If you are seeing this what makes you tick video for the first time It will be helpful to your understanding if you have watched the previous ones starting with Introduction – why are we here and follow on from there ensuring you watch ‘Identities – the most dangerous (or most helpful) parts of us’, before watching this one.
Originally when people heard the word addiction they immediately associated it with drugs and alcohol but as mankind became more aware they included gambling, eating, shopping and so on in their understanding of it. Only addiction covers a much, much bigger area of our lives. And because we are unaware of this we remain trapped in the ignorance of why we behave in certain ways and consequently impede our life.
ADDICTION – Are You Imprisoned
Many of us are addicted to something and before you go ‘well I’m not’, have a closer look at what I mean by addiction beyond what most people consider to be addiction. I’m going to stop talking here so you can go through these addictions at your own speed and thing about them. I would suggest you pause the video now.
A driven search for spiritual experience or enlightenment
Possessive clinging in relationships.
Antisocial and isolating tendencies
Work – the workaholic
Many people blame addiction on our genes, but epi-genetics has taken this gene research further and we now know that the genes responsible for addiction are triggered into play as a result of environmental and family factors.
It’s probably helpful to define addictions as an activity that can be pleasurable but the continuation of them becomes compulsive and interferes with ordinary responsibilities and concerns, such as work, relationships, or health. Another definition is any repeated behaviour, substance related or not, in which a person feels compelled to persist, regardless of its negative impact on his or her life and the lives of others.
But what if it doesn’t have a negative impact on someone’s life or the life of others or on their work, relationships or health but they cannot resist the urge? Would that still classify it as an addiction? I had a boss once – a project manager – who we as the underlings caught on three occasions ripping off the construction job we were working on to the tune of hundreds of thousands of pounds by ensuring sub-contractors would get the job provided he received a fat ‘brown envelope’ with cash in return. Yet despite this and the consequences of prison it didn’t faze him one bit – the addiction of greed just consumed him along with the high of the game. If he had been prosecuted and sent to jail the full impact of having that game denied from him would have left him in no doubt of the power that addiction had over him because of the withdrawal symptoms.
So I think a more exact definition would be: a compelling compulsive or obsessive desire of which we have no control over.
The reason we have addictions is because they pull us away from our emotional pain. And before you think or say ‘I don’t have emotional pain’, we all have emotional pain only it might not be with us now in the present because it has been successfully buried in our unconsciousness, aided by our addictions, which assist us further by keeping our attention away from that pain. This emotional pain was triggered into play way back in our childhood and was so debilitating that we buried it out of our memory, only it continues to fester deep in our unconscious mind. Such painful memories include feelings of loneliness, emptiness, abandonment, loss, rejection, aimlessness etc that lurk just below the surface of our consciousness until something happens that causes us to be hit with the full force of these. Let me give you an example of this.
I had just completed a sea crossing which had landed me at a Caribbean island. The crew had flown home and I was left alone. I remember breathing a sigh of relief at being alone and of having my own space again. It was good for a day or 2 to enjoy this space but then I realised I didn’t have the things I was addicted to. No friends or girl fiends around. No phones or internet to connect to them and because I didn’t know anyone on the island I couldn’t seek out company. I started to experience feelings I hadn’t known before – I didn’t know what they were – but they got so unbearable I had to get away. So I upped anchor and went home and when I got home I had all my addictions to turn to and my unbearable feelings instantly disappeared. Those addictions back then included romance, sports addiction and love. It turned out that what lay behind those addictions were loneliness, abandonment, aimlessness, emptiness and that I turned to my addictions to escape from those feelings. Of course I didn’t make sense of this at the time and it took about 15 years before I was able work it all out.
The reasons why we have these feelings of loneliness, aimlessness and emptiness are covered in the subjects of psychology and psychotherapy which bring to light the situations that create these feelings in our childhood. Click on the parenting page of this site to understand more about this. What hasn’t been explored by these subjects of psychology and psychotherapy is just how much of these big feelings of emptiness etc have to do with our past lives and karma. To understand this more listen to Soul and Personality in the premium section.
We also don’t know why we happen to choose a particular addiction. Sometimes it’s in our DNA – the father was an alcoholic and if that’s the case there is certainly a greater risk of a child becoming addicted to alcohol. But it isn’t written in stone – we could find ourselves addicted to any of those I mentioned but for those – why? It’s possible that they are a carryover from a past life where the identity has unfinished business, but to know the truth about this we will have to wait until humanity evolves more.
