I have some bad news for us both.
You’re not strong enough to live with your bad habits and temptations. Neither am I.
We all have that closet in the dark recesses of our life that contains our bad habits and temptations. If you’ve altered your lifestyle in some way, say quitting smoking or eating Paleo, that closet is stuffed particularly full. There are a lot of gurus and books out there that want to tell you the 10 step plan for banishing them from your life. They’re lying. Everything ends up in the closet, worn out and unused clothes no one quite has the wherewithal to throw out. You can believe they’re gone from your life but they aren’t. They’re just laying there waiting for you to open the door again.
At some point in your journey the thought will enter your head that you’re strong enough to live with the temptation, just a little bit, and you open that door ever so slightly. Oh I can just have ONE bowl of ice cream. Oh I can just have ONE cigarette. Oh I can just have ONE drink. And then I’ll be okay right? I’ll just close the door again and move on with my life. How many times have we told that lie to ourselves? It’s like that sight gag you used to see in the old Looney Tunes cartoons. The first character is frantically running around the house cleaning up because some unexpected visitor is at the door. Everything gets thrown into a closet in a rush but the immediate outcome is the house is spotless. The visitor comes in, they interact, and at some point the visitor opens the door to the closet full of junk and it all comes tumbling out on them. As long as we keep the door shut on it, the house looks great but once we open the door it all comes falling out again.
In the last couple of weeks I’ve told myself the lie that I could live with the things I had banished from my life. I don’t know about you but food and information are my pressure points. Food’s an obvious one. If you’re reading a Paleo blog it probably means you’re making the changes and dealing with the challenges of moving a lifetime’s worth of ingrained eating habits. You understand what it feels like to open the door on all of those bad habits that feel oh so good but are incredibly, incredibly bad. Information is the same for me. I am a hard, hard, hardcore information junkie. I opened the door on that the last few weeks too, telling myself the lie that I was well enough again to start accepting all the bad habits associated with it back into my life again.
Boy was I wrong.
So now I’m here, trying to get everything stuffed back into the closet again. The good thing though is that it was an instructive experience. Once I finally get everything stuffed back in and the door shut, I am never going to open it again. Or at least until the next time I look at it and think that may be I’m strong enough to just peak inside. Living with bad habits is a daily struggle. If you’re fortunate enough to lock that door and throw away the key, good for you. I’ll have to walk by that door everyday on my way to my life. At least now I know the trick isn’t to not look at the door, acknowledging it is fine. The trick is to not open it. If I can remember that, I just might be okay.