Saturday, May 28, 2016

Lack of Concentration During Prayer

Even though I started this post almost 3 weeks ago (it resided in the Land of Draft), it's still true -- I've unintentionally been on autopilot lately and can't concentrate while praying. I knew it had gotten really bad when I found myself completing the third Joyful mystery without having kept count of how many Hail Mary's I'd prayed or even focused on the mystery a few weeks ago. My thoughts were so wrapped up in whatever popped up in my mind that I missed a wonderful opportunity to stop and reflecting on the beauty of the mysteries of the Rosary.

Do you ever find yourself going through the motions or trying to rush through things because you have a long list of things that "need to be done" going through your mind? How about having random thoughts pop into your mind whenever you're trying to focus on prayer? That's what it's been like for me lately. I thought I'd gotten a handle of them during the Lenten season (which I did) but I think the lack of discipline I've had lately due poor time management, messed up priorities, and anemia-induced lack of concentration has done me in. In the past week I've been trying to change that. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. The point is to keep trying and to change things up so you can figure out what works best.

Before I found out that the lack of concentration (even when I really did try and push the distractions to one side), I used to ask myself:"At what point do I let whatever outside stressors take over? What can I do to snap myself back to the present time and focus on God instead of the other things that don't actually matter?" I figured out what was keeping me back: I'd unintentionally fallen back into the social media spiral... and a game spiral on Facebook. Ay. This past week, I started over again.

I went back through my old blog posts from the Lenten season and the beginning of the Easter season to remind me of what I was capable of. I re-read Quieting the World Part One and Part Two, Lenten Lesson: Balance and Moderation, Lenten Lesson: Rearranging Priorities, and Lenten Lesson: Letting Go of Perfection. I remembered how hard it was to get into the habit but how worth it was at the end of the Lenten season. Why couldn't I keep it up after? Who knows. Human weakness? Anemia-induced fatigue? Both of those options and more? Who knows, all I know is that I'm going to try to keep it up again.

I have been using social media less, especially Facebook where I'd gotten addicted to a game. As soon as I figured out the game that had sucked me into major time wasting, I uninstalled/deleted the app and I don't miss it. I've been trying to nap more often in general (hello, fatigued most days almost all day over here) and I try to take exams and study after them so my mind is sharper. I just bought some iron-rich foods which will be interesting since they contain wheat and wheat and I have a complicated relationship (wheat can make me mentally and physically fatigued at times).

I've also been praying and repeating certain prayers and passages in the Little Office when I can't concentrate. Yes, it is a pain to have to do them twice but I am determined to get through them and really let the words sink in, no matter how hard it is... and it is hard at times. Sometimes I rush through prayer without meaning to and I've found that slowing down and going through it word for word helps. I've had success during EWTN's International Rosary videos to pray the Rosary but I don't always have a chance to sit down and pray them when it are on TV (or even to watch them On Demand on the Roku app) so I need to figure out what to do when I want to pray the Rosary but can't use the videos.

Have any of you experienced this before -- the lack of concentration, especially during prayer? Do you have any creative ideas that have worked with you that I haven't mentioned?  Looking forward to hearing your comments. :)

Anyway, I have a couple of things I need to do before the long weekend starts for me (later today). I'm going to try to take tomorrow and Monday off from doing any coursework so pressure is on to finish the lecture videos and do this week's exam by tonight. ;)

I hope y'all are doing well and that you have a lovely start of weekend! :D

As always, thanks for reading and God bless! :D

1 comment:

AnneMarie said...

I can so relate with losing focus during the Rosary! There have been (and still are) times when I just cannot concentrate. When I catch myself losing focus, I try to redouble my efforts to think about the mystery or who I'm offering the Rosary for. It also helps, I think, that my husband and I pray the Rosary in Latin-doing it in that language just helps me get in a more prayerful state, at least that's what it seems like. I also find it helpful to pray the Rosary while my husband and I are driving, or while washing dishes. Combining work or travel with prayer, for whatever reason, makes it lots easier for me to focus on what I'm praying. It's still definitely something that I'm working on and struggle with at times, though!