Just as time is needed for a perfume bottle’s fragrance to fade away,
it takes time for the scent of our habits
Even after we wash and dry an empty perfume bottle, the fragrance will linger. Although the perfume is long since gone, its scent, or “habit energy,” remains and will need time to dissipate.
In a similar manner, our bad habits also need time to be dispelled. Even after we curtail an action, its habit energy, like the scent of perfume, remains. Lured by the habit energy’s lingering presence, we find it difficult to break the energy’s hold and cease the action.
The bottle held the perfume for just a few years and yet considerable time is required before the last traces of odor disappear. The few years the perfume has existed are nothing compared to the countless lifetimes we have committed misdeeds.
We will need a long time of diligently not acting from that habit energy for the habit to finally be extinguished.