Temptation: A-Ten-Letter-Four-Letter-Word

" After enduring the false smiles and empty promises of the business world for 22 years, you'll appreciate the candor of the DEA agents assigned to you. "

Contrary to popular belief, I'm not infallible. What!?!?!? Yes - I know. Disappointing, to say the least. After one interesting line of conversation after another this past weekend coupled with recent experience, I thought about a line of a different sort: That between temptation and the point of no return. What is it that drives individuals beyond the brink? Is it something so simple as opportunity? Or does the theory of one's own conscience actually hold it's weight in water? What is conscience anyway? ***Randomly Inserted Disclaimer: The author is well aware the human mind has been studied at great length and a great many conclusions have been drawn. Nonetheless, the author is in a mood and feels like contemplating this shit sans the benefit of any real research***

One could take the above paragraph a number of ways. Not necessarily my concern to clarify one way or the other as one simple formula seems to encompass a common denominator:
When presented with a situation probable to provide a perceived benefit....
With the assumption (imagined or otherwise) there would be no judgement or ill repercussion...
So long as an opportunity presented itself, temptation would quickly become reality.

Where this all becomes personal relates to a "chance happening" of last week. There I was, minding my own business (or so far as YOU know), and there it was: Temptation followed immediately by opportunity. Although none would have been the wiser for my actions had I walked that path, it was an opportunity I mistakenly and quite inadvertently presented that, holyshitthankgod, resulted in that path promptly closing down for an extended bout of construction.

I said "no". But that doesn't change the filthy feeling festering from within. Chalk it up to Catholic guilt or the French - whatever's clever. Even having made the "right" decision, I was left miserable and uneasy. Why? Was it that I was so ashamed in even admitting it was a choice and not a foregone conclusion of taking the high road? Perhaps I was torn as deep down I knew damn well I didn't see a problem with going for the gold - it was only what it would have cost in return that made me wretch. Ahhh - more likely I knew myself well enough to know once that door had been opened, the next such temptation would become easier and easier to reach for until it was no longer an obstacle so much as second nature.... A habit.

In my last post, I mentioned a conversation about books with My Dear Friend that further sparked an awakening. One book, in particular, has my full attention (and not only because I have a shameless crush on its' author) ~ "It's OK to miss the bed on the first jump", by John HOT DAMN, I'M DASHING O'Hurley. (***Not sure if he includes his middle name in the version released to the public.... ***) Anyhoo, for you animal lovers out there, it is an endearingly adorable take on some very poignant observations. The book revolves around the innate wisdom of Man's Best Friend and the lessons we could quite honestly stand to learn from the same. One quote, in particular, has captured my attention: "Self-assessment and goal-definition are often the biggest logjams to the flow of achievement. Many of us are unhappy in our present state and are not fully aware of it. We mask our disenchantment with drugs, alcohol, or other destructive behavior so we are physically and mentally unable to be accountable for it. Sometimes we intentionally become victims of our circumstances in life in an unconscious effort to avoid taking responsibility for a positive self-appraisal." Wow.

As we've established previously, my father is an avid fan of self-help books and tales of enlightenment. On an "unrelated" tangent, he had promised to send me some books he uncovered while unpacking boxes in his new home. This past Friday, the package arrived and I quickly noticed he couldn't stop himself from tucking in two old dusty cassettes of further self-improvement. Amusing to call it "self" improvement, when utilized more along the lines of ammunition for improving OTHERS.... Ah well, semantics, no? It seemed that all of these little gems of information revolved around countering a pattern of destructive behavior. Given my supreme sense of superstition and fancy of fate, I found myself glancing off into the cosmos with a gentle smile and whispering "Point Taken".

Nothing so simple as the consequences handed down from another render a decision right or wrong. It is not the tiny, competing voices of the miniature devil sitting atop one shoulder against the pacing angel on the other. I maintain there is little in this world that unequivocally black & white. Rather, the instinct that having walked that path would have been counter intuitive to all I've struggled to accomplish. It was all the reassurance necessary to turn on my heels and run without looking back. Until next time, you Tantalizing Temptress.

