Using Your Addictions To Make You Stronger

by Matt on May 5, 2014

If I told you that all addiction was the act of not doing what you know is really best for you, would you then be an addict?

Is this description too simplistic for you? Is it possible that simply doing one thing while deep down knowing you should be doing something else is the crux of the issue? Maybe it’s that simple. If it were, what would you be able to accomplish if you always did what you knew, deep down, was best?

The Danger in Addiction is Mediocrity

We hear stories of celebrity figures doing these obviously extreme and seemingly psychotic actions, toying with their very existence, and sometimes ending their existence while on drugs or in the throws of bad habits. Maybe we even know people in our families who have these kind of stories around substance abuse, sexual addictions, problems with food, anger, and more. When that is the backdrop on which we judge our own actions, we look at our “little” actions like watching TV when we know we’d be better off practicing the piano, or eating fried fatty foods out at a restaurant when we could be eating a healthier meal at home, or ignoring doing our taxes(like I am right now), we think “oh well, at least I’m not dying on the floor of that hotel room like (insert latest headline here)…” and we are off-the-hook.

But I see us as great, sacred and powerful beings sent here to shine our light, create beauty, and fully align with Love. Are you interested in that?

My question for you is: What are you blocking from happening in your life because of habitual actions that aren’t really helping you? How much is that couple drinks every night really costing you? What do you think that 2 hours of TV is really costing you? (2 hours a day of TV is 730 hours per year or 30 (24 hour days) of time! What could you do with an extra month of waking time this year?

My guess is that the voice in your head is saying something like: “oh that’s just how I unwind,” or “a couple drinks every night is nothing, it’s healthy for me, I read recently.” Or even, “pot is medicine Matt, natural medicine.” Or maybe, “this guy is a tyrant, don’t listen to him, he must not have any fun…” Maybe even some irritation is starting as you know that you are about to read why I am not going to let you off-the-hook: because I know what your capable of and I’m curious what good and beautiful things you could bring to the world.

Let me be clear, if you have a glass of wine or 2 even, every now and again, in a social situation, for a celebration, you are probably not addicted to alcohol. That would be doing something you know you want to be doing at that time, hence, not an addictive behavior.

It’s all the stuff that you do when deep down you know you should be doing something else. In yoga, we call these things prajna paradha, or, “crimes against wisdom.”

Like, surfing Facebook way too long, watching porn and feeling bad about it, over-eating, watching tv for many hours even when you feel bored of watching. How about this: yelling at people or getting angry at people around you and then feeling bad about. You knew at some point that you did not want to do this, and yet, you found yourself compelled to act. You couldn’t help yourself, much like what a more extreme or true addict goes through. They are compelled against their will towards a behavior.

My Own Dark Hour

I have known the dark floor of addiction, and have swam in the abyss of helplessness when I just was not able to stop doing something so obviously bad for me. I have done every drug you know the name of and I have lived to be free from drug use and still have a glass of wine or a beer every now and again. Hmm. What happened? How did I do it?

There is probably many answers to that question, and I’m not going to share every detail here. But my story from my point of view is pretty simple. For years I fought with myself, it seemed, around trying to stop “going overboard.” I could sometimes just have a few drinks. But many times I found myself laying down at night or waking up the next morning in bad shape and saying to myself, “why did I do that.. why did I go that extra step… that last drink…” and more.
I was asking for answers. I went to therapy, I tried AA(half-heartedly, I admit). Things were getting bad: I found out I had a medical issue with my heart. I was tired. And then, after years of battling, a healer teaching the work that I now teach, told me that maybe it was time I quit fighting with it and just accept it as part of my life. In fact, Love my addiction instead of fight it. Do the breath-work, and Love the fact that I had gone through “bad” places and Love the fact that it has brought into my life people and energies that are going to help me grow, and turn around and help other people.
I accepted and started loving it, and sure enough, the energy shifted. There was no more battle, just focus on what I wanted to be doing. I quit beating myself up, did the breathwork, did yoga, and told my story. Pretty soon, I was clean and clear of any desire to drink. To smoke pot. And for me, any harder drugs always came after drinking too much, so they were all gone too.

Dark Into Light

What could you do with the time you spend each day doing things that don’t really serve you? That don’t really help others? Do you have a secret desire to create something, to do something fun, to challenge your patterns? All healing starts from an acceptance of the problem. If you don’t think something is a problem, then why would you think you need to heal that part of your life?
Is there something you are doing today that you know is not really good for you?

If so, get help, admit it to yourself that you are bored, trapped, or whatever the situation is, and then ask for help. I’m here, and so are many other people and therapies that can help you. Use your intuition and wisdom, start right where you are, and then watch that addictive behavior melt away, and creativity replace it.

There is a light and dark expression of all archetypal problems out there and you can use this knowledge and transform your engagement with addiction… allowing it to become a thing that made you stronger.

Much Love to you, Matt

Ps. Get on my email list or contact me for a session wherever you are in the world and I’ll help you.

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