The first real pain of my life came with school—kindergarten, I mean. Before that, every memory I have is full of simple, idyllic happiness. But I didn’t do well in school, and I got made fun of for that and for being overweight. So I did what lots of people do when confronted by persistent pain: I self-medicated out of fear. I reached for things like sugar, fatty foods, and lust too. I was a teenager, after all. Those things turned into addictions, and for a long time after that, I felt like I was a bad person because of those things. I could just never measure up to what I thought a good person was supposed to be.
By now, most of you know the story of Hope kicking me out of the house. It was the right thing to do and exactly what I needed, although of course, I didn’t think so at the time. Among other things, it led me to the man who became my spiritual mentor, and I learned an amazing new perspective on temptation that changed my life forever. Today, I want to share that perspective with all of you.
I’ve said many times that it’s all about living in love in the present moment. You’ll always make mistakes, but you can make mistakes and still be on that path. And as long as you’re on that path I believe you’ll do well in the long run. But sometimes the mistakes just seem to stack up, don’t they? Sometimes you make the same ones over and over again for years, and you start to wonder if you’re really living in love at all, or if you’re even capable of it. My mentor gave me a simple test for that: are you being tempted?
I’ll expand on that a little. Sure, you may be making mistakes and doing things you believe are wrong. You’re human. But when the impulse comes, do you follow it automatically, or is there a struggle? Do you still think to yourself, “I shouldn’t do this” or do you simply go ahead? The word temptation means something like, “to lure from one place to another.” You can’t be lured to a place where you already are, which means that if you’re experiencing the process of temptation, that proves your heart is still in the right place, at least regarding that area of life. You may still need to do what you can to improve things, but you’ll know that your flaws aren’t dominating you, and with time and hard work, things can get much, much better.
For me, this was an enormously liberating discovery, because I always felt that struggle of temptation. I always knew I was doing something I shouldn’t be and regretted it afterward. So even as imperfect as I was, I knew that my heart was in the right place and that I was living in love as best I could, even if the best I could wasn’t as great as I wished. It allowed me to value myself in a way that I hadn’t been able to in a long time, and when I first really absorbed this fact I was in tears for days.
I hope it can be as meaningful to you as it was to me. But it may also be a wake-up call. So what do you do if you aren’t being tempted if you are in that place of doing these things automatically? In the past, I’ve referred to this as having a “seared conscience.” Basically, when you’ve ignored your conscience so many times that you can no longer even hear it. The good news is that it’s not just about doing it right or not, it’s also about intent. If that’s where you are, then by all means use our tools, use Trilogy and Memory Engineering to address the source of your pain and fear. But you’ll also need to be intentional about changing the way you think about your habits.
One mistake at a time.
Have a blessed, wonderful day!