Ryan and Sustaining New Beginnings
The New Year was always the perfect time for Ryan to begin again. He promised himself that this time it was going to be better than all the other times. No more going back on his word. He was going to lose weight, quit smoking, and rid his life of people that were dragging him down. Ryan struggled with being fifty pounds overweight. He chained smoked. He also allowed himself to be involved with Sally. Sally was verbally abusive, but seemed to be the only one who really paid Ryan any attention. Ryan told himself often, “You can always begin again.” On the outside, Ryan appeared to be just fine to the non-discerning eye. On the inside, Ryan was losing the battle. He needed a change—a new beginning that he could sustain over time.
Ryan lacks temperance. Having temperance means having self-control and/or acting in moderation. Currently, Ryan allows things to happen to him instead of dictating how things will go for him. His scenario is common to what goes on in a lot of lives today. The over indulgence in eating, smoking, and rationalizing an abuser’s presence in your life are obviously not helping you. It is your exercise of control, but the choices are not sustainable. The exercise of temperance is founded in sustainable choice behavior. It is the choice of indulgence along with the ability to know when enough is enough.
The Crutch that does not Promote Healing
Ryan has been struggling for some time with his issues. He always told himself, “You can always begin again.” Ryan used this saying as a crutch. He allowed himself to limp along on those words every time he gave in to his current situation—each unsustainable choice. He was giving himself encouragement that he had another chance to get it together. What Ryan didn’t dwell on was the fact that the longer it took him to make necessary changes in his health, the longer his health suffered and the more dire the prognosis became.
His weight could continue to climb. Complications of increased fat storage could invite other health problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Chain smoking can lead to emphysema or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Not engaging in a meaningful relationship could lead to depression and a lack of self-worth, anxiety and ahedonia. Encouraging self without actually taking the appropriate steps to change only delays your health progress.
Overcoming the Self-Deception
Each New Year, Ryan was accustomed to beginning again. How many times have you told yourself, “I’m going to do it for real this time?” only to find yourself giving in to exactly what you wanted to avoid. What do you have to unlearn? Lying to yourself!
Having self-control can be challenging when it’s not part of your daily life-style. Temperance is about balance and knowing when to resist. It may not be good to eat a whole dozen doughnuts, but having one every once in a while is not enough to cause damage. This is especially true when exercise is part of your life style. It is harder to replace your lungs after you have damaged them over time. Educate yourself in ways to problem solve. I’ve listed a few suggestions to assist you as you learn to live your life of temperance.
- Understand your reasoning and motivation for the activities in which you engage.
- Have rules and standards that you live by in regards to your health, behaviors, and relationships.
- Know your limits in the context of your targets with each choice you face larger or small.
- Know the triggers that precede unsustainable decisions, and have an intervention/redirection ready for implementation.
- Determine that you are worthy of the best. Determine the best by long-term sustainability.
- Before accepting anything at face value, weigh the cost.
Enjoy temperance by living a life of balance. Your health is determined by the life you live. Be good to yourself.
[Taunya is nurse, author, and a two year homeschool veteran. She is currently working on two books, the 3rd in the Brady Boe series, and Truth–the first in the End Time Saga Trilogy. #ReadTSW at taunyasBnB.com]