Temptations. How many of them have you won or surrendered to? Have you learnt everything about temptations? Discover the brutal truth today.
I will not preach about the devil It is not a religious article. However, temptations are a challenge for all of us. The better you know the enemy, the easier it will be to resist. Learn all the elements composing temptations.
What Is Temptation
Temptation is the desire to have or do something, esp. something wrong, or something that causes this desire. - Cambridge Dictionary
On the other hand, Wikipedia says that the Biblical meaning of temptation: is "a trial in which man has a free choice of being faithful or unfaithful to God. Satan encouraged Jesus to deviate from the plan of his father by misusing his authority and privileges. Jesus used the Holy Scripture to resist all such temptation."
What Other People Say About Temptations
You are not the first person struggling with temptations. Learn what other people say so that your challenge will be easier to overcome.
“No evil dooms us hopelessly except the evil we love, and desire to continue in, and make no effort to escape from.”
― George Eliot, Daniel Deronda
“I generally avoid temptation unless I can't resist it.”
― Mae West
“There is a charm about the forbidden that makes it unspeakably desirable.”
“Did perpetual happiness in the Garden of Eden maybe get so boring that eating the apple was justified?”
― Chuck Palahniuk, Survivor
“People couldn't become truly holy, he said, unless they also had the opportunity to be definitively wicked.”
― Terry Pratchett
The Sources of Temptation
In Christian theology, there are three sources of temptation. I would like to expand the topic here:
1. Physical Temptations
This category concerns your body - all urges, desires and lusts are there. You may struggle with gluttony, sexual urges, and disordered passions. The physical aspect of temptation also concerns your mind, and therefore, it is easy to manipulate it through mind control.
2. Environmental Temptations
Greed is the most important world here. Being possessive, covetous or rapacious of anything triggers this kind of temptation. It is amplified through social engineering, especially peer pressure, compared to others, the vain illusion of meeting your other needs by having new objects (or people - treated as things).
3. Spiritual (energy) Temptations
Fores of evil, darkness, and not only demons but also some extraterrestrials, will always look for an opportunity to tempt you, using the previous two categories. You may be lured to success, fame, and wealth provided that you will serve these beings.
The Anatomy of Temptation
Each temptation consists of two elements: hidden motivation and an activating stimulus. The first element is always internal, i.e., within us, while activating stimulus can be both internal and external.
1. Hidden Motivation
For temptation to emerge, your hidden motivation has to be present. it is everything that is within you, caused by internal factors.
How many times have you surrendered temptations being hungry, thirsty, or wanting to have some sex? What about a child deprived of love?
If any of these things mentioned above are deprived, chances are that everything around will be tempting you and it will be more difficult to resist. Then any trigger connected to a given need will be a big stimulus to take action to satisfy your need.
For example, any piece of food or amount of drink will be an irresistible temptation for a hungry/thirsty person; any woman walking on the street will be attractive to a sex-deprived man. It is much easier to indulge your urge than, stealing, raping and committing other offences.
1.2. Willpower and Energy Level
We are usually more vulnerable to temptations in the evening or after some tiring task, physical or mental. Why? because your willpower resources are for making an effort during these tasks. Think of an urge to at something after a heavy workout or long study.
Both positive and negative emotions can trigger temptations. For example, while being excited, you want to celebrate it with a festive meal or raise a toast, drinking some alcohol.
On the other hand, during sadness or disappointment, you need some salve for your stress. It does not need to be food or drink, having sex, playing computer games, gambling or taking drugs is also common here.
Any stress can cause easier yielding to any temptations. And stress can not only be emotional or mental, any somatic ailment can trigger your urge to take some action to solace this stress.
If you have some kind of pain, not only sex, games, tablets or narcotics are desired. You may want to have an affair just for an antidote to your toxic relationship or plunge into more work.
1.5. Spiritual Inclinations
Sometimes your hidden motivation to yield to temptations is defined by your soul in the plan created before descending to Earth.
Greed, gluttony or proclivity to drink alcohol may be inclinations set by your soul to learn some values of light, like temperance or understanding of your tendencies. Sometimes your soul just wants to experience these kinds of hidden motivations to test its strength and learn new lessons.
Further reading about spiritual growth:
Depending on the strength of your internal motivation, the same activating stimuli will create a temptation of different strengths. For example, if you are not hungry, stressed out or depressed, a savoury pizza will not necessarily be a strong temptation. However, a pizza may be your dream after gardening full of sweat.
Moreover, the underlying motivation itself can be strong enough to create temptation when you think about something, just recall some nice experience from the past, carnal or spiritual.
These thoughts can also amplify the already existing temptation.
2. Activating Stimula
This can be anything that activates temptation. They concern your body, mind and soul. Let me give you some examples:
Any kind of food, especially junk food, cakes or sweets, especially when you are hungry or sad.
Any sensations coming from sight, hearing, state smell or touch can generate temptations, e.g., a savoury meal, a nice scent of the body, an attractive car
Attractive people of the opposite sex.
Any alcoholic drink.
Any kind of narcotics.
Any other triggers that concern passions, e.g. extreme sports walking on dangerous cliffs etc.
Events inducing excitement - watching a (brutal) match, going to a concert of a heavy metal band, where drinking and smoking is a common thing, going to the cinema to watch a brutal thriller.
A rich person that you would like to rob because of being deprived of money and food.
Anything that you want to have - things like cars, clothes, computers, houses, yachts...
Any experience, like a luxury holiday, is an exciting journey around the world, a new relationship.
All kinds of jobs, positions, and social status that means luxury, wealth prestige, fame, glamour and high esteem; a rich tycoon, a famous actor/signer, a wealthy stockbroker, a renowned author or a bestseller and so on,
Lust for being an enlightened sage,
Lust for being as powerful as God and other Beings of Light,
Mastering energy work so that you can influence everything to your advantage.
The stimuli listed above can be tempting, neutral or even repulsive to you, depending on your values and beliefs.
For example, an alcoholic drink will be a trigger for an alcoholic, while the same substance will be repulsive and disgusting for a teetotaller or someone who was severely poisoned or feels guilty because of, e.g., killing someone in an accident.
Any trigger listed above can have a deeper, underlying trigger. For example, peer pressure during a party may tempt you to eat junk food.
Commercials and advertisements prey on your greed and minority complexes so that you are tempted to buy something that other people have.
Mind control can also generate temptations, by voices in your head and the shapeshifting beings, looking like people and having the power to influence your thoughts and behaviour. Obviously, all demons and other beings of darkness will use your hidden motivation and triggers to tempt you.
The Life Cycle of Temptation
Now let's discover how temptation works. There is a vicious circle of tempting unless you break the links.
1. The Source of Your Temptation
It will be your internal motivation and a trigger. For example, you can see a nice-looking dress (women) or a car (men) and you want it because you want to look smart or impress your colleagues at work).
The car or dress are the triggers while the urge to look smart or impress other people is an example of hidden motivation.
2. Your Conscious Reaction and Decision
Now the time has come to make a decision: resist or surrender to temptation. the quicker you resist, the easier you will win the battle with temptation.
Learn your kinds of hidden motivation and the most frequent triggers. The quicker you notice them and react, the bigger the chance that your temptation will be won or even will not exist at all.
3. Your Unconscious Reinforcing the Temptation
Not resisting temptation quickly will induce thoughts and sensations which will amplify the process of tempting you. Then you do not only struggle with your motivation and trigger but also your thoughts about the trigger These thoughts and sensations are unconscious. More than that, you may recall past memories connected with similar triggers.
4. Extinguishing or Inflating Temptation
If you do not react and stop the temptation straightaway, tempting thoughts and sensations will amplify - your body and mind will generate a bigger number of stimuli. This which looked innocent and did not bother you initially will grow to the level of critical urge and strong desire.
For example, you can see a pizza in a leaflet. It may induce temptation or not. However, the longer you are thinking of buying/making a pizza, the more you will want it and it will be harder to say 'no'. Eventually, the temptation will grow and attack as much stronger and more difficult to resist. the vicious circle continues.
I have to point out here that we have no influence on most of the thoughts sent to our brains. We may sublimate these thoughts, though. More about the ways of resisting temptations will be written in my net article. But you definitely can control your body reactions and this will also be discussed next week.
More reading about working with thoughts:
Examine Your Temptations
What tempts you the most often? Read the article again and list all the triggers that are relevant to you. Then describe all situations when they may happen. How do you usually feel during these situations? In which circumstances is the temptation the most fierce?
Knowing these answers, you will be able to resist temptations more easily. Then check my next article for details.
In a Nutshell
Temptations are an indispensable element in testing our growth and maturity in the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual dimensions. They consist of a trigger and hidden motivation. There are four stages of tempting us and it often ends up as a vicious circle.
Good luck with winning any kind of temptation. With lots of love and light,
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Vicky is an experienced holistic writer and coach who inspires, motivates, and encourages everyone to become the best version of themselves - physically, mentally, and spiritually.
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