Every day we are faced with temptations that provide us with immediate relief and gratification from our discomfort. Some are morally acceptable in our culture and some are not.
I have been struggling to find balance. Like many others, for me the summer can be a challenging and busy time. Aside from our daily work or care-taking routine, we have tons of summer activities we add to our week. While many of us love the break from our regular schedules, the change of pace and lack of structure can become overwhelming.
In turn, we seek comfort and gratification in earthly things such as food, alcohol, money, shopping, sex, television or electronic devices to numb our emotions. These comforts provide us with an immediate gratification, but it only lasts a short time.
After we’ve given into our temptations, we may feel guilt or shame. We spend the remainder of the day beating ourselves up for the things we failed to accomplish, instead of building ourselves up for all of the things we did accomplish. We plan how we are going to refrain from caving into the temptations the following day and fix the mistakes we’ve made. We wake up the next day with great expectations and goals, but we do it all over again because we never dealt with the real issue, which was allowing ourselves to acknowledge the stress and anxiety we feel in the first place.
Putting our energy into sabotaging ourselves emotionally does not fix anything. Instead it leaves us feeling more depleted, makes it harder to accomplish the positive things we want to accomplish and creates a cycle of continuous self-abuse.
Instead of engaging in this cycle of self-abuse, spend a few minutes connecting spiritually. Breathe. Meditate. Listen to music. Move your body. Nourish yourself physically. Pray. Connect with nature. Or do them all together! Feed your mind, body and soul. Don’t starve them. Starving only triggers temptation for immediate gratification.
Peace and blessings,