Painful Pleasure

Pleasure can become Punishment

“Whenever you get an impression of some pleasure, as with any impression, guard yourself from being carried away.” — Epictetus, Enchiridion, 34

My first thought is, how can pleasure ever become a punishment?  But we have all had those moments of over-indulging.  Over eating, or maybe a little too much of the drink.  Ever over sleep?    Feels so good to curl up into bed.  When you wake in the morning the covers feel soft and the eyes droopy.  With nothing external forcing you up, you roll over and once again doze off.  Feels so good as you drift in and out of sleep, “you’re catching up” you tell yourself.  However, when you do get up you find that it is already in the late afternoon.  “Where has the day gone?”  Lost opportunities to get stuff done.  On top of that, even with all the rest, you continue to feel groggy.  Head hurts, hungry, and still tired I personally always find it hard to get moving.  The restful few hours starts to feel like a burden.

Pleasure can be great, wonderful, and energizing – but too long, it can become destructive.  As distractions engage our minds, the other necessities in life continue to build up.  Eventually, they will start to weigh on the mind – which can sometimes send you back to the pleasure as an escape.

However, pleasurable activities are important.  Not only offering us a break from the everyday tasks and hardships.  It can allow us to escape our everyday, and rejuvenate our energy stores.  For if you always are working – what is it for.  Pleasure is not bad, but excessive indulgence can be problematic.

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