Originally written - July 27th, 2015 by White Wolf
When it comes to addictions and habits we all either deal with them in the present or have had to deal with them in our past. Perhaps some of you will find yourself having to deal with some in your future. Who knows. The point is that addictions and non-beneficial habits affect us all on one level or another. Some addictions, like smoking, affect not only ourselves, but others as well, and this is where addictions can become hazardous to people we care about.
I am not going to write a very long article about this but rather would like to get straight to the point. Addictions and non-beneficial habits destroy the people they control; sometimes slowly and sometimes quickly, but nevertheless they suck the life-force right out of the core and they do affect everyone in a person’s life.
Addiction to smoking, using drugs, drinking alcohol, over eating, excessive sex, video games and the list is literally endless because the possibilities are seemingly limitless. Just about anything can become an addiction or non-beneficial habit that degrades a person’s life. The question is what can we do about them.
Many people are out there suggesting and even preaching how affirmations can help “cure” addictions and habits. As to affirmations and working to shed yourself of addictions, you might first need to analyze:
Affirmations are not enough. It must be real, tangible, enjoyable and thus powerfully moving in order to overpower and change an addictive behavior. It is vital to remember that YOU are NOT your addiction or habit. You are far more. The addiction or habit is nothing more than a dirty film on the window, not the window itself. But the dirty film prevents us from seeing the beauty outside it and others from seeing the beauty inside. That dirty film tires our eyes from straining to see through it. It clouds our vision and perceptions. It confuses us and tires us out. To clean that dirt you need something physically powerful. Affirmations will not clean that dirty film. Affirmations might help you get motivated, but it must be a very physical action to actually clean the window. The same is true for cleaning ourselves of addictions.
Those are just some active ideas anyway. Perhaps you will find some assistance in them? I realize to some that may seem too vague, but for a process to truly work it must first be foundational and then it must be individually personalized to fit the uniqueness of the person and situation. One way never works for everyone. We must use the foundation to find our own way and do the personal work, with support if needs be, to truly make the desired changes.
You are far more and far stronger than your addictions and habits. Those things just try to trick you into thinking you are not. They try to manipulate you chemically by creating false and surface desires through the endocrine and nervous systems. This is why you need to always find something powerful to take the addictions place, something better, deeper and far more enriching and self empowering.
*** Addition ***
I will give you an example of something I had to get over and transform. Many of you who read my autobiography will know that I used to literally be addicted to exercise. I would exercise everyday for hours and the more intense the exercise was the better. Even if I was working 10 hours of hard labor and only getting 4 hours of sleep a night, I still had to exercise intensely for at least three hours, preferably four or even five.
If I did not exercise to such extremes I beat myself up inside telling myself how lazy I had been and all manner of other self degrading insults surrounding laziness. I judged others very harshly who did not or could not exercise as regularly and intensely as I did. I judged them just like I judged myself if I only put in three hours instead of four after working 10 hours in the blazing hot sun of July. I weighed in at 148-150 pounds and 7-9% body fat. If I reached 10 or 11% body fat it was unforgivable.
If I had cracked ribs or a chest wall contusion, I still had to exercise. If my arm was in a sling, I still had to exercise. If I let pain stop me, I was weak and pathetic. So I pushed through all pain and just kept going no matter the consequence.
Now this addiction was not the kind that was poisoning people around me or placing others in danger of say being killed because I was driving drunk. No, this addiction affected me more than others around me. It was eating me alive. Eventually the intensity of my exercise began to do far more harm to my body than benefit. My body began eating itself.
First I had to see that I was doing it. Then I had to accept that I was exercising too much and it was harming me. Once that very difficult process was accomplished I had to ask myself how the addiction made me feel on various levels of my being.
When I avoided exercise all of those feelings would reverse and I would feel terrible because my body and brain were addicted to the constant state of endorphins running through my system, playing down the deep and powerful pains of the years of physical, emotional and mental trauma.
When asking what various aspects would say about my addiction I would get:
So it was obvious the physical and emotional aspects were simply using the addiction to hide from the pain and distract me from dealing with it. The addiction also gave me a vent for the intensity of rage, anger and even wrath that stewed in my depths as a result of years of abuse and trauma. However, it kept me so bogged in the physical aspects, because otherwise I could not have physically continued the addiction, that I stole my connection to spiritual growth. So there was a very real conflict within me surrounding the addiction. The addiction was not helping me, but distracting and destroying me physically. All the while it was chemically fooling me from endorphin release into thinking I was the addicting behavior and needed it to life, to survive and to be “better”.
To wean off I had to find something to replace the addictive behavior. This was not easy, none of it was. It took many trial and errors. It took a combination of trying to accept and resolve the deeper emotional and mental traumas, work with the physical traumas and start taking the time again to tap into my spiritual nature. All the while I needed to continue searching for very real physical actions to successfully replace the need for the exercise addiction.
I looked into art, meditation, sex, reading, writing, traveling, and on and on the list went, but none of it could take the addictions place. Eventually life made the choice that I needed to be forced. I was poisoned by people trying to kill me and my family. It was through the long agonizing recovery that the addiction had to break because my body just simply could not do it any longer. In the face of that absolute I was forced to figure it out. Eventually I found it right under my nose, my wife and son. This branched off into helping others as best as I could through my experiences. Being in the wilderness and spending almost all of my time right next to it and even surrounded by it (living in a place where there was little in the way of separation from its physical aspect) was the other precious key. Together this trio of energies, very real energies did the trick and the addiction was transformed into more beneficial and productive avenues that unified body, mind, emotion and spirit.
But even today I need to keep a cross-check to make sure I do not fall back into the old addiction through the old mental conditioning. Today I am 165 and 14-15% body fat, which is pretty darn good for a 6 foot, 43 year old male (at the writing of this article) whose body and mind have been through hell and has adrenal fatigue, nerve damage, being poisoned which is still affecting my organs today, and many other issues. Even so, there are days when stress tries to uncover the lid of the old addiction. Then I need to stop, remind myself of all of the above and refocus to the reality of my life and surroundings and the urge disappears quickly. In other words I control it and it does not control me.
Anyway, that is a real example for you based upon something in my own life.
Elder White Wolf: