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What We Can't Have
We’ve all likely heard the expression “we want what we can’t have.”
Many times, it's in reference to something that we simply aren’t able to have. In some cases, it might even be impossible. But, other times, we end up wanting what we shouldn't have. In other words, we want something that is bad for us, or even morally wrong.
There are varying degrees to the object of our desire. We can desire something good, something attainable, something unattainable, something bad for us, something morally wrong, and so on.
The proposed thought experiment here is to take a hard look at ourselves and what we desire. Where are we directing our desire? What are we doing with all of that focus and energy?
Another way to think of it is through the lens of temperance, which is one of the four cardinal virtues.
"Temperance is the moral virtue that moderates the attraction of pleasures and provides balance in the use of created goods. It ensures the will's mastery over instincts and keeps desires within the limits of what is honorable." (CCC 1809)
We must recognize the unhealthy desires in our lives, because even if they don't lead to harmful actions now, they're cancerous for our souls.