Relapses and Releasing Addictions
When we work our way into a clearing, a space-time where we are centered, positive and powerful, what do we do? How far do we work our way towards our inspirations and our visions before we drop again into the depths we left behind, the wells we left below? Why do we succumb again to our negative habits, the addictions, big and small: binging/consuming internet, people, foods, drugs, drinks, novels, vacations, all forms of highs and escapes.
Stress, as always, is the underlying condition.
Like any illness, reaching out for help and highs comes from chronic stress and our methods of relief. The stress is physically and mentally painful. We feel worn down, worn out, low on energy, hurt and in need of healing. That feeling of need, and the habit of coming into the belief that we are in need, sets us up for all addictive patterns of thought/behavior.
Those low places are not entirely dark: that is where we find sympathy from those who care, as well as the comfort of support and the thrill of working our way back up to the light.
Once we learn how we come in and out of addictive behaviors, we realize how accustomed we are to consuming. We feel stress not just from difficulties with work and personal lives, but also from the absence of our favorite things/people. We habitually reach out to the people we rely on, we habitually replace and refill the substances we rely on.
Those habits send out our sense of center. We externalize our energy sources. To return to center, we reclaim our center.
How do we reduce our needs, become independent and self sufficient? We begin with the revolutionary idea that we need little; we need less. When we maintain our sense of center, when we trust and work our resiliency, we realize that we are always ok. We no longer have the needs that we did in the past; we may have even fewer needs in the future; we likely have fewer needs than others seem to have.
Paring down our desires, our habits, our needs, we feel cleansing of body as well as mind. We notice the causes and concerns that lead us to reach outwards, and we reconcile those within ourselves. As our body no longer has to process the consuming of extra substances, we experience physical cleansing. We let go of waste and toxins, and in time, we become free of the cravings themselves. What is left is real needs: we notice when we truly need to care for ourselves with rest, with work, with nourishment, with relaxation. We know when we can give to others, and when we relish solitude.
When we look at the world with a self-sufficient perspective, we see people and places not as a source for supplying our demands. Our vision is clearer. It is easy to focus on our work, it is natural to send our energy out into the world where it is needed. We stand our ground, sure of ourselves and comfortable with the uncertainty and unpredictability of our environment and the people closest to us. Knowing that changes are to come, we broaden our own energies, resiliency, adaptability. We live a full life.
How do we steady our sense of self? We notice the beauty of living simply, with the barest necessities, and the enjoyment of the space-time we no longer give to habitual use/consumption. We learn to return to ourselves after being involved with the world; we learn to relearn our old habits. When we see ourselves directing energy towards obtaining more, getting better, stressing out, falling down, we pause.
The ability to pause is the work of the intellect. With the clarity of a craving-free mind, the intellect is sure of purpose, of drive, of the will to work and to love. We are steady and sure that there is no need to reach out for certainty, trust, knowing, and filling. These aspects are already within us, when we care to look for them within. Finding a new sensitivity to our own strengths and capabilities, we let go of the things, habits, beliefs that are not-needed. We enjoy the new room to breathe, and sense the energy.
When we attune to our energy, then a new work begins.