The importance of knowing what can seduce you

Image credit: © 2009 Beshef, Flickr | used via CC-BY licensing

It’s that time of year when we are bombarded at every turn with temptation. We are surrounded by sumptuous food and drink to tempt us to indulge, sales of all kinds to lure us into buying more, social occasions to tweak our relationship needs, and a continual barrage of advertisements telling us what we should buy in order to measure up.

In the midst of so much temptation, it’s easy to find ourselves making choices that we may later regret as we become seduced by whatever need most drives us.

The power of seduction

We all have something that can seduce us. Something that can so turn our heads that we are susceptible to making poor choices in our pursuit of the desired result.

For some it may be power. For others fame. Or wealth. Or popularity. Or success. Or feeling needed or wanted or noticed.

It may be a desire to feel loved and accepted. Or perhaps it’s a need for safety. Maybe even a need for respect or for connection.

It may even be relief from pain that seduces us into choices that we might otherwise not make.

None of these things that seduce us is bad in and of itself, but when we are unaware of their seductive qualities for us personally, our longings for what we think they will provide leave us vulnerable to anything that promises (usually falsely) to give us what we long for.

Those longings become a weakness when they remain in our shadow where we can’t see them.

Self-knowledge is protection

The key is not to eliminate the longing or to stop needing what matters to us. Someone in pain is going to rightly long for relief from that pain as long as the pain continues. That’s natural and normal and healthy.

The way to overcome our vulnerability is simply to identify those things with the power to seduce us. To acknowledge those places where our longings make us susceptible to temptation.

Admitting to ourselves that we have these weak points where we habitually get sucked into making poor choices is something makes most of us squirm. It’s uncomfortable to admit how much we want or need something, so we avoid looking too closely at the vulnerable places they create.

And yet, it is only the awareness of their presence that makes us strong in the face of temptation. Once we know those vulnerabilities inside and out, we have the freedom to step back and make choices with greater diligence and consideration when we hear seduction’s distinctive call.

Do you know what seduces you?

What qualities, attributes, or outcomes do you long for in your deepest heart of hearts? Look especially for those longings that you wish to hide from others (and perhaps even from yourself).

What situations have caused you to repeatedly make choices that you regret in the past? Are there any commonalities among the choices that have led you to broken places?

Identify the root of what you were hoping to win in those situations, the outcome that prompted you to do any and everything possible to try to win it.

Follow that outcome to its root need or longing, and there you will find that which has the power to seduce you.

Get to know that longing well so you will recognize it whenever it appears. This awareness will then become part of your kintsugi gold that allows you to avoid being seduced in the future.

What seduces you? Do you know?

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