Delay will hurt you now more than before, only because you realize that it is delay, and that escape from pain is really possible.
(A Course in Miracles)
The ego misleads, accuses, judges and executes all in one. The ordinary person finds this process hard to monitor given the confusing nature of our lives and actions; somewhere in between ego and God, instinct and intention, heart and mind, good luck and karma. For the more advanced spiritual traveler, however, a missed step along the Way hurts a lot.
The further we advance on our spiritual path, the more potent our energy becomes. When we miss a step along the Way, the misdirected energy now hurts so much more because we have seen the alternative. The punishment the ego imposes on us is always imaginary, but it feels unfortunately very real. Accused by a super-ego the ego made up, and punished by "It", the automatic response of our irrational belief system that some call karma. It is hard to override the super-ego and our instincts, so we have little choice but to stop doodling around and do the right thing by God.