He knows I ought to be, and the person that I want to be.

    Granted, sometimes I still get overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of the work that needs to be done in my soul, to make me “fit for the Kingdom.” But when I feel that way, that’s the “red flag” warning which lets me know I am in danger of losing the Spirit. The feeling of being overwhelmed NEVER comes from Father in Heaven. How I wish that when I felt that way, I would always have the presence of mind to fall directly on my knees and ask for help to drive that awful spirit away! But I don’t — and there are times when I spend whole days — and sometimes whole weeks — in an overwhelmed state. Even so, I know the answer to that dilemma is still prayer — daily, even hourly, prayer. The grace of God is only accessible through prayer — and the grace of God is what keeps me afloat and on the right track.

  3. Bonnie says:

    This is the probably the biggest issue I fight! My best friend has a magnificent back yard that she has landscaped like a fairy kingdom. She talks about her joy of working in it on Saturdays and how she sees one thing to do and as she starts on it notices something else, and the chain continues until she’s worked a bit on a lot of things but finished nothing.

    I think about this when I teach, “Does the principle I taught last week segue into the principle I teach this week, or am I causing my class to bounce from principle to principle as I passionately tell them how important they each are?” They have to choose for themselves, but for me, I have to write things down.

    I deal with ADD as a matter of daily life, so I do this in everything. I have to consciously tell myself – I’m working on this until it’s finished. We don’t finish spiritual things in a setting, and we are capable of working on many at once, but it really helps me to have a word for the year (this year is meekness) and goals for the day and year. My yearly goals are in my morning and evening prayers, and my day goals are in my prayers throughout the day.

    This does seem to help me couch daily experiences in the terms of my goals and do better. For instance, yesterday I had a run-in with the junior high secretary. She’s a difficult woman, and my twins are the last of five kids to go through that school and force my association with her. Yesterday she was determined to hold my daughter accountable for detention because my son had picked her up Friday when she was sick and hadn’t checked her out. My daughter was tearful because she likes to do things right and doesn’t ever get detention. I was sorely tempted to release with my blessing Mama Bear, who lurks dangerously close to the surface, but my yearly goal (meekness), which I’d just prayed about, was a help.

    I thought about Joseph going out to pray and apologizing to Emma so that he could move on and continue translating. It didn’t matter who was right, and I could do the same with Mrs. Bales. I was surprised how hard it was to not shovel snow muttering under my breath about Mrs. Bales’ character, but when I finally got meekness on that issue, I was filled with a sense of confidence that God could trust me to behave well around difficult people. For once, I triumphed over spiritual ADD!

  4. Angie says:

    Seemingly about once a year, I become certain that EVERYTHING must change. Janet’s right, that never comes from the Lord and I loved what she said about taking our goals and our progress to the Lord. I know I have a tendency to want global change and then get discouraged that changing everything never goes very well (Bonnie’s description of her gardener friend describes my life, my house, my children far too aptly). If I listen, the Lord is patiently able to give me a baby step to work on–something small that will really help. The trick is to keep listening. I know when I do whatever baby step He advises, I am blessed. I have, unfortunately, far too much experience with Him reminding me to return to that one small thing or even some very clear words “Angie, you have NOT been true and faithful.”

    My problem, I suppose, is I have very few experiences of the blessed kind Bonnie describes–a tangible, finite experience of holding to the goal and receiving blessings. I need to look for more of those so I get fewer of the error messages I mentioned above.

  5. Paul says:

    Because of some unique challenges I’ve faced over the last five years, I have taken a much shorter view in my life corrections. I no longer try to fix something forever, because I can’t. I can covenant to do something forever, but I can only do it one day at a time.

    I can focus better on something for a day than for a lifetime.

    The daily focus forces me to look at big broad things I want to do rather than a long laundry list of what I need to fix. Additionally, I have come to understand that I cannot fix myself. If I am to be fixed, it is only through the grace of Jesus Christ and His atonement.

    So my daily focus is more on what the Lord wants me to do that day rather than what I think is best for me. If I listen carefully when I pray, I can learn to tune into His promptings on what is most important on that given day. If I can focus on that, I don’t have to worry so much about the rest.

    (It all sounds great in theory. But on days I succeed, it is remarkable.)

  6. jendoop says:

    I’m more like Paul in this, not focusing on a single aspect but looking for guidance every day to grow and improve. That said, when I am focusing on something specific writing is my way to keep track of my thoughts. And especially helpful is a little note on my mirror. Not a chiding note – “Remember to have CHARITY you dolt!” But more of an inspirational quote that quietly reminds me of why I’m working on that aspect of myself. This is like a secret note to myself because I’d hate for my kids to read a note on my mirror about my goal to work on being a more loving mother!

  7. You guys are great! Thanks for all your comments! If I understand, what I should try to do is
    1) Counsel with the Lord in prayer each morning over what I should do to allow Him to lead me
    2) Report to the Lord at night about what I did.
    3) Pray when I feel overwhelmed and feel like everything has to change now.
    4) Take baby steps.
    5) Take one day at a time.

    Thanks again!

  8. Becky L. Rose says:

    Michaela- I love how you can summarize things up and make it so doable!

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