Modern Myth #8
Have you ever noticed that compulsive desires are never satisfied by indulging them – that cravings are not eliminated by giving in to them? For example, if you eat a bite of something sweet that you crave, you immediately want another bite. That’s because feeding a desire fuels its fire! People who are weight watchers know that: “To indulge is to bluge.” And addicts say: “One is too much but 1,000 is not enough.
Society encourages us to obey the myth that says “self-indulgence is satisfying,” but the more self is indulged, the more self clamors for, until we become little more than slaves to our self-demands. Far from being satisfying, self-indulgence brings bondage.
The truth is that compulsions, cravings, and desires are satisfied by self-restraint, not not by self-indulgence. Restrained cravings will cease their control and their clammoring within a few weeks, while fed feelings are forever fanned into flames.
Leslie Vernick puts it this way in this quotation: “When we feel unhappy or hurt, lonely or unloved, we wrongly believe that we will feel better if we indulge ourselves. That is not true. The results of a self-indulgent psyche or lifestyle are not happiness and good self-esteem, but bondage.”