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Please note that Current of Life was previously published under the title: Living Your Potential

Living Your Potential

When Temptation Strikes

What Tempts You?

Checking your e-mail 100 times a day…Watching mind-numbing TV vs. a program you truly enjoy…Having a cigarette just two weeks into quitting… Inhaling nacho chips when you’re not even hungry (my personal favorite)…Pressing the snooze button instead of getting up a little earlier to exercise… Picking up the phone instead of working for thirty minutes on an important project…

We complain about interruptions but the truth is that sometimes we look for distractions, and, when we’re not looking, they find us.  The human condition presents us with daily dilemmas – some minor, others with greater implications.  We are seduced away from how we want to behave and toward the momentary comfort of familiar habits. 

You Have Two Shoulders

There is some good news about temptation, however.  In fact, it is not temptation itself that is the problem.  It’s what you do when faced with temptation.  Being tempted simply means that you are experiencing an internal conflict.  Temptation is the dilemma – not the actual defeat.

Temptation implies that there is a tension or “face off” between two choices.  Whichever choice you make is within your control.  This reminds me of the cartoon with the good angel and bad angel on your shoulders.  Which one will you listen to?

Access the Grace

In order to make the best decision in moments of temptation, access the grace that is always available to you.  Do this by asking yourself, “In this moment, which one is the healthier choice?  How do I feel?  What do I need?  What is the best choice for me right now?”  Settle down for a moment and be present to the answer.  It will come.

This involves acknowledging that you do not have to live in a world of extremes or absolutes.  After all, sometimes pressing the snooze button is really what your body needs.  A social distraction can provide the needed break from that big project.  A delicious indulgence is enjoyable when chosen consciously and not absentmindedly.  The right choice often means having the courage to try again.

If temptation is conflict and doubt, grace is clarity and courage.  Access the grace. 

Here's to you,
Ginny's signature

© 2005, Virginia M. Kravitz and In the Current®. All Rights Reserved. You are welcome to reproduce this article provided it is without any alteration, includes the copyright above, and if distributing electronically includes a link to

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