Addiction: The Underlying Feelings We Want to AvoidBy Dr. Margaret Paul
April 19, 2013
Underlying all addictive behavior is the intent to avoid the deeply painful existential feelings of loneliness, grief, heartbreak and helplessness over others.
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 ego 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 with the addictive behavior it has learned.
Underlying all addictive behavior is the intention to avoid pain, especially the deeply painful feelings of aloneness, loneliness, grief, helplessness over others and heartbreak.
Aloneness is the feeling we have when we are disconnected from ourselves and from a source of spiritual Guidance. We have no loving adult with an intent to learn and our inner child feels abandoned and alone in the universe. Aloneness is a feeling we cause by our own self-abandoning, unloving behavior toward ourselves. Our aloneness vanishes when we choose to connect with our own feelings and with our spiritual Guidance and bring love and compassion to our own feeings.
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 an existential 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, toward others and toward themselves. When we finally accept it, then we are free to take loving action on 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 over others, 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.
Join Dr. Margaret Paul for her 30-Day at-home Course: "Love Yourself: An Inner Bonding Experience to Heal Anxiety, Depression, Shame, Addictions and Relationships."
Learn to connect with your spiritual Guidance with "Frequency: Your Spiritual Guidance & The Art of Manifestation" A 30-Day at-home Experience with Dr. Margaret Paul.
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Photo by Luke Porter
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When being loving, we are not grasping, demanding, needy or clingy, because love has nothing to do with getting or taking. We give freely, to ourselves and to others. We also receive graciously when the gift is freely given. When being unloving, we may try to manipulate a gift - whether it be of time, money, attention, emotional support, approval, sex or affection - but when we are loving we know that a gift not freely given is not really a gift. Notice when you are being loving or unloving.
By Dr. Margaret Paul