Personal Transformation: From Addiction to Freedom
We’re all addicted to something. You are, indeed. I’m the same way. We are addicted to many things in various ways.
The obvious physical addictions are easy to identify: drugs, alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, sugar, and so on. These physical addictions are not only the easiest to identify, but they are also the simplest to overcome. If you think quitting heroin is difficult, try quitting your addiction to one of your core beliefs. You’re going to scream. You’re going to fight. You’ll go on a rant. You will experience delirium tremors.
You have many emotional, mental, and spiritual addictions that are not as obvious as any physical addictions you may admit to having.
Physical addictions are often obvious, but emotional addictions are not always so easy to identify. Nonetheless, we are all affected by them. You can see them if you look closely at your relationships with others, the recurring cycles of circumstances in your life, and the things you gather around yourself to provide comfort and pleasure. It is even more difficult to identify any mental addictions you may have. Parents are concerned about pushers loitering in schoolyards, hoping to entice innocent students into drug addiction. Nonetheless, well-meaning teachers are busy impressing young minds with ideas and ways of thinking about life in the classrooms. Parents do it as well. They infect their children with their ways of thinking and attitudes, as well as their own addictions and behavioral programming.
The majority of people who have been programmed are unaware of their programming. Nobody who has been successfully brainwashed will readily admit to having been brainwashed. Nonetheless, we have all been trained/programmed/brainwashed from birth to think a certain way, to have certain perspectives, and to hold a certain reality picture. And we’ve grown addicted to those habitual thought processes, those perspectives on reality. They give us the same pleasure, comfort, and security that a needle full of dope does.
It is even more difficult to identify any spiritual addictions you may have. Sure, it’s easy to point the finger at those involved in cults, but we’re all addicted to belief systems. Each of us has become reliant on certain beliefs in order to have the courage to face the great unknown and the various other fears that come with it. Relying on a belief sold by a church to face your fears is similar to relying on a shot of courage made in a distillery and sold in a saloon.
It’s easy to deny these emotional, mental, and spiritual addictions. Being in denial about them does not make them go away. In fact, one of the primary ways to identify an addiction is to deny that one’s habits are, in fact, an addiction. Everyone who works in the field of addiction therapy has heard a junkie say, “I’m not addicted in the traditional sense. I can leave at any time.” which the therapist will respond, “Sure, go ahead and prove it. Stop right now. “It is not only a heroin habit that is difficult to break; all habits are difficult to break, and some are much more difficult than heroin. When I meet someone who insists they are not addicted to a belief or a way of thinking, I always say, “
Every person I’ve ever accused of being addicted to television has told me that they aren’t; they just watch it habitually because they enjoy it. Uh-oh. Take note: Television is more addictive and risky than heroin. Of course, if you watch a lot of TV, you’re probably in denial about the fact that it can be addictive, let alone admitting that you’re an addict or admitting that your addiction is at least as dangerous as a heroin addict.
So, maybe you’ll admit that you’re an addict. How do you get rid of your addictions?
Freedom from addiction is determined not by successfully avoiding the thing to which you were addicted in the first place; rather, freedom from addiction is determined by your ability to use something (or not) without becoming dependent on it. The true measure of addiction is dependency. Most people who claim to be free of addiction have simply swapped one habit for another. The dependency is still present; only the manner in which the dependency is met has changed.
The true cure for an addiction is not the cessation of some habit or the substitution of one habit for another; it is the liberation from the original dependency, not the substitution of how the dependency is satisfied.
This is a difficult task. It could even be a lifetime of work for some of us. I can make some simple recommendations, but only you can set yourself free. The responsibility that comes with freedom is the other side of the coin. Only when you are willing to accept complete responsibility for your life’s events and circumstances will you be able to achieve any measure of true freedom. You are imprisoned by something as long as you assign blame to it.
To put it another way, giving up a habit does not free you from the original dependency. You are still enslaved. Substituting methadone for heroin does not cure the addiction. Substituting weekly 12 step meetings and a supportive peer group for your local bar’s daily happy hour does not end the dependency. Only identifying and removing the underlying emotional, mental, or spiritual dependency can set you free.
Raise your self-esteem to break free from emotional addictions. Teach yourself to regard yourself as sacred. Recognize that you are divine. Learn to unconditionally love yourself. If you are in an abusive relationship of any kind, it is not your abuser’s fault; it is your fault because you do not love yourself enough. I’m not talking about one-of-a-kind abuses, like a random mugging; I’m talking about abuses that happen repeatedly over time, like a habit. The relationships you have are the ones you believe you are worthy of having. If you want to have better relationships (with people, with money, with success), you must first improve your self-esteem.
Stop allowing your culture to be your cult and stop relying on your five physical senses and previous programming to determine your reality picture if you want to be free of mental addictions. Begin asking why all the time. Begin to infuse intention into everything you do. Constantly ask yourself… Why do I believe this? What am I trying to accomplish by thinking this way? Is it useful for me to think that way? Is there a more effective way of thinking? A more efficient method? To put it another way, begin to pay attention to how and why you think. Begin to reflect on your thinking. Start bringing some Sapiens to bear on your Homo Habilus if you want to call yourself a Homo Sapiens.
To be free of spiritual addictions, you must recognise and accept that, while it MAY be true that you were created by an Omnipotent Creator, it is CERTAINLY true that any god you choose to believe in and revere is a god of your own creation. In other words, you must teach yourself to see yourself as a creator rather than a creature. The world in which you live is as much your creation as it is that of some supernatural creative force.
Set your mind to it. Recognize that even your most deeply held beliefs are merely your opinion. You are certainly entitled to your opinions, but you do not need to be imprisoned within them by pretending that they are anything more than what you have become accustomed to using to fill a void in yourself, to fulfill some dependency.
Finally, I want to state that I do not believe it is possible to be completely free of addiction. I believe it is possible to be liberated enough to be able to consciously choose which addictions I have. I’d rather be addicted to happiness than sadness, pleasure than pain, and enjoyment than suffering. I’d rather be addicted to success than addicted to failure. I’d rather be addicted to love than afraid. I’d rather be addicted to things that elevate me than things that denigrate me.
True Humaniversity Foundation is one of the Top Rated Drug Rehabilitation Centre in Mumbai and Alcohol Rehabilitation Centre in Mumbai and Pune providing a full suite of comprehensive addiction services. Situated in Maharashtra, India, our facility Rehab Centre in Mumbai offers its clients a safe, peaceful, and serene environment. Discover sobriety through a combination of proven treatments and recreational therapies.Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Pinterest