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When I was in elementary school, we had a dog.

He was trained just enough.

He LOVED to run.

I learned how to get him to pull me on my skateboard.

It'd scream at him, he'd start running, and off we'd go.

Of course, sometimes he'd go too fast for me to keep up.

Or he'd take off running before I was ready.

He pulled me crashing to the ground plenty of times.

Probably the funniest was when I was on my bike.

Just cruising along.

Not even holding the handle bars.

We passed this intersection.

Going right was to a big park.

Going straight was just along the same residential street.

He thought we were going to the park.

He didn't bother checking with me first.

He just took off.

And since I wasn't holding the handle bars, he yanked me right onto the ground.

I was a bit upset, as I didn't expect nor want to be yanked onto the pavement.

But he just looked at me.

"Dude, what? Are you coming or not? Hey, why are you lying on the ground?"

This is what happens when you are being led by something powerful.

Something with a mind of its own.

Something that actually makes decisions without checking with you.

This is a perfect metaphor for our instincts.

These very powerful "entities" that can pull places we weren't expecting.

And when we fall on the pavement, they just look at us funny.

"Dude, what?"

Sometimes this happens when you find yourself standing in front of the freezer eating a carton of ice cream.

Way back in your mind, you had the goofy idea you'd only eat one bite.

But there you are.

18, 19, 20... (one more).... 21.. 22...

Sometimes, we can PREFRAME our instincts.

Like thinking ahead and NOT having any ice cream in the freezer.

Or NOT shopping when we are hungry.

Avoiding temptation.

But sometimes this happens when we least expect.

When we see people on the street.

Or start talking to people at work.

At first we're friendly.

Next thing we know we're laying in bed thinking about them.

Our instincts are very much like the Borg.

Resistance is futile.

Or like that one Mohawk dude in The Road Warrior.

You! You can run! But you can't hide!

If you are really hungry, and are craving a double cheeseburger, this CAN suck.

But you can also eat some healthy stuff to take away the craving.

Other instincts aren't so easy.

Particularly the LOVE instinct.

Once this one gets you, watch out.

This IS, however, an instinct.

And understanding how, why and when it works will be helpful.

So you won't end up on the pavement.

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