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One of the biggest excuses I use to delete my own writing is repetition. I have convinced myself that saying the same thing is futile. How much emphasis can a point have before it becomes belabored? Who wants to read the same thing over and over again?

It seems I’ve forgotten there was a time in my life when repetition was important. Every week I’d go to church and repeat the same statements. By saying the same thing at regular intervals, it helped reinforce all the other things I was taught about reality.

Say something enough, and the thoughts behind it become normalized. In my case, it was professing belief in a deity; the reality of divine wrath; the actual intervention of angels and demons in daily life. While I kept repeating things out loud, I worked against the part of me that might have asked why I was doing it to begin with. Repetition was an ethereal cage. The bars did not have to be real so long as I kept saying they were.

I’ve forgotten that repetition doesn’t have to chain me to indoctrination. People do need frequent reminding in life, myself included. But it’s hard to know at what point I’m saying something I want to believe rather than something I am sure of believing. At what point am I just replacing one set of mindless ideas with another?

Because I don’t have an easy answer, I habitually err on the side of caution. Despite the need of people to be consoled by the familiar. There is so much repetition of awful ideas that maybe contrary ones need their own reinforcement. In real terms, I see so much acceptance of religious thought (Christian, mostly) that I probably do need some sort of countervailing message. Perhaps others need this as well, not to lull them into complacency, but to remind them that belief in the divine is one among many.


3 thoughts on “Repetition

  1. I get derailed by the same issue when I’m writing all the time! I start getting fixated on the phrases and patterns I see repeated in my writing as well as the topics I’m not sure if I’ve already written about before. I even notice myself feeling pressured to always pick a new show or something to watch rather than rewatch something I’ve already seen. But I have to remind myself how many times back when I had cable as a kid that I watched the same episode of a show and still enjoyed it.

    There is so much wisdom in what you’ve said here, and I really needed to be reminded of this. Repetition is important! I see things from different perspectives every time I encounter them. Even the mood you’re in can have a drastic effect on where you focus or what insights you gain from something.

    Missed seeing your posts on here! Hope you’re doing alright. ❤

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