Inner urges worth fighting

by Rod Smith

Internal Battles Worth Fighting: To Spend, To Retaliate, To Impress, Self-pity, and To Eat – this is longer than usual. Those who are interested will plough through it all:

Spend

No matter how much money (or time) you have you will never spend your way from disappointment or loss or heartbreak to happiness. Spending won’t free you from what is causing you to feel down or let down.  

Identify, locate, isolate, that urge, and fight it. 

Try to see what is really going on in your life that you think at this moment will be corrected or satisfied by buying yet another something. 

It is an urge worth combatting and, if possible, defeating. 

If you surrender to it it will, over time, exact ever-greater demands. 

These powerful and understandable urges to find short-term relief will lead to stronger feelings of dissatisfaction than first ignited urges. 

Getting stuff and more stuff (and then even more stuff) provides a high that is almost certainly temporary. The crash, when it comes, will be accompanied by bills or debt that you probably don’t want.

Placating dissatisfaction or disappointment with short-term quick-fix acts of relief is a diversion, a diversion that will steer a person inner-miles from potential solutions. 

Spending is seductive. It seduces the spender away from the very issues it feels promised to solve. 

Fight the urge by trying to uncover what is under the dis-ease driving the destructive urges to spend a path out of discomfort. 

Go there, take a close look at the urge, rather than let it whip you into another spree of short-term quick fixes. 

Retaliate 

If you have been insulted or rebuffed or cheated, any expressions of retaliation, as understandable as they may be, will probably not lead you to the outcome you are seeking. It’s an urge worth isolating and fighting. Fighting back escalates. Retaliation seldom and solves. As understandable as it is, it means you assume you are correct, that the other is wrong. Retaliation suggests you have nothing to learn but only to teach or reason to punish. 

I know it is a tough pill to swallow but our adversaries, or those whom we perceive as adversaries, are often our best teachers, if, indeed, we are willing to learn. Often the lessons adversaries teach are not available from our allies and are the lessons we most need. 

Try to see what is beneath the insult or offense that is hitting its target within you. 

Try to understand why it is that some insults or offenses run off you like water off a duck’s back but others stick. 

What is the difference? 

Go there, rather than assume a boxer stance. 

Go there, rather than try to satiate the get-even inner drive which will only lead you into a life-style of getting even and one spent against the ropes.

Impress

Combat the often-impulsive urge to impress, save the day, be the hero. Of course there is nothing amiss with living an impressive, heroic life. It’s good to deploy your skills which may result in your saving the day for someone, and I hope you do. We are all called to do the right, next good favor. We are called to look out for each other. May we all be alert to others and as a result find ourselves in occasional heroic circumstances as a result of going about the business of daily life. 

What I am referring to is the urge to be noticed, the urge to be the good, nice person who wants to save others, to be the hero, all in order to be noticed. 

Fight the driving force or insatiable urge to be the ever-present hero. 

If you are going to be a noble it will be an outcrop of your natural and daily living. You will not have to go out seeking it. Find that urge, go there, and quell it rather than be in constant search for the opportunity to don your cape. 

Good, strong, authentic people don’t have to put on their capes or prove anything about their strength. 

Their capes are just normal everyday dress.

Self-pity

The inner urge of self-pity; fight it, no matter how tough your life has been. Try to avoid the pit of self-pity. It leads to no destination worth going and no pondering or analysis worth following. 

I know, I know, it may feel good for a while, even a day or three, but the best analogy I have is that it can become a pathway in a forest that, if you walk it frequently, it becomes visible and then it becomes a well-worn track and then the default until it seems and feels unavoidable, even normal – and the only way to go. 

A personality shaped by self-pity is tough to live with, and tough to be around, and tough to shed once it makes its way into a person. 

The antidote? 

Personal responsibility. 

Asking questions of oneself like “What is my role in this?” and “What about my behavior landed me here?” and “What is it that is convincing me that I am a victim right now?” and “What is the truth about what is leading me into the waves of self-pity?”

Self-pity is a dead end and when you get to the end it is rather lonely.

As tough as it may be, finding where and how you can be responsible for yourself, even if it is in quite minimal ways, will lead you out of the dead-end and into a world of new and attractive beginnings. 

Eat 

There is not enough food available or opportunities to eat it if you succumb to your inner-urge to eat your way out of a problem, a conflict, an undesired mood. 

The urge, the drive, the compulsion, to eat when you are anxious or troubled is understandable and the rewards, as we all know, are almost immediate. Of course, the rewards are short-lived and do not address the issue that propels the drive. 

Rather, seek out the driving issue, the genesis of what stimulates the urge.  

Eating provides a temporary quick-fix. It provides a way to avoid whatever it is that brought you to the fridge or pantry or the fast-food franchise in the first place. 

Try to find the source and work with that. 

Such short-term comforts are fine as long as you know what they are. Consuming comforts are fine as long as you know such behavior will not address the root causes that are driving you to consume and are likely to trigger more of what you want eating to address.  

There are other primal and physical drives that can lead a person down a track not worth pursuing and really mess with a person’s real and living relationships. Again, they are temporary fixes to unrelated issues. 

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