“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.