“No matter how hard you try, you cannot get rid of darkness because it does not exist. It is nothing more than the absence of light. In order to affect the darkness you must do something with light because the light is the only thing that exists” – Teal Swan
The word “addict” or “addiction” carries with it such a stigma, that it can be scary for most people to come to terms with. Most are unwilling to take on this label because it would signify that they had become out of control, which is something that most would not like to admit.
And even when a person has taken the first step of acknowledging that they have a problem, they often judge themselves very harshly because of it. This judgment of themselves brings about a whole slew of feelings from guilt, to anger to shame. Unconscious feelings that happen on a consecutive basis can often turn into beliefs.
If a person believes they are bad, unworthy, or should be ashamed of themselves, they will actually start to act out these attributes, which will perpetuate the addiction cycle. As a society we have been conditioned to fear, hate, fight, and even deny an addiction because of the stigma it carries. But what if we have been going about it the wrong way?
What if the key to coming out of the darkness of addiction is to shine the light on the very parts of ourselves we have become conditioned to hide? When we shine light on these parts and practice unconditional love of all these perceived negative aspects, we come to a very important crossroads in breaking the addiction cycle…surrender and acceptance. It is only when we have accepted ourselves as we are and loved the addiction and ourselves that we can break free from it.
“Fear is the memory of pain. Addiction is the memory of pleasure. Freedom is beyond both.” Deepak Chopra
The object of an addiction can come in many different forms. The more obvious being drugs, alcohol, smoking, sex and gambling but also television, food, relationships, and even negative emotions. Narconon.org defines addiction as, “a condition that consists of a repeated, compulsive need for and use of a habit forming substance despite the adverse social or mental or physical consequences.”
At one time or another it is safe to say that most people have repeatedly done something over and over even though they knew it was detrimental to their health or well-being, which means to some degree, almost everyone has been addicted to something. Like most shadow parts of ourselves, addiction has its roots in fear.
Fear of “I fear that I am not enough on my own, so if I have this thing outside of myself, then I will feel complete”, or “I fear that I will have a bad feeling if I don’t numb myself with the object of my addiction, so in order to not feel anything, I will use my ‘drug’ “. Louise Hay, author of Heal Your Body, says the probable root cause of addiction is running from the self, fear, and not knowing how to love the self.
So it is quite literally, not knowing how to show love to our own self. When this happens, a person will look to food, drugs, shopping, etc… in order to nurture themselves. The key thing to realize here is that unconditional love (which means even loving the part of ourselves that fears not being enough) for ourselves will replace the need to look outside of ourselves to make us feel more complete.
Shaming ourselves into change, hating ourselves into change or punishing ourselves into change will never give us long lasting results, whereas loving ourselves into change will. We can literally love ourselves enough to DESIRE the change, which will help us move closer to our ultimate goal.
“We cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them”- Albert Einstein
In order to transcend the addiction cycle, we must rise to a level of consciousness above the one that had us stuck in it. If we stay focused and attached to the same emotions that brought the addiction on in the first place, we won’t be able to rise above them. These things don’t happen overnight. If a person has been addicted to something for years it may take longer to undo the thinking patterns and habits that have been formed.
Depending how severe the addiction is, this may also require outside help of a medical professional or counselor or treatment program. There are also alternative methods which can help a person get to a higher level of consciousness that no longer feels attached to the addiction and makes it drop away naturally. Some of these methods include, meditation, energy work, the oneness blessing, working with a spiritual counselor and yoga.
Whichever route a person chooses to take, the most imperative thing is that they get to the root cause of the addiction & find out what part of themselves they are not loving completely and unconditionally. Once a person can surrender to whatever that is, love that part of themselves, and continue being honest with themselves every step of the way they will be on the road to recovery. The recovery process will take time, and many people won’t be 100% successful in their first go, but as long as they begin to utilize the tools of self-love, and the advice of their teachers, mentors or counselors they will find that they are able to re-wire their thought patterns to a path of success.
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