There are actually two that I want to post, that hit me on the same day.
To yield and give way to our passions is the lowest form of slavery; to rule over them is the only liberty. – Saint Justin
Hazelden Twenty-Four Hours a Day book: If your heart is right, your world will be right. THe beginning of all reform must be in yourself. It’s not what happens to you, it’s how you take it.However restricted your circumstances, however little you may be able to remedy financial affairs, you can always turn to your inward self and, seeing something not in order there, seek to right it. The power released from within yourself will change your outward life.
I was slave to my passions for a very long time. I allowed cross addictions to rule over me, in enthusiasm, instead of looking at myself. I wasn’t drinking or doing drugs – but I knew there was fundamentally something wrong, deep inside. Turns out, there were several issues I needed to work on. We all have our battles. But when I refused to do the hard work on myself, I wasn’t happy. Giving into my passions was a temporary “feel good” that still left me feeling empty, isolated, alone, and miserable. I put all of my energy into a heavy mask of “everything is great” but felt drained from it. Then seeked more bad behavior for a temporary boost and to keep that wall strong.
It wasn’t until I removed temptations and bad behaviors, and sat with myself, before the real work could begin. I had to stare the beasts, that I was building walls around, directly in the eyes and tame them. Understand them. Train them. Learn to live with some of them. That is okay. I am still tearing that wall down, but have reduced the monsters to mice. I see them scurry around, every once in a while, but will not allow them the power to become monsters again. I have done too much work from within, and have walked too far down this path to hope and happiness, to fear them anymore.