“The twisted things we do so as to avoid being ourselves for an hour”
I saw this quote on a video about addiction I watched some months ago and recent events and a time of meditation brought it back to my mind.
Addiction in whatever form it takes (and it can take on EVERY form) is an attempt to cope and or escape from a deeper issue, some pain. While meditating this morning, I had a thought that addiction can be likened to a person trying to drown out some noise he doesn’t want to hear. The problem is that so often we make it all about the addiction; how awful it is and how we need to “fix it” and the deeper issue is ignored and unseen. The thing about pain though is that the soul will always try to find a way to cope with it and will latch unto something or another for “relief”.
In my opinion (and experience), seeking to end addiction without addressing the deeper pain is like trying to get rid of a plant by cutting it’s leaves off. For awhile things might seem “okay” but it’s only a matter of time before the addiction rears it’s head again. The video I mentioned earlier (pardon me I would have put a link to it but sadly I can’t find it anymore 😦 ) encouraged listeners to no longer try to escape from their pain (to try to escape from pain only leads to more pain) but to sit with it, listen, understand. We avoid doing this because we have been told that addictions (and everything connected to them) reveals that we are ugly, shameful people of disrepute. That we are people not worth having around, people to be not seen, people to be avoided. So we cover up and hide. We cannot risk vulnerability. Our “ugliness” must not be seen.
I beg to differ though
I believe that to really find freedom, we must identify and face the deeper issues. I believe we must go through the door and with compassion, sit and listen to ourselves. Vulnerability can be frightening but there is no liberty (or intimacy) without it. We think our addictions speak of our ugliness; ugliness that needs to be eradicated and or ignored but I believe our addictions speak of a beautiful soul that is suffering pain of some sort. Pain that requires patience, compassion, understanding and truth to be healed from.
Practically speaking this requires being alone with oneself, looking within (realize that the addiction doesn’t define you) and being patient and honest with yourself without a shred of condemnation. Meditation and Prayer helps. In my experience I’ve come to see hidden pockets of pain as my Abba (that’s what I call my heavenly father) revealed them to me. And each revelation came with an assurance that I was not (and never have been) at risk of His displeasure but rather I was another step away from experiencing growth and more wholeness. I encourage you dear reader not to run away from your pain. I know someone who found himself in the grip of porn addiction, he did everything he knew to break the cycle but nothing worked. Until the day he realized that porn wasn’t the real issue. What was his issue? He had a deep seated issue of self worth. Viewing himself through the lenses of ugliness, he considered himself “undesirable”, “worthless” and more. Porn simply became a way for him to cope. He would log on to websites and be surrounded by beautiful women willing to take off their clothes and share acts which he considered intimate and for awhile he would find some semblance of relief. The day he realized his the true issue and began addressing it by seeing himself as beautiful, radiant and utterly unique was the day his freedom began.
Dear reader I beg you to look within and do the same. Pray, Meditate, ask yourself questions. Be honest, be compassionate. On the other side of this addiction lies wholeness you have never known.