Battling the Paradox Between Self-control and Mindfulness


Hi! I’m Paul and welcome to my world!

Is there a paradox between self-control and living in the moment? In order to get over the pain of my past (depression) and not fear the future (anxiety) I am supposed to practice mindfulness—which, simply put, is living in the moment.

Take my current desire to lose weight for example. In the moment my clothes are feeling tighter and I’m not happy with my reflection in the mirror, especially in my mid-section. I can accept that as a feeling in the moment which I am able to address and remedy. I joined Weight Watchers and am making an effort to go to the gym more often. It is my hope that when I put my clothes on and look in the mirror, I would experience a result more in line with my desire.

However, there are times when I am simply too tired or have more pressing issues to address than to go to the gym. When it comes to food, I may be hungry in the evening but unfortunately spent all of my allotted points for the day on a very poor lunch choice. The point I am trying to make is self-control (forcing myself to exercise or make undesired food choices) for the promise of a better tomorrow (better fitting clothes and a more positive self-image) appears to contradict truly enjoying every moment without concern of the past or future.

A way to battle this paradox is through acceptance of your current state as it is, and changing your actions to that which someone in your desired state inhabits. Someone who weighs 200 pounds eats a turkey sandwich and baby carrots for lunch rather than a Bucking Bronco Bacon Cheeseburger and a double order of fries. Someone who makes fitness a priority can go to the gym after his daughter goes to bed rather than thinking his whole day is a wash by early evening because he had too many responsibilities on his plate that day.

Self-control is not punishing yourself for mistakes you made yesterday in order to have a better tomorrow, it is about changing your mindset completely, in the moment, to become the person you truly desire to be.


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