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Today, think about softness - the softness of your smile, of your kindness and caring, of the tenderness of your touch. There is such power in softness. Today, discern the difference between softness and weakness. Weakness is allowing others to run over you and control you. Softness is the result of a powerful loving Adult standing in your truth and being unafraid to express your love.

By Dr. Margaret Paul

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Addiction: The Underlying Feelings We Want to Avoid

By Dr. Margaret Paul
December 31, 2006

Underlying all addictive behavior is the intention to avoid pain, especially the deeply painful feelings of aloneness, loneliness, and helplessness, and the anxiety, anger and depression that cover these feelings. How to release emotions rather than avoid them with addictions.

Food, sugar, alcohol, drugs, nicotine, and caffeine, as well as process addictions such sex, spending, gambling, TV and so on, are being used addictively when they are a way to avoid feeling your pain and taking responsibility for it. Substance and process addictions are primary ways the wounded self anesthetizes against pain. When there is no loving Adult to connect with your Guidance and learn from your pain, the wounded self takes over to create safety in the addictive ways it has learned.

Underlying all addictive behavior is the intention to avoid pain, especially the deeply painful feelings aloneness, loneliness, helplessness, and heartbreak.

Aloneness is the feeling we have when we have disconnected from ourselves and from a source of spiritual Guidance. We have no loving Adult with an intent to learn and the Child inside feels abandoned and alone in the universe. Aloneness is a feeling we cause by our own unloving behavior toward ourselves. Our aloneness vanishes when we choose to connect with our own feelings and with our spiritual Guidance.

Loneliness is the feeling we have when there is no one to share love with, either because there is no one around, or because those around us are closed to sharing love with us, or because we are closed to sharing love with them. If we are closed to sharing love with them, we will feel both alone and lonely, even if we are around people.

Loneliness is a fact of life that we need to learn to manage rather than avoid with our addictive behavior. Inner Bonding is a process for acknowledging, embracing and releasing our lonely feelings, instead of avoiding them with our addictions.

Aloneness and loneliness often feel life-threatening, since they were when we were small. If left alone, we would have died.

Helplessness can also feel life-threatening. When we were small, we were helpless over both ourselves and others. If no one ever came when we cried, we would have died. Today, we are no longer helpless over ourselves - we can get food, call for help, and so on. However, we are still helpless over others, yet most of us don't want to accept this. We spend much energy trying to control others rather than accepting our helplessness and heartbreak over others unloving behavior toward us, others, and themselves. When we finally accept it, then we are free to take loving action in our own behalf.

Since it feels so awful and scary to feel helpless or heartbroken, we attempt to avoid these feelings with our addictions.

You will discover that you will no longer need your addictions once you learn to be a loving Adult, acknowledging, welcoming and compassionately embracing your feelings of loneliness, heartbreak, and helplessness, and then releasing them to Spirit. Simply ask Spirit to take these feelings and replace them with acceptance, serenity, peace, joy, or whatever you desire to feel. Once you learn to acknowledge, welcome, embrace and release your feelings, you will no longer need to avoid them with your addictions.


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