The best way to get rid of temptation
is to surrender to it.
It was a crazy busy day today at the office. Emails flying, phone ringing off the hook due to a deadline the next day. I found myself focusing on my exhale. I guess my exhales were becoming audible enough for my next cube neighbor to hear. She told me when she hears me breathing like that, she knows I am under a lot pressure. She's the project production manager. She also warned me that the client I am working with had been called Tasmanian devil. She even labeled her "chaos incarnate." The client, sure enough, told me she thrives on chaos. This client has been known to belittle people, even scream at them in public.
Fortunately, I was spared the force of the client's dark side. We even had a laugh once during a phone call. Focusing on the exhale, the breath of letting go, served me well. I resisted the temptation of thinking about the client as a difficult, disrespectful dictator. I focused on doing the best job I can without the distracting stories. It turned out good. The client's deputy manager emailed and said it was a joy working with me and my team and that we set the gold standard. Ahhh, how sweet it is.
Talking about sweet: I quit on sugar for Lent, in addition to TV. I have been successful. But two nights ago my daughter decided to bake chocolate chip cookies and banana bread with chocolate chips. The next day, I worked from home, and these cookies and bread were all spread out on the dining table. But I was able to resist.
Then after dinner, she sliced the bread and offered me a bite. After the second offer, I gave in and took a bite-size piece. I made that piece last, like it's the last time for me to taste something like this. And it was goooood. It must have taken me about 15-20 minutes to finish it. Every morsel was intense with sweetness. Every texture was noted. Every swallow was slow and luxurious. And, I surprised myself! I didn't ask for more.
Temptations abound in daily life. The temptation to eat what is unhealthy, to say what is unnecessary, to act disrespectfully, and more. In what ways do you resist temptation? What prayer do you say when faced with temptation?
This prayer, from St Benedict's medal, is one of my favorite in fighting temptation. I love reciting it in Latin. It sounds juicier, more powerful, when said in Latin. -