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Birth Of An Addiction

Addiction is born when we forget our true goals here on earth. We start walking the wrong paths, we start doing the wrong things. We start yearning for the wrong satisfactions. Then powers embedded in us kicks in and start working tirelessly to return us to our path.

When we fall into oblivion in human body, we need to learn everything from the beginning. Our progress depends on many conditions: our mental and spiritual development, our determination, parents attitude  and our environment. Sometimes we want to explore paths which were not meant for us.

As we learn and feel new experiences, some of the ways might be repeated when encouraged by unresolved mental issues, such as old patterns embedded in us, concsious or unconcious trauma which,  a reward like some kind of pleasure, relaxation, or external – usually peer pressure.

Sometimes the addiction is kind of path for releasing painful issues we keep inside, and converting them to a short time pleasure. For example someone find himself compelled to return to a sort of “abnormal” or a exaggerated sexual habit which give a perceived pleasure releasing pressure that the unresolved issues inside him creates. The problem is that the issues will return again and again and push us to the same habits which become compulsive and annoying.

As the behavior is repeated a pattern is created in our mind, it can be new one or old pattern which is awakened. This pattern is like waterway which is becoming deeper and wider as we carried away flowing through it. In the beginning this behavior usually carry some kind of amusement, reward or pleasure, though it is short satisfaction it can be powerful and very appealing.

When this waterway is becoming deeper and wider it start to consume our energy, thoughts, feelings, money, time and attention. The attractiveness of this waterway is increasing many folds, and we find ourselves flowing in the mighty river without control.

The new way can be anything: certain sort of sex, chemicals such as cigarettes, alcohol, pharmaceutical drugs, excessive food, chewing gum, watching TV, or any behavior which is done in excessive manner.

Loss of control is the most prominent sign of addiction. Usually we are denying this loss, and delude ourselves we can stop whenever we want. The disregarding of our addiction only allows its flourishing. Many times we are too afraid to admit that a narrow habit took control over us. Continuing with our habit, the waterway is becoming even bigger, wider, deeper, our entire lives can wash away through this addiction.

If we were not lucky enough to awake previously, we end up in deep trouble. The addiction is very strong, it fills every min in our life, and healing requires enormous effort. Our physical body is getting  used to the chemicals that our ingected due to addiction injecting directly to our body, or inducing the body to secrete into the blood stream. Without it we feel mental and physical unpleasant. We are becoming slaves of our own habits.

Now we feel the suffer. Actually what really happens is that the addiction is  accentuating the mistakes, trying to bring into light unresolved issues, and shows the consequences sharply. The addiction brought into the surface (conscious), our subconscious problems. This is allowing us to heal our deepest problems, correct our way, and return to our true path. Addiction in my mind actually have very positive role.

Fighting Is Destructing

Eventually when we awake and understand that this is real and mighty addiction, the first reaction is fight!

Fighting in my opinion is grave mistake. Fighting can continue endlessly. We cannot win.

Why? the addiction is part of us, it is actually the same entity that strive to disembark the stranglehold and choking at the same time. When we think that we are stronger and can fight the addiction, the addiction is actually stronger as well.

When one day we think that we gave the addiction death strike, we find it alive and kicking in the next day.

It is because each time we hit the addiction we give it our energy. It grows.

As in the outer world, as in our inner world, war only leads to further violence.

Fighting will leave you tired empty and defeated. The sooner you understand this, the less suffer you are going to have.

Substituting Is The Wrong Way

Sometime we tend to stop the original addiction, but the inner currents that were washing us still flowing. We feel an urge to compensate for the  lost addiction. We start a new addiction. For example we can substitute cigarettes with food or chewing gum addiction.

The substitute can be as bad or worse than original addiction.

As far as we are not controlling substitution, we are dealing with the same lady with different robe, though, looking superficially on the surface it can be viewed as less harmful addiction.

Such substitution can serve as bridge before total release of the original addiction. However we must not make it our last stop. Our goal is fully releasing any addiction.

Total freedom!

Shame, Guilt, Remorse are Addiction Best Friends

As time passes you feel beaten again and again in endless loop.

Some of the addiction have legitimacy in our society such as watching TV or hobbies, but some of the habits has less legitimacy such as cheating, addictions associated with sex, stealing.

In any case of addiction you will start to feel deeply ashamed, guilty, and remorseful.

Those feelings are your enemies. They are causing you to yearn for stopping this farce once and for all. They encourage you to fight. However the same feelings is making the addiction-creature even bigger and more menacing. As a result this process belittling your self esteem and will power. Eventually those feeling can despair you and leads you to wider the waterway which is huge already.

Watch out from such feelings!

First Step – Self Inquiry

As first step to find the way out of addiction, it is wise to trace the way in.

What made you start the addiction in the first place? is it fear? is it shame? is the helpless feeling? is it a way out of abusing? is it low self esteem?

Find the original cause. The specific events that prepared the ground for the addiction, might be above the conscious level at this stage – because it happened in early childhood or even earlier, or because of sheer self repression. However you can always know which passion the addiction is fulfilling.

How can you find it? meditate.

Meditation sounds complicated, however there are many levels of meditation. In the beginning you can only close your eyes and think on this single issue peacefully. Inquire why do you fall again and again? What is the exact subjectfeeling that is so attractive for you? what are you gaining beside the misery?