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Kitty

Monday, June 13, 2011

Temptation: A-Ten-Letter-Four-Letter-Word

" After enduring the false smiles and empty promises of the business world for 22 years, you'll appreciate the candor of the DEA agents assigned to you. "

Contrary to popular belief, I'm not infallible. What!?!?!? Yes - I know. Disappointing, to say the least. After one interesting line of conversation after another this past weekend coupled with recent experience, I thought about a line of a different sort: That between temptation and the point of no return. What is it that drives individuals beyond the brink? Is it something so simple as opportunity? Or does the theory of one's own conscience actually hold it's weight in water? What is conscience anyway? ***Randomly Inserted Disclaimer: The author is well aware the human mind has been studied at great length and a great many conclusions have been drawn. Nonetheless, the author is in a mood and feels like contemplating this shit sans the benefit of any real research***

One could take the above paragraph a number of ways. Not necessarily my concern to clarify one way or the other as one simple formula seems to encompass a common denominator:
When presented with a situation probable to provide a perceived benefit....
With the assumption (imagined or otherwise) there would be no judgement or ill repercussion...
So long as an opportunity presented itself, temptation would quickly become reality.

Where this all becomes personal relates to a "chance happening" of last week. There I was, minding my own business (or so far as YOU know), and there it was: Temptation followed immediately by opportunity. Although none would have been the wiser for my actions had I walked that path, it was an opportunity I mistakenly and quite inadvertently presented that, holyshitthankgod, resulted in that path promptly closing down for an extended bout of construction.

I said "no". But that doesn't change the filthy feeling festering from within. Chalk it up to Catholic guilt or the French - whatever's clever. Even having made the "right" decision, I was left miserable and uneasy. Why? Was it that I was so ashamed in even admitting it was a choice and not a foregone conclusion of taking the high road? Perhaps I was torn as deep down I knew damn well I didn't see a problem with going for the gold - it was only what it would have cost in return that made me wretch. Ahhh - more likely I knew myself well enough to know once that door had been opened, the next such temptation would become easier and easier to reach for until it was no longer an obstacle so much as second nature.... A habit.

In my last post, I mentioned a conversation about books with My Dear Friend that further sparked an awakening. One book, in particular, has my full attention (and not only because I have a shameless crush on its' author) ~ "It's OK to miss the bed on the first jump", by John HOT DAMN, I'M DASHING O'Hurley. (***Not sure if he includes his middle name in the version released to the public.... ***) Anyhoo, for you animal lovers out there, it is an endearingly adorable take on some very poignant observations. The book revolves around the innate wisdom of Man's Best Friend and the lessons we could quite honestly stand to learn from the same. One quote, in particular, has captured my attention: "Self-assessment and goal-definition are often the biggest logjams to the flow of achievement. Many of us are unhappy in our present state and are not fully aware of it. We mask our disenchantment with drugs, alcohol, or other destructive behavior so we are physically and mentally unable to be accountable for it. Sometimes we intentionally become victims of our circumstances in life in an unconscious effort to avoid taking responsibility for a positive self-appraisal." Wow.

As we've established previously, my father is an avid fan of self-help books and tales of enlightenment. On an "unrelated" tangent, he had promised to send me some books he uncovered while unpacking boxes in his new home. This past Friday, the package arrived and I quickly noticed he couldn't stop himself from tucking in two old dusty cassettes of further self-improvement. Amusing to call it "self" improvement, when utilized more along the lines of ammunition for improving OTHERS.... Ah well, semantics, no? It seemed that all of these little gems of information revolved around countering a pattern of destructive behavior. Given my supreme sense of superstition and fancy of fate, I found myself glancing off into the cosmos with a gentle smile and whispering "Point Taken".

Nothing so simple as the consequences handed down from another render a decision right or wrong. It is not the tiny, competing voices of the miniature devil sitting atop one shoulder against the pacing angel on the other. I maintain there is little in this world that unequivocally black & white. Rather, the instinct that having walked that path would have been counter intuitive to all I've struggled to accomplish. It was all the reassurance necessary to turn on my heels and run without looking back. Until next time, you Tantalizing Temptress.

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