The Psychology of Temperance

Many of us have never heard the word temperance. And if we did, we never were given the true meaning behind it. Temperance is used commonly with the abuse of alcohol but it’s only part of the puzzle. As temperance is defined as moderation or self-restraint in action, statement, etc.; self-control. habitual moderation in the indulgence of a natural appetite or passion, especially in the use of alcoholic liquors. Which with many of those in religious leadership roles, have failed to not turn to alcohol. Which I am not saying this as a slam or insult. Let’s be real, there are so many things that drive us to drink these days. And don’t say you nailed this, as you’re pride is getting in the best of you, which falls into the seven deadly sin category. Let’s be real. And if you swear that you nailed it, this is your perception versus everyone else’s, which they probably don’t tell you anything anymore because of your stubborn pride again.

Nailed It – Netflix Series Original

Okay, so you haven’t nailed it entirely. It’s okay. That’s what I am here for. To help you overcome this pride I feel is conditioned by social norms. The reality of this is this. We are not perfect. And we aren’t meant to be in the end. It’s about improving and making sure that we continue to grow through ever situation. Temperance in the end is having self control. Which truth of the matter is, is based on the insecurities, the fears, and the traumas we internalize. Which the automatic response for us I have noticed in every situation is dodging the subject or situation and crutching on something that offers comfort. Or for many of us a good hangover. Truth me been there. But one of the things that I suggest that one should realize, is the mistakes, the failures, and the moments we feel like we have no worth is meant to be a stepping stone in learning our true self.

The funny thing is that I didn’t start realizing this until not being able to put my finger on it, found I was doing. Which Leslie Lyle mentions in her article “Developing Temperance” which reading it realized; hey this is what I was doing, but in a version made for my personality. Which of course needed a little tweaks since I am so use to being undermined. Here’s the basis and tips for each one of these basis can be found in the fabulous Leslie Lyle’s article (Leslie Lyle. Developing Temperance. March 2015.

I.  Forgiveness and Mercy: This strength involves forgiving those who have wronged or offended us. Forgiveness entails accepting the shortcomings of others, giving people a second chance, and putting aside the temptation to hold a grudge or behave vengefully. Forgiveness allows one to put aside the self-destructive negativity associated with anger and to extend mercy toward a transgressor.

II.  Humility / Modesty: Humility and modest involve letting one’s strengths and accomplishments speak for themselves. Individuals with this strength do not need to have low self-esteem, but merely avoid seeking the spotlight and regarding themselves as better than others. Humble people are honest with themselves about their own limitations and the fallibility of their own opinions, and are open to advice and assistance from others.

III.  Prudence: Prudence is a practical orientation toward future goals. It entails being careful about one’s choices, not taking undue risks, and keeping long-term goals in mind when making short-term decisions. Prudent individuals monitor and control their impulsive behavior and anticipate the consequences of their actions. This strength is not synonymous with stinginess or timidity, but instead involves an intelligent and efficient perspective towards achieving major goals in life.

IV.  Self-Regulation [self-control]: Self-regulation is the process of exerting control over oneself in order to achieve goals or meet standards. Self-regulating individuals are able to control instinctive responses such as aggression and impulsivity, responding instead according to pre-conceived standards of behavior. This strength can apply both to resisting temptations, such as when a dieter avoids sugary foods, and to initiating actions, such as when someone gets up early to exercise.

The Things We Need To Consider

In retrospective, it’s easy peasy, right? Well going into the venture with this mindset it’s setting yourself for failure. Not that you are not capable of getting this accomplished. Because if you ask me, if I did it, anyone can. I am the poster child of “failure” apparently, remember? Truth is what stopped me from accomplishing this was the internalized feelings, emotions, and traumas from the “Pompeii” of my previous endeavors. The constant comparison is what stopped me from having the appreciation I have for myself, my accomplishments, and the blessings I have currently. Truth is it’s because of this that helped myself develop into this bonafide badass that people label me as. Truth is, I think people are giving me too much credit honestly.

On a brighter note, I realized a few things gaining this temperance. I learned that the things I ended up depending on to eliminate the feelings I had, only made them constant and more consistent. As I became my worst enemy. There’s truth behind that idealism. Because it’s the fact that the comparing ourselves leads to this downward spiral that never fixes anything. I feel in my experience, it got me complacent. Where the more that I felt this, the more I lacked the self control that I always had. It’s the emotions and the feelings that got the best of me. Where now, I embrace it all and seldom crutch on the things. Well, expect in one frustrating moment. When your giving someone the answers to the test but they swear you know nothing. Knowing that they are the right answers and in that frustration, you say “fuck you.” The empathy never goes away as you hate seeing people go into that burning building already seeing the building is about to collapse. Which personal choice and free will comes to play. Under normal circumstances you would look at it and be like “Oh well.” For me I see it like “You poor unfortunate soul” thinking how else can I prevent that situation from happening again?


Never in my life did I ever think I would make sense. Because I was always undermined. I never realized I had wisdom, until my mentors in my previous career pointed out that. The Margaret’s, the Huron’s, the Douglas’s, the Rowe’s, and even the Boyd’s of the world always made me realize that some of the qualities I had were golden nuggets. Truth is the one’s who backed me up 100% were the Margaret’s, the Huron’s, and the Douglas’s in the world. Which first started by breaking me down in a positive way. Showing me that some of the things I thought were on the naive side, but they helped develop those traits to be stronger than I ever imagined. Where being open to constructive criticism was the reason for this. If I thought I knew better and never was receptive to it, I would never have gotten to this level. One of my favorite partner in crimes, Shannon Henderson, was always a breath of fresh air. I have to give her credit for the things that she taught, which her iconic saying was “That’s why we can’t have nice things!” had a lot of truth that I didn’t realize at the time. But I see what she meant. Instead of coming together, we trash one other, not able to gain additional knowledge that is gained and improving it, giving credit who those instilled in us. In this rat race, we never give credit where credit is do. And this is the reason why I mention them. Because without them and the work ethics they provided and instilled in me, I wouldn’t gotten this far. And with that note, the Armando’s of the world is why I chose to fight. With that said, thank you all.

Published by Frieda Lopez at Frieda the Writer

Frieda López is the writer for Journey of an Unraveled Road who was born and raised in San Antonio, TX. Through her professional career in Customer Relations and Retail Management, she has utilized her experience and interactions with the behavioral patterns, which was used to start her personal journey with Journey of A Unraveled Road as her debut novel. She has completed philosophy, psychology, and theology courses at San Antonio College as well as creative writing courses. Frieda López has been a lifelong writer since 2nd grade. A survivor of childhood trauma, childhood abuse, and domestic violence, she wrote this piece, which started this book as her personal journey; works from home in San Antonio, TX.

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