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The Well of Self-Control

Have you ever pushed your self-control to the point where you felt as though the slightest pull in any direction would create a chaotic disturbance?

For example, you might have a strict family budget you're adherin
g to. (good for you) Now, you're trying your best to be a faithful Christian so you're reading your scriptures and praying daily. (always a good thing) Now, you decide it's time to start eating better, so you deny yourself the joy of chocolate and other treats. (ooh this will be hard) Then, the gym beckons and you answer the call. (good luck) With each of these decisions you pull from what scientists describe as the "well of self-control".

According to scientific theories each of us has been blessed with a well of self-control. We pull from this well constantly. When a boring speaker gets up in church you draw from the well in order to make sure you appear focused and attentive. When you wake up and don't feel like going to the gym you pull a larger amount from the well in order to get your toosh out the door and onto the elliptical. When the Skittles, Hershey's and Dr. Pepper call your name you head to the well for more self -control.

The question is, how deep is your well?

Can the well run dry?

Oh, it can run dry baby.... (well, at least mine can)

I'm currently in the middle of trying to eat much healthier. I work in a toy/candy store and just between you and I, I've been eating candy bars for breakfast.... every. day. Several weeks ago I decided it was time for a change. I cut the candy out and now hit the gym before work. Last week after finishing a breakdance lesson during my lunch break I ran home to grab my lunch to take back to work and realized I had lost my key.

No lunch.

Cue - straw that breaks the camels back.

But Kyle you say, how hard can it be to stop eating candy? And really, missing lunch shouldn't be that big of a deal, right?

Well, I'm glad you asked. Let me share a story that just might illustrate the extent of the Willy Wonka diet I once feasted on. Several years ago I used to keep a candy jar on the desk in my bedroom. The desk was directly next to my bed. I woke up one morning to find that the entire jar of Whoppers was in my bed, melted on my hands, and melted all over my mouth. Somehow in the middle of the night I reached over, grabbed the Whoppers and began eating them.

So, yeah, cutting out the candy cold turkey has not been pretty.

Back to the original story - every piece of candy called my name when I got back to the store. I sent my bucket down into the well over, and over hoping that something would come up.

The well was dry.

Something had to give.

I avoided candy that afternoon but was also a great deal less effective at work because I was concentrating on staying strong in my quest to avoid sugar. The well was dry, so I had to begin reallocating the "self-control" that was already in use.

Have you ever experienced the "something's gotta give" moment. You're not quite sure what it is, but you know that you can no longer handle everything and at any moment something will leave your grasp.

This is exactly what it means to have your "well of self-control" be empty.

It all makes perfect sense. We have limitations. Each of our wells is filled to varying levels, but eventually it is possible for the well to run dry, right? Right!

At least that's what I thought until later that week when I was reading in Ether 12 and saw this,

"... for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them."

Back to the drawing board.

Does this mean that we can just keep pushing ourselves, keep drawing from the well, because somehow in some way, Heavenly Father will replenish the well.

I don't know.

(3 words that are sometimes nice to say)

One of you just might provide the insight I seek.

I'm interested to know if your well has ever run dry and if it has, how are you replenishing it.


Kyle loves to find ways to liken the scriptures to his life and blogs about his findings each day at "Liken 365". He does the PR/Marketing for Utah's premier vintage toy and candy store, Blickenstaff's.

Photo credit: Barnaby Wasson

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