BETTER THAN HAPPY – Episode 139
My mind has been racing since yesterday’s post. Let’s look at self-respect again today. Remember:
“Self-respect IS better than happy.”
Sometimes our lower brains tell us that we prefer pleasure – we prefer to be “happy” – over maintaining our self-respect.
This is not true.
But our lower brain is telling us that pleasure is so necessary – that it is so important to our survival. Our lower brain tells us to give in to the urges, It isn’t a big deal, it won’t hurt anyone.
But it does. It hurts ME. If I tell myself I won’t do something, and then I do it, I lose a little bit of respect for myself.
Understanding this, alone, gives us some leverage over temptation.
Let’s look at what is going on, so we can really use our wise higher brain to talk our lower monkey brain through this – it thinks it is so very important! Let’s talk that lower brain off a ledge.
“The poor lower brain – the monkey brain – is on hyperdrive because there is so much instant, concentrated pleasure available to each of us. And we are supposed to experience pleasure in this life – we are wired for it. But instant concentrated pleasure, in many cases, is NOT useful to us, and is creating, in fact, huge problems for so many people.”
Concentrated pleasures? Here are a few examples from Jody:
- SUGAR/FLOUR is concentrated food. It is not fuel for our bodies, it is not important to our survival, and in fact, many times it has detrimental side affects.
- PORNOGRAPHY is concentrated sex. It is not procreation. It is not connection with another human being. It can be very harmful – we know this. But, again, when we watch pornography, that instant-gratification monkey gets a huge hit of dopamine, and it creates that urge or desire to continue – it becomes really overwhelming not to answer these urges.
- ALCOHOL/DRUGS. Concentrated pleasure. We are not designed to handle concentrated pleasure.
- SHOPPING can become concentrated pleasure. We can constantly get new clothes, feeding that instant-gratification monkey again with that dopamine hit. That was fun. That was important. We should do that more.
“Every time we answer that part of the brain, we erode our own self-respect.”
Jody’s concentrated pleasure is Diet Coke, right? Ha! We have heard it from her over and over again. And that is what she is working on right now. What about me? What concentrated pleasures or FALSE PLEASURE am I answering the urge with a “yes”? Remember that post on false pleasures? So so good. Listen to this:
“I call it false pleasure because it’s not that it isn’t pleasurable. I would say that most of them probably are! But it’s a false pleasure because it feels good in the moment – it’s enjoyable in the moment, or at least it prevents us from feeling the struggle or the pain or the overwhelm or the challenge in the moment. But in the long run, it’s not creating the life that we want. It’s not giving us the long-term joy that’s available to us.”
What urges am I giving in to, that are not at all creating the life that I want? Something to think about. Something to consider.
I need to learn the language of my lower brain so that I can communicate back. So that I can see what it wants – really see it for what it is – and then give it a reason to not act on the urge.
Really, something to think about today. Have a great day. I’ll be back tomorrow.