One thing I love about taking a long break from a destructive habit, is that I can’t make exceptions. I remember, back in the day, when I was on this diet or that, I would always find a reason to make an exception and eat something “off plan”. My exceptions were anything from a birthday party to a rough Tuesday. Before I knew it, I had “exception-ed” my way out of most of the days of the past few weeks and the weight packed back on.
In order to be liberated from an intense addiction to sugar, I took a six week break from sweet treats. On the third day, someone offered me doughnut holes covered in powdered sugar. I felt like the world froze as I stared at the offered treats. My mouth started to salivate. I could taste the them and feel the texture in my mouth. However, I had drawn a line in the sand.
So, in a voice that didn’t even sound very sure to my own ears, I said, “Oh, no thank you. It was kind of you to offer.” I grimaced. I felt rude and deprived. The other person didn’t even seem to notice. They just shrugged and moved on. As the doughnut holes got farther from me, I felt the tension release. Wow, I thought, I just did that. And the world didn’t capsize.
Taking a long break from the vices that call to us like sirens, gives us the chance to see that the world did not crumble around us when we didn’t give in and have the ice cream or the glass of wine. In fact, we find that life just goes on, and our bodies sigh with relief as the energy from a healthy body flows through us. We can do this because we make no exceptions that send us running back to the old pattern.
We don’t even need to give people a lot of detail or post all over social media our vows. Matthew 5:37, NLT, says “Just say a simple, ‘Yes, I will,’ or ‘No, I won’t.’ Anything beyond this is from the evil one.” In my experience, people don’t usually need to know much as long as we stay kind, firm, and drama-free.
Journal: What is your plan for the unavoidable offering of exceptions? How will you handle the situation so that you commit to the line in the sand and embrace healing?
by Lora Armendariz
You Can Do It!
Do you want to fall out of love with a destructive habit? The first 42 episodes of this podcast are a resource for anyone who wants encouragement and information as they take a six week break from a habit in order to fall out of love with it.