Sometime we need an external help to reveal our hidden problems. There are many good people that can help you read your own problems. The helper can be a shaman, spiritual teacher, psychologist, Buddhist monk, or any other experienced healer. In my opinion it is prefared to keep few rules when getting external help:

1) Stay conscious – hypnotism can be dangerous as it turn off your conscious control and get a direct access to the subconscious.

2) Walk your own path and don’t let anybody or any entity make you do something against your own will and feelings.

3) The sessions should be focused. In some cases many sessions shows that the practitioner is searching blindly for your problem.

4) Reasonable price – exaggerated price shows that the practitioner is using the treatment for making money rather than helping people.

5) Last and most important – you must feel in your heart that the healer is the right one for you and you fully trust him.

You can have several session (alone or with help of a healer) on this issue until you get the answer. There must be an answer, you are seduced by some kind of a compulsion. It can even be necessity of chemical in your blood.

Find the reason.

Finally, I highly recommend – find your path, your most precious goals in this world.

finding this may require long journey and substantial efforts, however its worthwhile. It will be tremendous help for you in the future.

Second Step – Forgive

Totally entangled in our addiction how do we make the way out?

Second step – forgive yourself. Completely. No guilt, no shame, no remorse, forget them. Say to yourself what ever I done I now forgive myself.

Meditate on forgiveness.

You can also imagine a scene of “forgiveness” where somebody (a saint for example, somebody from your family or any other beloved person) comes and fully forgive you and bless you. Imagine a scene as beautiful as you can, imagine a forgiver with endless compassion and love for you. Forgive yourself.

Third Step – Accept The Root Cause

Your self inquiry led you to find the cause of addiction (if you skipped posts please read this blog from the beginning in chronological order).

Whatever the cause was, accept it with open arms. Even if it seems evil cause, it is part of you, you must accept it. Know that each one of us has many desires in our heart. Not all of them are nice, not all of them are moral. However they are inside us, part of us, we cannot deny them and we need to accept that we have such part.

Accept the urge\passion\cause with open heart, meditate on this. Acceptance does not mean you need to practice the addiction derived by this cause. It only says that you recognize that this is part of you.

Imagine that this cause\passion\urge is entering your loving heart and accepted with love. It is part of you.

Forth Step – Timing Is Everything

Now, after self inquiry forgiveness and acceptance,  you can really get down to business.

The addiction will try to seduce, tempt, annoy you all the time. Wherever you go, you see a flashing sign that calls you:”Come and have little fun, its OK, its only for few minutes, come!”.

Most of you already knows that their are no short sessions. You practice your addiction for few minuets, and it becomes few hours, days and months.

The best time to stop the addiction is before it started, and it is always starting with a thought.

Be vigilant and ready. When the thought comes this is your chance. This is the timing. The challenge is right in front of you. This annoying thought is your golden opportunity to grow. Be happy that you caught the opportunity, cherish and respect it.

When the thought just raised, the impulse is still weak, the energy of the thought can be re-directed. However, if you choose to “ride” on this thought, and start thinking on the addiction subject, the “rewards” carried by the addiction, you are going into slippery slope. The thought gains enormous energy.

When the thought just begun its tiny stream in the field, put a little send pile in its way, and you can turn it to totally different direction. Wait a few minuets and ponder in the addiction subject a bit, and suddenly the tiny stream is becoming great rushing river. For turning this river to another direction now you need to build a dam and dig a canyon.

Seize the moment when the thought appears!


Fifth Step – Change Direction

Assuming that you caught the moment when thought appears, now you need to do the work. When you fully aware of the process of addiction the work is usually easy each time, but it must be repeated over and over.

What to do?

When you feel the little tickling of the addiction subject, stop and think. First remember what is the current motivation of this addiction, and say to yourself, I don’t need to go through all of this addiction-cycle, since I already have everything, and I can deal with everything with compassion.

For example, if you are alcohol-addicted since you want to forget your troubles, say to yourself “I accept the troubles”, I don’t need to runaway and bring more troubles. Have compassion towards yourself, and insert the troubles directly to your heart with love and compassion. If you are addicted to some kind of sex since it is satisfying an urge that you really don’t want, do not hide the urge. Do the opposite, fully accept the urge directly to your heart with compassion. Note that the urge is usually not the sex itself, the urge is usually something deeper, like urge to control, or urge to submission, fear, anger or some other feeling. The sex is only the way this urge is expressing out. Accept the urge in your heart, and you don’t need the sex.

In short accept the original cause, take it out of your closet and give it a place of honour in your heart.

Now, you can change direction.

Ask yourself what was I doing before this thought? if it was something important to you, continue with it. If you were not doing something important, or you were doing something that you want to stop, you can go back to your precious goals (I asked you to look for your goals in previous post). Ask yourself how can I develop my precious goals? What can I do now? If for example  its something physical that you build, you need not get to the physical work right now, you can plan it instead.

In the beginning your addiction can bother you hundreds times per day. Each time you must accept the original cause and change direction, use the energy of the thought that was inspired by the addiction.

Do not allow the addiction to take control even a single time, don’t give it your energy. Don’t play with with your addiction, it plays harder, you already experienced it many time.

If the above technique did not stopped the addiction, their are even more powerful techniques.

Sixth Step – Slow Down

The steps described in previous posts should handle most of the bothering thoughts.

However, you may encounter some highly persistent thoughts, or thoughts that were not caught at time. Still this is not end of the story.

You can now use the slowing down technique.

It is very simple, when you find out yourself flowing with the harmful thought slow it down. It is done just like stopping a fast car, you push on the breaks, and the thoughts slowing and slowing till complete stop. Then you can return to the steps described at previous posts.