My newest lesson is regarding addictions.
Those who are addicted to a substance are always viewed as weak. Something very, very bad. The addicted destroys trust.
In today's society so many have addictions.
Then I thought of the person who is addicted. All the negativity surrounding them from society as well as their own inner wellspring of negativity.
Then I wondered if the Powers That Be have the same negativity towards those who are addicted. And I got the answer no.
I wondered about that. Maybe the alternative to addiction is suicide. If that is the case maybe addiction helps that person at least get through this life. Maybe getting through a life is better than suicide. At least they are still learning about life.
So maybe an addiction is not a bad thing. Maybe it's only a different way to cope.
We all find unique ways to survive, manage our struggles, internal battles.
It’s often when we ‘can’t have’ don’t have that we see what space we are filling up on.
That space can’t be known fully until we fully let go of its hold.
All kinds of reactions are housed within that ‘taking away’ not just suicide alone.
That’s why it’s important people have mental health plans in place, especially if they are weak, not fully aware of what is going on in them.
Around me I see addictions with drinking and hoarding, I live and let live. I support where I can.
Understanding addictions is a good place to start.
YOUR POST HIT HOME....... MY HOME
My grandfather got cancer right after the government made opiums illegal. No longer could a person buy opium at the local grocery store. For those who could buy opium, the price was high. My grandfather could not get any pain medicine. After a long period of being in pain, he could no longer bear the pain............
I regard any kind of dependency, or 'need', in order to experience being spiritually 'alive', 'well', 'happy', 'connected', etc., etc., et.c.) to be an 'addiction' of sorts. In my view, growing to the point where we become) 'independent', i.e whole(some) :smile:, souls in terms of our capacity to experience and participate in THE FLOW of LIFE "on our own 'steam' " to be the 'reason' why we incarnate in 'the world'. This world is a soul 'nursery', or 'kindergarten', in other words.
I think the main soul-level difference between still-continuing-to-incarnate souls is what they are still 'dependent' on - IMO, any "looking down" on someone else's 'dependencies' is the equivalent of "a kettle calling a pot 'black' ". As articulated in my treatise:
Though self-gratifying physiological and social support systems as well as imaginative projections which lead people to hope and emotionally anticipate that they will, even if not right away, at least experience relief, ease, fulfillment, happiness, etc. in the future may indeed be Love and Joy sustaining up to a point, the fact remains that soulfully encountering and experiencing the kinds of ‘troubles’ that are, in the final analysis, inescapable aspects of being ensconced ‘in’ a physically limited, temporally transient personal body that is subject to frustration, pain, loss, ego‑defeat, death, etc. is necessary for the kind of self‑transcendental ‘i’dentity expansion and psychospiritual growth spoken of in this chapter to be situationally ‘called’ for and stimulated to ‘come’ forth.* A soul’s capacity for psychospiritual fortitude and interpersonal empathy (stemming from cognition and appreciation of the ubiquitousness and transcendency of the Presence and Power of Life Itself), for instance, would never develop otherwise; albeit these are just a couple of a whole host of psychospiritual awareness and adeptitude based capabilities which must be conscientiously directed and devotionally deployed in service of Life Itself for a nodal soul to transcendentally e‧merge from the ‘womb’ of its embryonic other-dependency and infantile selfishness (note: I use the word must here only to state what is functionally necessary for such outcome, not to assert any kind of moralistic ‘should’ in this completely free-choice regard.):hug3:
If an addict tries to give something up for the sake of another, that is never gonna work...they need to do it for themselves and not for a reason like "doing this is bad" because even if they DO manage to break the addiction to one thing, what generally happens is that they will substitute it for something else...I went from being addicted to weed, to being addicted to cigarettes, to being addicted to caffeine, to being addicted to sugar, to being addicted to oversleeping (when I gave up the stimulants which were keeping me awake) and now, my whole philosophy is that I would like to be healthy...not that such things are "bad" and I am/was a "bad person" for indulging in it, but if I want to be healthy..if I want to get back into doing Hatha Yoga full time, I will need to detox...and toxing myself isn't really conducive to a detox ..they work at cross purposes.
So the point is not to focus on how "bad" an addiction is, but what is it that I need to do to grow and not remain stuck? and as unfortunate as it is, those who believe they are doing a good thing by abusing and berating you if you have a relapse are better off out of your life...totally cut off until such times you can deal with your own issues without their "help".
I am going to give an example here...it is also something I need to get off my chest...I have needed to do this for quite some time.
I have another addiction apart from oversleeping...I am a junk food addict. I am a vegan's worst nightmare. I will freely admit this...and I feel no guilt.
However, over the past year I have put on 20kg due to refined carbs and a lack of exercise...this has exacerbated the symptoms of my arthritic knees..and so, a few months ago, I made the decision to go on a Keto diet to lose some weight.
However, I made a HUGE mistake! I told my mother about my goals and aspirations looking (in vain as it turns out) for some moral support.
My psychologist wonders why I have problems making and sticking to any goals...why I have an addictive personality. It is all due to traumatic abuse.
