― Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love
It’s not the experience of pain that brings hopelessness, it’s the inability of pleasure to bring satisfaction. What do I do when what is supposed to make me happy no longer does? How will I find the passion to live? What purpose will I serve? My desire for pleasure is like a fire. It’s never full, I keep feeding it and when that’s used up, it wants more. No matter how much I give it, it is never satisfied. Soon the glowing embers of want crave more fuel. It’s then that I must reset of my pleasure threshold. Food never tastes so good as when I eat after going hungry for awhile. There is a proverb that states, “A full soul hates honey, but to the hungry, even a bitter thing is sweet”. If I always do only what feels good, I soon burn out trying to stoke the boundless appetites of my pleasure fire. When my appetites are denied, I find that when I “eat” again it’s all the more satisfying because I’ve reset my pleasure threshold by abstinence.