“No! It Will Make You Sick!” This is actually something I say to myself quite often. I learned the value of these six simple word years ago from a 2 year old. My Grandson Carson is allergic to milk. In fact there are lots of foods he can’t eat for fear he might have a dangerous and possibly even deadly allergic reaction. We’ve known about this problem since he was 6 months old. When he was first learning to communicate and he wanted to eat something his siblings were enjoying that contained milk his mom, Jen, would tell him in simple terms, “No Carson! It will make you sick.”
One day I was tending him along with his brother and sister and I passed out the kind of snacks grandmas resorts to when the tending gets a little rough. I accidentally offered Carson a cheese stick. He looked up at me with his two year old bright eyes and said, “No, Carson! Make you sick!”In each of our lives there is something we specifically cannot partake of or participate in because the substance or the practice makes us sick. We may become sick physically or spiritually or both. Like Carson we may even look about and see others partaking of this substance or participating in this activity with no visible side effects. This can be downright confusing. Often we try the substance or the behavior over and over again thinking that this next time we will get a better result. This can be a dangerous game. I have learned from experience that no amount of positive mental attitude can make something that is bad for me, good for me.
This is a list of the kinds of things people indulge in today that just might be making them sick. Some of the substances and behaviors on the list are things you may not have considered:
Substances such as tobacco, alcohol, coffee, tea, and drugs (prescription and illegal), behaviors like gambling, viewing pornography, inappropriate sexual behavior, internet use, texting, television (movies), music, computer games, anger, lying, violence, overspending, uncontrolled credit card use, romance novels, overeating, under eating, bulimia, overwork, excess exercise, hoarding, self harm, and over-dependence on the approval of other people.
When Carson’s mom tells him he can’t have something because it might make him sick he accepts the news and takes what she offers him instead. And when someone offers him something that, for him, falls into the “bad for Carson” category, he declines.
When we spend years habitually or addictively taking things into our bodies that, for us, are destructive in some way or when we spend years doing things over and over again that are destroying some aspect of our lives, I know it is not easy to learn to decline. I have to practice doing it every hour, every day, one day at a time. The instruction to “Just Say No” to ourselves is not enough. We need divine help, but that help is available, and change is a very real possibility. God stands ready and able to give us the direction and the power we so desperately need.
I want to grow up and be like Carson. When no grown up is around to run interference for me (which is often the case at my age) and the voice of God’s Spirit is all that lies between me and destruction big or small, I want to be like Carson. I want to be willing and made able to decline. In all kindness (and it is kind) I want to say to myself, “No Nannette! It will make you sick.”
*For further understanding see: LDS Family Services Addiction Recovery Program A Guide to Addiction Recovery and Healing, Page 1 Become Willing to Abstain