But so what if we have these addictions? Provided they aren’t doing the body damage like alcohol or drugs why worry? Have a look at the addiction list again and see what addictions do – they provide an element of emotional uplifting that pulls one out of their low mood or low emotion or low feeling. And the story for most people ends there – they happily pursue their addiction and live happily ever after – or not.
Naturally if the addiction has to do with substance abuse the body also gets addicted which is why the likes of cold turkey or the DTs (Delirium tremens) occur. When the addict has overcome this they then have to, usually through therapy, deal with the underlying emotions we have been discussing.
Addiction – whatever the addiction – in case you hadn’t realised it, is totally about satisfying the selfish needs of an identity – only you confuse its wants and believe they are your wants, but it’s actually the addicted identities wants. Until you realise this the identity can be so all consuming of our personality we believe it is us. A good example of this is co-dependency or dependency where a couple cannot either live without each other or without the other person. And when the other leaves or something drastic happens to them the wheels totally come off the dependent in the form of recognising their addiction.
So in order to really get to grips with an addiction, the first thing we have to do is find out from the person who has the particular addiction what label they would give that identity –for example ‘the subservient doormat’ – as such an identity would allow his or her partner to walk all over him or her. Recognising it allows the person to put space between it and them. This labelling, for some people, occasionally, can be a total mind blowing experience as it releases the trapped consciousness from the emotions and the mind and allows an huge insurgence of awareness.
This is the first step to getting a handle on an addiction but it’s highly unlikely the addiction will disappear over the horizon by just recognizing it. Psychotherapy work will also help as it makes us more conscious of our behaviours but even then depending how many ‘hooks’ it has in us, will take some time before it integrates and we have control over it.
This, of course, if you want to let go of an identity. Some identities are fun – fun being because they allow us to feel emotional highs and it’s those highs that likely cement in the addiction. And if that is the case why would you want to let it go?
Simply because at the stage of your present development your attraction to the light of your soul is being hampered by the many identities and their associated feelings and views. This, by the way, is what mindfulness helps one with. Mindfulness attempts to bring you more into the present so you can be aware of the emotions or feelings that control you and imprison you. Identity work does the same thing.
Do addictions serve any purpose? Well yes – they do. How could we possibly become more conscious and grow? Addiction provides or forces us to pursue the want and in the desire to achieve it we run headlong into the unknown obstacles in the form of emotions and mental processes that we aren’t familiar with and this forces us to grow in a particular area of our life. The motivating force behind any addiction is want – I WANT! And if you think about it the obsession we have towards them allows us to grow.
Perhaps you need to stop the video here and think about this because there are so many variables to consider.
Given our developed consciousness of the 21st century and our understanding of identities and the factoring in of past lives we can now view such addictions in a different light. Bear in mind that whatever addiction we have, we had little or no control over its arrival. The soccer addict, like the football addict just happens into someone’s life. Such a person doesn’t say ‘hmm I think I will become a football addict’. It just happens. These are innocent enough addictions that land with these people but what of the more extreme addictions? Sex is a natural drive in all of us and given its entanglement with love or lust few people escape crossing swords with it in its many form of addictions. So be careful about how you judge those with them – you too could end up with one of the more scary ones at some point of your future existence.
A lot of skeletons are falling out of churches cupboards….
So, if you have come to realise that you are imprisoned by an addiction, what can you do? (that is assuming you want to do something about it!) It comes down to what type of addiction. Probably the most beneficial short term way of dealing with an addiction is by finding a therapy group – if such a therapy group exists for your type of addiction) that has sittings of group therapy, which helps you realise that you are not alone in your concerns or behaviours. This can be helpful but it’s very unlikely you will get to the source of the problem, which started when you were very young and vulnerable and has to do with the lack of connection or attachment to your parents or caregivers, which in turn disconnected you from the self or soul. If you want more about this look for the Parenting tab on this site. These big feeling are the feelings that the addictions need to blot out and the most effective way of dealing with these feelings is going to therapy. Only it’s likely to take time to get to those very early emotions. Naturally existing programs work such as the 12 step program but often these are about swapping from one addiction for another for example – a heroin addict or alcoholic to born again Christian. Meditation and mindfulness can also work miracles.
Thanks for watching.