As humans, it is easy to say that we should do that which comes natural to us. Who is to say that we should deny our instinct? The defense usually goes:
"If I am born this way, why should I deny myself the pleasure of self indulgence?"
Well I for one, believe we should be above our natural urges. First of all I am not here to tell you how to live your life. I never am. I simply mean to say what I think is the best way to live a life that will bring you the most happiness. I neither condemn nor shame those who live differently than myself. The choice of how to live one's life belongs to that individual and that individual alone.
What is so wrong about self indulgence? What is it about pleasure that can be so bad, that can bring so much pain? Well to answer these questions we would need to look at what brings upon pleasure. Pleasure can be a very simple thing, brought upon by the things that we enjoy; such as playing games, dancing, listening to music, cuddling, or relaxing. Though of course other, more exciting things can bring us pleasure as well; such as passionate kissing, recreational drugs, alcohol, and sex. With such an array of different activities that can bring pleasure, it would seem that it is a ingrained part of our lives, and there is nothing to be done about it. Of course, I do not believe so, and would now answer what can be bad about pleasure.
The thing about pleasure is that it is a reactionary feeling. You do the thing, you feel good, you repeat thing to feel good again. We have sex, typically because it feels so amazing. We would never have survived as a species if sex didn't bring so much pleasure. Though, if you went around just living by that passion, letting it drive you and your actions, well, I personally believe you would lose some restraint. When we willingly give into the pleasure of repeated actions, we sacrifice some of our free will for that pleasure. We arrive at a point where we no longer care about the sacrifices needed to perform that action, and crave the pleasure.
This is easily seen in many form in our lives. Students binge watch shows instead of doing homework, ignoring the due dates. People forsake diets just for that sweet sugary treat. It is not just something seen in the more extreme pleasures of life, such as sex, but it is much more prominent in the small, feel good activities of life.
Now, there is nothing wrong with pleasure inherently. Truly it is a part of our lives, and does help us feel good about life. I simply wish to recommend bridling one's passions, so that one's passions do not control you. I am not excused from this. I have struggled, and will struggle, with controlling my urges for the rest of my life. Though we may struggle with controlling our desires, we also know the plight that comes with indulging in one's urges too willingly. Procrastinating doing one's homework leads to anxiety, late homework, stress, and lower grades overall. Cheating on one's diet often leads to breaking the diet, weight gain, and other such consequences.
Controlling the way you live your life, and choosing not to give into the primal desires that are ingrained in the stonework of your DNA, does not limit your agency, but sets it free of the shackles of addiction. I hope that you can remember the guilt you last felt when you did something that brought you pleasure, but also pain, and see the truth that lies in my words.
Control your passions, so that they do not control you.