I’m still dealing with the randomness of my retired life. That feeling of fogginess and lack of purpose has had its toll on my life. I am disappointed in myself, unhappy with life although I have a lot to be thankful for in all aspects of my life. So what’s with that feeling of lostness or randomness?
Self-control is a common resolution because it helps with losing weight, getting more sleep, staying within a budget and other betterment programs. Self-control is a Gift of the Spirit which tells me it is not natural to us. Without the Spirit, we likely struggle with self-control. Even with the Spirit, I struggle with it.
My son is very disciplined, and that includes self-control. I see him moving away from it though. I can’t pick on him because he is much better than I am and we all get busy with distractions and sabotages. I think this is why we need the Holy Spirit to keep up our restraints.
I’ve tried every form of self-control except the reliance on the Spirit. Yet in the Book of Peter in the Bible, we are told we can cast all our cares upon the Spirit because He cares for us. So, why is it I don’t cast all my cares on Him? Distractions and sabotages. That’s my answer, and I’m sticking to it. Not because I am proud of it or that I insist I am right. It’s my answer because I am sure for me that is the answer to my lack of restraint or self-control.
Will Power is Muscle
Another word for self-control is willpower. You know that trait that many people who want to lose weight either don’t have or lose somewhere along the way. I’ve seen people who had bariatric surgery who gain their weight back. The surgery forced them to have self-control, but they never developed the muscle to stay strong.
We often start with weak willpower, and we have to use our willpower, so we strengthen it. At first, we are very weak against temptation, and then the more we resist what will take us away from our goal, the stronger we get. Like a muscle gets stronger with use. But muscles can get tired if used too much, or sometimes they become damaged.
Some diets allow a “cheat day.” A cheat day allows you to have some of the foods you are craving while using a little restraint, but not the full muscle of willpower. It makes sense to do that to release a little stress. Then a dieter can go back to using willpower after giving it a rest. It’s like alternating between aerobics and weight training.
I wonder too if the exercise of stretching before physical activity would be the same as picturing yourself resisting something before it becomes a temptation.
I love to knit, but I also make up my patterns a lot of times. I got stuck on one project and decided to go to a craft store to see if I could find a similar pattern. (I was sure I had seen one not too long ago. Yarn is my weakness, and some new ideas make it even harder to resist. I argued with myself before I bought it, but I still bought it and let me tell you I don’t need any more yarn. Then because I felt terrible and I had been good at using my dieting muscle at lunch with a friend, I felt quite weak against the chocolate that was calling me from a box on my counter. Long story at least a little shorter, I ate piece after piece after I put my two bags of yarn away. It was an epic fail kind of day
I refuse to let this set me back so far that I want to give up. A day of failure due to weakness is not the end of the world. (the yarn was 60% off, just a little justification).
Tomorrow I will pray. Self-control is a Gift of the Spirit. It is not a natural part of who we are. I will pray for strength and resistance. I will prepare myself with mental stretches. I will try again tomorrow. I will strengthen my resistance muscle a little more,