When you don’t want to deal with something and you want to avoid it you move into behavior to distract yourself from it. That creates a habit or pattern that can become an addiction. Anything can become this distraction. The possibilities are limitless. You can distract yourself through work, social media, shopping, phone calls, as well as the addictions you commonly recognize; alcohol, drugs, pornography, food, gambling, sex.
Addiction disallows you to be present for life, to be completely engaged, to be open to feeling all that you must feel. Addiction is your solution to not wanting to feel something; the fear, anger sadness, shame.
When you don’t recognize, accept and feel these feelings, they become density. When you recognize, accept and feel them the energy of addiction dissipates and you are depriving the addiction of its energy. It is awareness that is the power that allows the energy of density to dissipate. Shining the light of awareness on your feelings can be difficult because you have constructed habitual patterns to avoid feeling. You fear you will be overwhelmed by emotion if you start feeling it all.
It is awareness that is the first step in releasing addiction. Next time something triggers you, stop and see how you react. See what habits you’ve developed to cope. Especially see if your reaction takes you away from feeling and becoming aware, becoming mindful. Your tendency is probably to find ways that life can limit its impact on you and ways to avoid feeling it all. But for there to be expansion, real joy and evolution, it requires seeing deeply, the opposite of distraction.
There is a tendency to think that you experience pleasure when you distract yourself, but this is never fulfillment. This kind of pleasure is always short lived and always leads to less meaning in your life, less growth, less awareness, less happiness. This is a critical distinction and this is the ultimate motivation for easing into allowing yourself to feel. It takes courage. The loneliness, the sadness, the fear are not easy to bring into the light of awareness, but what waits on the other side is all you have been searching for.
If an addiction is a form of distraction then the first step to resolution is awareness. Addiction tends to be reactive. There is either a subtle or strong discomfort in the form of an uncomfortable feeling and an immediate reaction takes place moving you into distraction. It is natural to not want to feel something that feels dissonant or non-aligned. It is a natural reaction to want to distract yourself from it.
Become mindfully aware and see the process you put yourself through; feeling, pushing away, reacting, distracting, and repeating. Start at the end and work yourself back. Look at the repetitive distraction; over eating, over drinking, gambling, drugs, over indulging in sex, TV, social media, work, exercise. Then look at the pushing away and reacting; what are you pushing away and reacting to? That can be harder to identify. Can you physically feel it in your body? Can you remember an event that triggered it? Is it associated with a person, place or situation? Then bring awareness to how all of this feels. What is the fear, and the sadness beneath the fear? Is there anger, guilt or shame? Is there unworthiness? Feel it. Allow it. Accept it. Understand that everything serves as a catalyst for your growth, evolution and expansion.
This is mindfully integrating the causes and patterns of addiction. Move from reacting without conscious choice to response with conscious choice. Move from avoidance to using mindful awareness to create integration. Move from un-empowered habit to empowered self-mastery.
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