What is Self-Control?
To use restraint in our own behavior when we least want to, especially in difficult situations, is practicing the character trait of self-control. Many times our impulses and reactions can cause us to say or do things that we regret at a later time. Sometimes, we regret what was said or done as soon as the words leave our mouths or the reaction is complete. The fact is, there are no "redo's". We can't go back in time. What can take years to develop in relationships can be destroyed or severely damaged in the stroke of a moment.
Practicing self-control, in and of itself, takes a certain amount of strength of mind or will power. It is possible we could struggle with this character trait, if our will power or thought capacity is not strong in certain areas. I have been taught that if my reaction is stronger than what the situation calls for, I can almost assuredly know that the "button" which has been pushed is a character issue-not for the other person or situation, but for myself. What this may mean is that somewhere in my experience trove I have allowed a harmful or negative influence to take precedence for that particular type of circumstance. That negativity, anger, or whatever it is, rises to the surface when "similar" situations occur. This is why the term "to push my button" actually has validity. When left unresolved these negative character issues get reinforced each time a similar situation occurs and triggers us to respond without restraint.
I, personally, have determined to go a step further than self-control. I decided, chose, that I do not want any "hot buttons" that can weaken my resolve or my ability to use restraint. This decision wasn't an easy one, and I get tested all the time. However, the more I deal with the heart issues, the negative character issues that rise up, the less buttons I have for others to push. The less "hot buttons" I have, the more I can operate in a self-controlled manner.
All it takes is one situation that produces deep regret to cause us to seek a better way to respond with restraint. One loss, one moment in time that can't be reclaimed, or self control; you choose.