13th-Century scholar, Rumi, said, ” The desire to know your own soul will end all other desires.”
I was alienated from my soul for a long time. I spent more than 2 decades self-medicating my emotions. I was convinced that I needed my addictions to manage my life.
There was no shortage of excuses for me, either. It was easier for me to justify my addictions to myself, rather than having to face the reasons why I wasn’t willing to help myself. I needed to overcome addiction!
If I had been part of the marshmallow study done in the 60s, I expect I would have eaten the marshmallow. The study by Stanford University tested 4-year old’s who were put in a room with a hidden camera, a table, and a chair. An adult entered the room to put one marshmallow on the table, explaining to the child that they could eat the marshmallow but, if they decided to wait a few minutes without eating it, they would get another marshmallow.
During those few minutes alone, the children were seen touching the marshmallow, smelling it, licking it, squeezing it. 2 out of 3 kids couldn’t resist the temptation. The majority gave into their desire and ate the marshmallow.
The study followed the children into their future and found that, by the time they were 10, the ones who delayed gratification were less likely to be overweight and had higher test scores. By the time they were 20, they had a better overall position in life, both mentally & physically.
Decisions around health and finances are good examples of how most people lack the skill of self-control. We start off feeling enthusiastic and motivated about the gym membership or the savings account, but only the minority can manage to stick with it consistently. That’s why many North Americans are now holding more debt than savings. We’re also considered to be the most stressed, depressed, overweight, and over-medicated population in history!
I had spent my life feeding instant gratification because I had never learned self-control. Once I decided to do the work to get clear & sober and achieve better health, I had to learn to say no to everything that wasn’t leading me to the kind of life I wanted.
Resisting temptation gets easier with practice, patience, and persistence. One step to overcome addictions.
The K.E.Y. is to Keep Educating Yourself. Knowledge teaches us what to do, and practice shows us how to do it. It’s a journey that begins by building resilience with self-care. I had to learn to like myself enough to start taking care of myself.
Research has shown that we only have a fixed amount of energy to resist temptation, so it’s important to keep our attention focused on people, places, and things that don’t tempt us!
Rumi’s advice is always relevant: Learning how to resist temptation connects us to our soul.
May the force be with you, and remember…
YOU are the force!
About the Author:
After 20+ years in broadcasting, I decided to pack up negative news and progressive addictions. My recovery kicked into high gear when I decided to write & speak openly about my challenges and my success to overcome addictions. I now help others who want to build their own path to recovery and better health.
DISCLAIMER: This content is not intended to constitute, or be a substitute for, medical diagnosis or treatment. Never disregard advice from your doctor, or delay in seeking it, because of something you have watched, read, or heard from anyone at Red Roof Recovery.