Even as I am trying to begin this post, I am drawn to a reflection on the side of my screen. It is the sight of branches of the tamarind tree swaying gently in the wind, and what a beautiful sight it is! I can feel the strong temptation to turn around and just look at the tree. While I know that writing this post is my priority, the beauty of the world is calling out to me to get engrossed in its dance. And my eyes just cannot help wandering towards it.
We all have our temptations that keep calling us away from our busy lives. If it is not the temptation of talking to a friend, it is the temptation of going on a shopping spree with a friend. These days, the biggest temptation is checking the mobile phone, looking for a friend.
How do we yield to temptations?
For some of us, yielding to the temptations come as a welcome break from a tiring routine. But for some others, yielding to the temptations becomes the routine. When this happens, the temptations become lifestyle.
I have a friend who works this way. Her real work lies in between attending to several other temptations like doing someone else’s work, going on family outings, shopping, partying, etc. She, is a distracted being, and the distraction becomes her. I, on the other hand, am still struggling to yield to the temptations that call out for me to take a break from my obsession with my work. My palms get sweaty and I freak out when I am not able to get out my post. You see how neither of us is getting it right, and not until we deliberately break our patterns.
Let us take a look at one of the biggest temptations that almost all of us have collectively yielded to. It is the temptation of eating in a restaurant.
When we were kids, the number of restaurants was directly proportional to the number of times that we would eat out. It was a miniscule ratio as compared to the complete absence of this ratio during our parent’s time.
Where I was eating out twice a year as a child, I am eating out once a week as an adult. And I just have to. If I don’t, I feel like I am missing something. Missing something happens when that something is a routine. That is how a temptation that was meant to come as a break, became a routine.
Aren’t we all eating out more and more?
From hosting grand dinners at home, we have now come to the place where we are all meeting out to eat out. We don’t want to deal with the chores of cooking and cleaning. So, we meet out and eat out. There is the complain of not having enough space to host a lot of people. Neither do we have the time.
The point here is not about eating out. Rather, it is about how often we eat out and its ripple effect on our mental health.
How does that happen?
A temptation to eat out is also a temptation we yield to. The more we yield to it, the more we look forward to it. It is just like looking forward to a vacation. Except this “vacation” is becoming more accessible everyday, what with the countless number of apps that make ordering in, a breeze.
But, the more we look forward to eating out, the less we look forward to eating at home.
Hmmm….I don’t think so…
I look forward to sleeping. Unless I have something interesting lined up for the day, I don’t really look forward to waking up. The more I look forward to sleeping, the less I look forward to waking up. Just like how the more we look forward to leaving the home, the less we like staying at home.
So, the more we look forward to eating out, the less we look forward to eating at home. The less we look forward to eating at home, the less we think of cooking at home. And the less we think of cooking at home, the more cooking becomes a chore.
But then…it is home-made food that is healthy
Unhealthy food creates an unhealthy gut. And an unhealthy gut will generate an imbalance of chemicals that lead to an imbalance of emotions. It is also this imbalance of the chemicals in the body that leads to the imbalance of the mind.
The more we yield to the temptation of eating away from home, the more we move away from our health, automatically moving away from being ourselves.
A temptation of the tongue is the greatest challenge of the new world
When we yield to the temptations of the tongue, we are also programming our brain to yield to the idea of temptations, thereby creating a cycle of sorts. And just like how we fail to differentiate between the right and wrong food, we also fail to difference between the right and wrong actions.
Notice how the world is working. It is working upside down. We stay up late into the night and sleep well into the morning. Many of us eat less home cooked food and more restaurant prepared food. We are either too happy or too sad. To top it all, we either love too much or hate too much. We are either doing stuff only for ourselves or we are always doing for others.
Upside down might be an interesting way to look at things, to do things.
But it also not nature’s way
It is like a break, a short period of experiencing something different, after which, we need to remember to get our right side up.
So, we get back to sleep during the night and work during the day. We get back to more home cooked food, and less restaurant prepared food. We get back to feeling and accepting both happiness and sadness as a part of life. We get back to loving enough and hating enough. We get back to doing for both ourselves as well as others. We get back to working the right side up.
We get back to standing on our feet. For it is the feet that walks the ground, keeping us connected to our planet, our community, our family and ourselves. It is the view from the ground that connects us to nature. And it is nature that makes the world go around.
Here’s to the challenge of accepting temptations for what they are meant to be – a short break in the opera called life!