Mastering the art of controlling one’s self is probably the hardest skill to master. The flesh is consumed with sin, therefore it wants to partake in the things of the world and indulge at every opportunity. In truth, my mind never wants to do the things that need to be done.
From what I’ve read, our minds are constantly searching for ways to get us out of pain and into a pleasure state of mind. We hate pain and discomfort and fight against it at every opportunity. We tell ourselves when the alarm clock sounds that it is painful to get out of bed. Therefore, we have linked pain to getting up early. Every time we try to get up early, we have to overcome the pain—until we change our mindset.
So how do we change our mindset? We have to link a new feeling to the action. Instead of linking pleasure with sleeping in, I’ve learned to link pleasure with getting up early and mastering my morning. Now I link pain to sleeping in.
It’s the same with exercising. I no longer view it as a chore or something that I have to do. Now I see it as something that helps my body. The pain, for me, is not exercising. When I don’t exercise, my muscles become stiff and the stiffness leads to pain. So when I consider skipping my daily workout, I remember the pain that it will cause me in the future, and it helps me to persist beyond my excuses.
My diet is another example. If I have a moment of weakness and eat gluten or dairy, I might enjoy it in the moment, but afterwards the pain of eating the food will last in my body for weeks. Once I eat the foods that I’m allergic to, there is no way to reverse it, therefore I have to suffer the consequences of my actions.
Sunday we celebrated my husband’s birthday with chocolate chip cookies. We had two different kinds. Gluten/dairy free and the regular ones. I allowed myself two cookies and enjoyed them. I knew, however, that I would want to eat the rest of them later, so I helped my future self out. Instead of keeping the cookies separate, I mixed them in with the ones containing gluten. By contaminating the cookies, I prevented myself from eating anymore. If we know we have a problem with self-control in a certain area, then we need to figure out a way to help ourselves out.
Every day is a new opportunity. Set your intentions for the day. How will you conquer your day?
Love and blessings,