The trauma came in the form of my parents and their insistence on "personal responsibility" and "being true to your words" and having "moral accountability" because that separates a person of "strong character" from a person of "weak character"...you know, all of those social values THEIR parents instilled in them during the 1930s and 1940's which are no longer relevant in today's society...
So, the day after I told my mother I was going on a diet, the FIRST thing she said the next day, even before "how are you?" is "have you started your diet yet?" and when I said "no, not yet" she said "why not?" and I had to make up excuses and lies which I would not have even HAD to do, had she not hounded me for an explanation...my parents raised me to be deceitful, dishonest and untrustworthy even though this was never their intention.
To pacify her, I said that I would begin my diet at the end of the week...
Later that week, she phones again.."have you started your diet yet?"
I had to tell her that I was going out to a party on the weekend and I would begin my diet on the Monday.
Next Thursday she phones me "have you started your diet?"
Me: "yes mum, I started my diet on Tuesday"
Mum: "how much weight have you lost since Tuesday? You should have lost half a kilo in two days"
Me: "I don't know, I haven't weighed myself since I started"
Mum: "well, go and weigh yourself... I'll wait.."
Me: "I'd rather weigh myself after a week to get a surprise".
Another week goes by ..mum phones .
"How's your diet going? Lost any weight yet?"
This kept up...and up...and up...until in the end, my mind totally rebelled .
"I am NOT continuing on this diet because I hate you SO much!"
So, I was able to answer my psychologists question about why it is that I have problems making and sticking to goals.
It can destroy trust, and it can do many more things.
Maybe the answer is "no", because it is free will. There is no judgement there. My elder is always reminding me about compassion for those who have the more difficult road to travel. Maybe the person who has the addiction is working out their lessons in this life and those that interact with the person have lessons to learn too.
There was this quote from Adyashanti that I found helpful. He was speaking about the word sin, meaning simply, "missed the mark" and repent means, "turn around." These words are not positive or negative in meaning by their very nature. Don't we all have the free will to take a word that simply has a neutral meaning and then attach connotations based on our own beliefs, experiences and perspective.
Perhaps, the perspective I have is different than most. I have worked with persons who have had an addiction and I never saw them as evil or less. Many of the people I worked with were filled with so much pain and shame and anger... It all revolves around perceptions and free will. For many there is a perception of being powerless.
A person can drown in very little water if they believe they have no power.
Everyone stands in their own truth, their own reality.Whether is it real or not is not up for judgement. It is real for them
Many years ago I was working with a person who was actively having an auditory and visual hallucination. The person told me what they were seeing and hearing. All I could do was support this person, but when the moment passed, I felt a sense of honor because the person had trusted me to be "there" with them. I saw this amazing, brave, strong person.
Everyone has the potential in every moment of every day to "turn around".
And in typing these words, it is the most resounding reminder to myself. :smile:
Please excuse the jumbliness. :smile:
When I am asked if I am addicted to anything...... I always reply "YES".
I am addicted to oxygen...... so is everybody reading this.
Sometimes we make too much of nothing......... Maybe we got to be less judgemental.
Please forgive me for not attending to all of your thoughts on this subject. I've had a family tragedy that I'm still adjusting to.
I think the one thing I am learning in this life is to just Be. Be me. Not make excuses for my actions. But not harm others either any more than I have to. But to find happiness in the corners of my world where I can. Lord knows there is enough misery for all of us on a daily basis.
JustBe, sad to say but the people who need mental health plans in place usually can't afford them. Are they really weak? Is a person with bipolar disorder for example, really a weak person? Is there really such a thing as an addictive personality as some claim (those are two separate questions, not related to each other)?
BigJohn, the story of your grandfather profoundly touched me. Starting with making opium and later marijuana illegal it took away our dignity to decide for ourselves what we want. I was watching Dr Phil, a psychologist talk show host who "fixes" people. This woman was on some kind of prescription drug that made here happy. Well, Dr Phil had to "fix" that. She needed to deal with her "issues" and be miserable like the rest of society. I boo'd him.
hallow, I agree. We all have our own means of coping. I prefer to just say we are just being who we are. Doing what we can to scrape the sharp points off.
davidson, I wonder where the lesson ends and the next step, the assessment begins. And the healing. When the assessment is over then what? We sit and twiddle our thumbs waiting for the next lesson? Waiting for that second shoe to fall. It's an endless cycle. Whether there is an addiction or not, lessons will come whether we want them or not. And addiction can merely lessen the pain, not avoid it.
Shivani, I so enjoy your thoughts in everything you say. I know you had an addiction to weed, I wasn't aware of the continuing struggles you have had with the rest. Wow! It makes my head spin. Now that is what I call a strong person!! Yep, double exclamation marks. There must be something in the Hatha Yoga for you to keep fighting. Can I ask you, what if the person doesn't consider an addiction as being stuck?
Anala, beautiful words. I see your grace in what you have witnessed. What if the "missing the mark" is where that person wants to go? Does missing the mark mean they did something wrong? What if they don't want to 'turn around'. What if they just say, no more? Life isn't always about doing the right thing in my opinion. It's about being human.
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