Last update: 21 September, 2015
"Man is the only animal that stumbles twice on the same stone" says a phrase that you have surely heard before. But what happens when we become attached to the stone to the point of falling again?
"I always make the same mistake", "I don't know why the same always happens to me", "I promise myself it will be the last time, but I always fall back into temptation". These are phrases that can be applied in many situations in life, such as forgetfulness, separation or addiction.
Human beings are animals of habit. Making a mistake can become a habit, and perhaps that's why you have decided to pick up the stone from the ground and take it with you wherever you are headed.
We usually complain about routine and the fact that we always do the same things because we are bored ... But what if we stop for a moment to think about the things that we repeat unconsciously and that make us suffer or be sad?
If you promised you would never lie again, why did you do it again? If you swore you weren't going back with your boyfriend after the last fight, why did you run to him when she called and begged you to forgive him for the umpteenth time? If your positive purpose at the beginning of the year was to quit smoking, why did you buy cigarettes again a few days ago?
"I did not realize", "this is the final time", "I have everything under control", are the most frequent excuses. We don't like to leave our comfort zone, we feel safe inside even if we are not happy, we know every inch of our stability perfectly and take refuge in the shadow of the stone that keeps us falling.
It could be compared to an existence lived inside a large cage, with all the limitations and the lack of freedom that this implies, but at the same time protected by sufficient stability not to make us feel the need to live life outside of it.
We do not realize that, as long as we remain locked up there, things will follow one another, always the same. The routine of getting up, having breakfast, going to work, going home, watching television, washing, sleeping… is more or less the same for all people. Until we decide to say "enough".
Life becomes a succession of similar moments without us realizing it. The warning signal appears when we find ourselves in an uncomfortable situation or one that causes us harm. That's when we start thinking, "Hasn't this happened to me before?" as if we were a magnet that always attracts the same things. If it were just positive things, that's fine, but unfortunately that's not always the case.
Stumbling on the same stone: the imitation that has marked our whole life
Surely it has happened to you more than once to find yourself in situations where you have made the same mistake several times with the same person, the same activity, the same thought, the same job ... Why does this happen? A psychological explanation refers to the education we received from an early age.
As children they taught us how to do things through imitation. We saw our mother brush her teeth and we learned how to do it, we watched our older brother to learn to ride a bicycle, our teacher writing the letters on the blackboard ... And it is exactly in this way that we may have learned not to be affectionate, to scream or cry when we want to get something, to argue about everything, etc.
Every single interaction we have with others, whether with family members or not, shapes us little by little until we become who we are once we grow up. In this way we tend to store instructions in the mind for doing things without the need to ask for explanations.
Becoming attached to the stone that made us fall therefore involves two important questions. On the one hand the fear of leaving one's comfort zone, on the other the custom of always doing things through repetition, exactly as we have been taught in the past.
The first step in breaking these habits is to imagine that our life is not bounded by an enclosure such as a cage or aquarium., thus realizing that there are thousands of different ways to do things, with results even better than those obtained so far.
Doing something more than always the same will help us reach different goals. The strategy must be changed.