I’m at the mall, staring at my phone’s screen and all I want to do is lay my head on the table, close my eyes and rest for a while. I waited too long to have breakfast. It was a close call but a few bites of croissant averted the meltdown. (I also bought a banana danish for good measure.)
My daughter is at ballet. She’s moving her body, something I haven’t done in weeks (months?).
I don’t have to wonder why I have been in such a slump: going to bed late; waking up late, sluggish, groggy and tired before the day has even started; eating carbs and sugar morning, noon and night.
I bought six bags of chips from the health food store yesterday. They were on sale 50% off but still… It wasn’t a wise choice. I knew this as I loaded my basket. I knew it when I stuffed them all in my pantry.
Isn’t it unfortunate that knowing what we need to do offers us no salvation; that we can and often WILL do exactly the opposite of what we should?
Because it’s easier.
Because it’s more fun.
Even when it’s not in our best interest.
Even when it almost guarantees future pain.
Best case scenario, we drift farther from our goals.
Worst case scenario, we end up hitting the proverbial wall.
Most of us zig-zag our way through life, aware of the wall looming in the distance but far enough from it that we pretend it’s not there.
But make the wrong choices enough times and feigning ignorance is no longer an option. The wall overshadows everything else; a mountain we cannot move.
I’m on my knees at the bottom of that mountain right now. Overwhelmed at the mere thought of having to climb it. I want to fool myself into believing that I could just stay here; continue with the so-called carefree days; do what I want anyway.
But I know better.
We never stay where we are. We either move forward, or we slide backwards. It either gets better or it gets worse. If I don’t trek upwards I could end up in a hole.
Think that climbing a mountain is hard…well it’s nothing compared to clawing your way out of a deep dark pit.
We’re wired to seek pleasure and avoid pain but we can break the spell, ignore the song of the mermaids.
We can choose the harness of discipline over the shackles of laziness.
Doing what we want, when we want is not freedom.
Each time we give in to immediate gratification, we tighten our own chains.
We become active agents of mediocrity; willing prisoners of our weaknesses.
We forfeit the role of master and enslave ourselves to the lure of a pleasure filled existence.
But pleasure only takes us so far.
When we unleash our best self, we grown wings.
Only then can we soar.
Only then are we free.
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