Natural does not mean good. We have many desires that feel natural, however if we act on those desires, the end result could hurt ourselves or others. Call them what you want … compulsions, habits, lusts, drives, desires, or attractions … they make you feel like you have no choice but to do them. You just can’t help yourself. You just can’t say “no”.
At the root of this matter is the following question, “What controls you?” The answer is simple. The spirit that is inside you controls you. Your spirit, which is the sum total of your thoughts, controls you. The battle ground for your thoughts is your mind. Equip your mind to fight those battles, and your spirit will have the power to say no to unhealthy natural desires.
Unfortunately, awareness and yielding to this fact requires unbearable difficulties and hardship. In my experience, pain is the great equalizer. Pain does not discriminate. Rich or poor, young or old. Nobody is exempt.
The irony of life is if we never say no to unhealthy natural desires, then we will never make bad decisions that hurt ourselves or others, and therefore we will never experience pain, which is a prerequisite to acquiring the proper spirit that gives us the power to say no. How we deal with our pain determines our lot in life.
This is why I am grateful for the excruciating pain that changed my spirit for the better. I’m now able to say “no”! Nothing external to me controls me, and I can get on with my life’s work.