I am tempted to say this is Resistance #3
The Cat and the Cracker
Last night I had a few crackers before going to bed. Our cat, Mayru, was sitting on my lap and for some strange reason she was very insistent on wanting a cracker. This is not usual. But tonight she was crazy about it. I gave her a small piece and she actually ate it. Then she turned around on my lap and meowed plaintively, wanting another piece. I gave her another and she bit it, dropped it and jumped off my lap, walking away, never to return.
Now, I don’t think she contemplates will power and resisting temptation much. So, what happened? Well, what she does is go with her desire. She wanted the cracker, didn’t resist that desire and got the cracker. Then didn’t have the desire, no longer wanted it and walked away. The key wasn’t that she wanted it and pushed it away in spite of wanting it, it was that she just no longer wanted it.
I’m No Help at All
I sometimes am told that people are impressed with my ability to give things up. It seems I can give something up and stick with it. They might think I am good at avoiding temptation, that I have great will power, that I am disciplined. But the honest truth is that I can give it up not because I am good at resisting temptation, but because the temptation goes away. I am actually not good at resisting temptation, I am better at getting rid of temptation.
Saying I ‘get rid of temptation’ makes it sound like I actually do it. But the truth is, and one of the reasons I am not all that great at advising others in their attempts to get rid of bad habits, is they just go away. I usually don’t do anything to get rid of them beyond having the simple desire for them to go away. That’s it. Sometimes it takes years (one habit took 45 years for the temptation to go away). Sometimes it takes an instant. I don’t really know why, though I wish I did.
The Key, No Matter What
What I do know is that even when they just go away and I didn’t do much to make it happen but to wish for it, I still need to make a choice not to go looking for that lost temptation to see if it’s still hanging around out there. It’s like an ex-lover you are over but that you sometimes still pine for. If you go searching to see ‘how they are doing’ you are looking to see if the temptation is hanging around. And that temptation that is lost is suddenly found again. That is not a good thing. Let it stay lost, it can’t add up to much without you.
Drawing and commentary by Marty Coleman
Quote by Mae West, 1893-1980, American Actress and Playwright.