The Kingship of Self-Control II

Every step in the progress of the world has been a new “control.” It has been escaping from the tyranny of a fact, to the understanding and mastery of that fact. For ages man looked in terror at the lightning flash; today he has begun to understand it as electricity, a force he has mastered and made his slave. The million phases of electrical invention are but manifestations of our control over a great force. But the greatest of all “control” is self-control.

At each moment of man’s life he is either a King or a slave. As he surrenders to a wrong appetite, to any human weakness; as he falls prostrate in hopeless subjection to any condition, to any environment, to any failure, he is a slave. As he day by day crushes out human weakness, masters opposing elements within him, and day by day re-creates a new self from the sin and folly of his past,—then he is a King. He is a King ruling with wisdom over himself. Alexander conquered the whole world except,—Alexander. Emperor of the earth, he was the servile slave of his own passions.” ~ William George Jordan

We recently considered the matter of self-sabotage and how important it is that you begin to recognize those areas in your life where you tend to self-destruct based on crooked habits of thought and behavior. Self-sabotage is one of the most destructive of human tendencies and it gobbles up human potential faster than any dictator, controlling spouse or overbearing parent.

Self-sabotage thrives wherever there is a deficiency of self-control in the soil of your being. Once you recognize an area of deficiency, the best remedy is often one that does not attack the behavior directly, as self-sabotaging strategies are often (1) well-defended both consciously and subconsciously and (2) complicated in the sense that they create internal imbalances to which the body, mind and heart grows accustomed by means of compensatory strategies.

So where do you start? You must, as we considered yesterday, meet the issue in the strength of humility. True humility is not saying “I suck,” “I’m only human” or “I am a horrible, flawed person,” it is that quiet place in you which allows for the solution and the power to get you there to well up from within. So doing affords you the opportunity to address the matter at the deeper causative levels, the flaws in your bedrock character.

Such an approach requires focus and follow through, especially when body, mind and heart are not in clear agreement as to the need for adjustment. It involves a supple single-mindedness, and an internal stance wherein you consecrate yourself to a higher vision for what is possible through you. In one sense, you have to care enough about others and the fact that you will be free of an unnecessary limitation in your service to them and in another, you have to come to terms with the fact that you are an extraordinarily valuable person.

Sin is nothing more than missing the mark in your expression. It is an area that your body, mind and heart have not yet learned to accommodate and magnify the perfection resident within you. Yep, I said it, the “p” word.” Perfection. It is in there whether you are ready to admit it to yourself or not. When you err, don’t beat yourself up, instead, allow yourself to be lifted up. Yield to the deepest and highest impulse in you which call to you from on high…not from some mysterious place, but from the pinnacle of your understanding and the peak of your performance.

There is no reason why every aspect of your living cannot hew to the same high standard. Far too many people allow themselves to be a mixed bag – excelling in some areas while settling for inferiority in others – rather than presenting a united front, where every aspect of expression is squared to the highest and finest of which they are aware in any given moment. If you are brilliant, why do you swear? If you are blessed with physical strength, why do you smoke? If you are dedicated to moving forward, why do you constantly look backward?

Any time there is a dichotomy within you, there is a leak in the container that is you. You cannot move from where you are now to a state of balanced an unflappable self-control while tolerating these leaks and self-sabotaging tendencies. They sap your energy, your focus and your momentum, all of which are necessary to sustained forward movement.

Dare to plug them specifically and quietly, that the holes in your character might be filled in and that your body, heart and mind might move from being a colander to being a perfectly shaped and leak-resistant container. This container – your body, mind and heart in absolute agreement – becomes a pressure-cooker of sorts for your radiant life expression.

 

 

10 thoughts on “The Kingship of Self-Control II

  1. Ricardo B.

    It’s so tempting to gratify a compulsion that emerges in your awareness. That could be giving expression to a thought, feeling, or some other urge to do something. Perhaps the trickiest ones are the ones that aren’t viewed as bad, because at least with those you know those are dead wrong. The ones that appear neutral or even good pose a different kind of challenge because there’s really nothing overtly wrong with them. “They aren’t hurting anyone or myself” you may say to yourself, and so you go ahead and do it. However, as in many things, that’s not all there is to it.
    A system of checks and balances needs to be in place, for everything you decide to say or do, you end up not saying or doing potentially a million other things. You can’t be in all places at one time, and so what you choose holds some pretty heavy weight if you wish to live an uncommon life.
    I don’t think I’ve ever heard elsewhere that the solution to this dilemma is to quiet down and think of others, in the sense that your life matters to the degree that it is able to assist. Well, perhaps one more place! Anyways, organizational skills are helpful, but meeting this dilemma at a deeper level to change the entire motivation at its root – to care enough about how this decision in expression will affect others – is IMO the ultimate crux for a transformative change. To realize over and over again that your life truly matters like this can and will completely change who you are. I speak from my own experience. And I’ve still many things more that need upgrade, and that’s ok because I see them and I know I will not be at ease until these next things are handled.
    The message is simple and consistent. Get out of yourself, relax and look outward to the world around you and all that’s in it, care enough to uplift where you can – and follow through.

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  2. Estelle M.

    You (and Jordan) approach this topic so reasonably (thanks for not being ‘preachy’ – a sign of humility!). Admit to the flaw and move on, but move on with the conviction of “never again”. Others are depending on us to show them we are in fact the real deal. I am aware of this everytime I am with my grandchildren. Love this post!

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  3. David R

    While it is wonderful and necessary to recognize the presence of brilliance, wisdom and perfection at the core of each person – even oneself! – it is equally true that such quality of character can only manifest through a consistently governed heart and mind. Typically the internal government, the control, has been mixed and, to a high degree, unconscious.

    Honest consideration of posts like this, for instance, can allow the lights to be brought up, exposing inconsistencies and unconscious strategies for self-sabotage. Then, however, there are choices to be made so that internal saboteurs are no longer given free rein as a different government is deliberately accepted and new habits are formed. Simply forcing oneself temporarily to behave differently will accomplish little, but a new framework of agreement sets a governing structure that allows internal brilliance to shine through external opportunity!

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  4. Beth C

    Character is usually seen as something that develops in the early years through heredity and surrounding influences and then remains fixed throughout one’s life. How refreshing and inspiring to see your practical and insightful outline of the way character can be changed anytime, anywhere, by anyone. Great post!

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  5. MMc

    Self sabotage is the ultimate destroyer of human potential. I appreciate your solution to conquering it. Meeting it first with the will we derive from our love to be of service, our higherself; in a manner of speaking, out powers it. If we approach it with the feeling it is stronger than any other aspect of our nature it gives it a position that we alone bestow on it. Even if others cast you as a hopeless ….( fill in the word) it’s not hopeless unless you are stunted in your interest to change it.
    I am very drawn to your posts on the writings of George Jordan. They are unvarnished in the examination of the subject and practical in the solution. We can change what we are. The bedrock character flaws can be changed if we are willing to dig that deep. Thanks for the helpful post.

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