I once heard a story about a monkey who decided to give up eating bananas. Even though the monkey was committed to his goal, when he saw a banana in a tree far away, he decided to sit closer to it. That way he could at least enjoy looking at it. Nothing wrong with that!
Soon, he decided to move even closer to the banana. And then closer. And then closer yet. Before long he was sitting right next to it. At that point, the monkey reached over and grabbed, peeled and ate the banana, telling himself that he would give up bananas “tomorrow.”
I often use that story when talking to my psychotherapy clients about breaking their addictive patterns. If you have the addictive substance, such as drugs, alcohol, a particular type of food, porn, etc., in close proximity to you, it is unlikely you will be able to keep your commitment to abstain.
That is the way I am about chocolate. Dark chocolate to be specific. A little dark chocolate can be healthy, but if I have some, I usually want more. If it is in the house, and it comes to my mind, it won’t be long before I go looking for it. Once it is in plain sight, forget about abstaining, I will do that “tomorrow.”
I don’t intend to ever give up dark chocolate completely, but when I am serious about stopping my over-indulgence, I know to not have it in the house and before I leave the house to recommit to myself not seek it out.
(Note: At the moment, I’m congratulating myself for choosing to use a photo of a monkey eating a banana for this post rather than a photo of a piece of dark chocolate. That way, every time I see this post in the future, I won’t be tempted to go buy some!)
Written for The Daily Prompt: Vice
Photo Credit: By Mouli kundu (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons