When I came to college, I began to be surrounded with temptations to overindulge in many types of things. I was bombarded with the idea that we are now “free” and can do whatever we want. Many students believed that giving into desires to drink, participation in lustful thoughts and actions, and laziness in our studies would bring happiness. However, I soon realized, those that had true happiness and freedom were those that had discipline. Those that had control over their thoughts, desires, and actions were able to direct their lives, a true freedom that the others didn’t have. Their ability to say “no” to human temptations allowed them to say “yes” – to God and to others.
11 Apr 2012 1 Comment
Often when we think about self-control, we think of a list restrictions: no gossip, no losing your temper, or no gluttony. But rarely do we think about the fact that these restraints are actually a hidden freedom. Without self-control, we become a slave to our passions. If we are unable to master our impulses, we are unable to choose the path of our thoughts, desires, and actions. But when we learn self-control, we allow God to direct our lives rather than human impulses.
Not only does self-control lead to freedom and happiness, it is necessary for us to grow in other virtues as well. As women, many of us tend to struggle with controlling emotions, especially in relationships. Not controlling our emotions can lead us to use another in our thoughts and imagination, as well as hurt ourselves. If we truly love others and are striving for chaste relationships, we must learn to control our desires, both physically and emotionally. “Either man governs his passions and finds peace, or he lets himself be dominated by them and becomes unhappy” (CCC 2339).
“Self-control is holding oneself within due limits in pleasures and duties, as in all things else; self-denial, the giving up of pleasures for the sake of duty.”
Self-respect is the root of discipline: The sense of dignity grows with the ability to say no to oneself.
Everyone must choose one of two pains: The pain of discipline or the pain of regret.