A very smart person once told me that in order to live a happy and balanced life, I have to be aware of and rid myself of anything that “clings” to me: Addiction.
The world is full of addicts. we are ALL addicted to something. In general people who are addicted live in either denial of their addiction or acceptance. You can’t do a thing about something that you haven’t even acknowledged as being a part of you, so acceptance, as they say, is a very good beginning to recovering from addiction.
But what’s wrong with addiction? I mean, there are as many addictions as there are people. People can become addicted to anything these days; drugs, alcohol, sex, relationships, food, movies, video games, carbs, mayonnaise…seriously. The reason we become addicted to suff is because we don’t like the way we are without it. That’s the bottom line. It feeds a need in us that we just haven’t found a different way to feed.
The way out of addiction is to identify exactly what lie it is telling you. For example, cigarettes told me a lie about how I presented myself to the world. They told me a lie about who I thought I was in the world. I had been smoking for so long, my ego identified myself as “a smoker”, and so I continued the behaviours which confirmed this unconscious agreement I had made with myself about this lie.
Our natural state is not to be a smoker, and the more attuned I become to the world around me, the more satisfaction I get from returning to my natural state.
Every addiction has a fear attached to it. Fear of letting something go because you think it will compromise something important about yourself.
It’s like this with cigarettes. I let them go, one craving at a time. But each craving allows me to see another reason I used them. Sometimes it was to put distance between me and someone I didn’t really want to be interacting with. Mostly it was because I was bored and needed to always multitask. I became starkly aware of my inability to sit still while I was quitting because I would still try to go sit outside or just sit still, as you would on a “smoke break”, but found it really hard because I wasn’t “doing” anything. What ever happened to just sitting? It has taken a few times for me to discipline myself enough to sit still, even for the same amount fo time it would have taken me to have a “smoke break” – now a “breath break”.
The trick in relieving yourself of the burden of an addiction begins when you realize that the addiction itself is your burden and relieves you of nothing.
No matter what the addiction, if it is something you feel you cannot be yourself without, or that you can’t survive without…it is lowering your ability to move forward.
Cigarettes are an obvious example, but what about our more insidious addictions? Relationships – looking for someone to fill the spaces in us that we aren’t identifying and filling for ourselves causes us to bounce from one unsatisfying relationship to another. Food; filling the dark spaces with basic comfort, self-hatred eating guilt etc… Video games; giving you a sense of false achievement – entering non-relationships.
There are as many addictions as there are people. But remember…All addictions are good – they are supremely useful, if you let them be. Addictions can be used as a very powerful tool in giving you a deeper understanding of yourself – of who you really are at your very core. The pursuit of understanding what fuels your addictions will elevate your ability to live life on a higher level. But understanding the reason behind your illusory need for addictive things, means that you use the addictions to bring you one step closer to greater self understanding. In that way, the addiction has served it’s purpose for you, and then you will be able to let it go. This opens a whole new space of opportunity and experience for you.
Most of all – Enjoy the journey!