question 4

Why do people with my condition
"have no internal
model for re-
straint"? As far
as I can see the
book doesn't explain WHY...
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A question about the contents of the book; why do people with my condition "...have no internal model for restraint..."? (see 'self-indulgence' p. 70). As far as I can see the book doesn’t explain WHY this is the case. Nor is there a focused section on how to build a healthy model. This definitely applies to me, and I find myself getting stuck here in combination with getting into the red zone whenever I try to do self-care. So this is important right now and Desert Practice keeps getting thrown off track.
Good question, and one that may indicate a good area for us to develop more fully. The short answer is that a capacity for restraint relies upon an internal sense of security—the more secure you feel, the more restraint you can practice (we're talking here about a healthy self-care kind of restraint). That sense of security is related to an internal conviction that your needs will be met, even when you don't know exactly how they will be met. Without that conviction (i.e. anxious attachment), we function with low levels of hope about getting what we need. The act of restraint then feels sad, like deprivation. Analogy: When someone is hungry, their capacity for restraint around food depends in part on how much hope they have for getting the sustenance they need.

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