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Something that can get a gal in trouble quick is letting her “feelings” guide her way in life, rather than her values.

The antiquated word for it is “temptation” and it is old as time itself. Temptation has led many a girl astray.

And oh boy, can doing things you know you shouldn’t sure be tempting — but time and experience has taught me that even if it seems like no harm, no foul at the time, giving into temptation often (almost always, actually) has repercussions you don’t consider at the time.

The thing about letting what you know is “right” lead the way versus what you “feel” is that for the most part the concepts of “right” and “wrong” are absolutes (despite what modern society may say, there is a well known “top ten” list, btw) and doing the right thing may seem to “cost you” at the time, but it can pay off mighty well in the long run.

For example, when I was 14 I was dating a guy who was 17. (I know, I know… in retrospect that was not wise, note to other 14-year-old girls!) He would pick me up in his beautiful vintage hot rod and take me out and we would neck for hours. Wow did I like him and wow was that fun. But whenever he tried to push for “more” something always told me to say, “No, not yet…” and we never got any further than 2nd base (on top of clothes, mind you.)

Not that I wasn’t tempted, or he wasn’t either, but I had been raised with a value system that said I was too young, and I was. Even when other girls I knew were going all the way.

Well, after a few months of that he broke up with me. Soon after I found out that he had gotten another girl pregnant during the same time period we had been seeing each other. At 18, he became a father although he and she did not get together.

A few years later I ran across him at a gathering at a mutual friend’s house. He sought me out right away, and poured his heart out to me, saying how much he regretted not waiting, and that he was sorry about all that. I told him no problem, and no hard feelings. I knew that he was already paying the consequences for giving into temptation (with her, not me) and that he had suffered enough, knowing he had a child he’d never really be a “father” to and who he very rarely if ever got to even see. I can’t imagine what a hard price to pay that must have been, on all sides.

But that time, they were not my crosses to bear. You see, not giving into temptation then saved me from possibly becoming a mom at 15. I am glad to this day I did not.

And don’t get me wrong, he wasn’t a “bad” person. He wasn’t some cad, trying to hoodwink me. We were both making our choices and I knew full well what I was doing, and (luckily) what I decided not to do even though we probably “could have” gotten away with it.

Now I will not claim I have never given into temptation, of course we all have, but I can say pretty much every time I have done something I knew I shouldn’t, or very nearly every time, I have lived to regret it. It rarely pays off in the positive. Call it morality or karma or cosmic balance, but I have seen time and again it gets you somehow, some way, almost every time.

I will keep thinking on it, but I cannot recall a single time doing the “right” thing came back to bite me. Interesting.

Obviously, temptation can take many forms beyond sexual temptation. All are equally damaging (and it sounds almost naive to say, but also wrong!)

Living by the ideals of “right” and “wrong” may not be much in fashion today, but the truth is those lines are there to protect you, not to deny you. So the next time you are tempted to cross them, try remembering that you’re really only harming yourself and very often others as well.