Daily InspirationYour emotions are a great gift, letting you know when you are on track or off track in your thinking and behavior, or when you need to attend to what is happening with a person or situation. Today, practice learning what your painful emotions are telling you, rather than avoiding them with your various addictions. By Dr. Margaret Paul
The Cause of the Aloneness that Leads to Addictive BehaviorBy Dr. Margaret Paul
May 03, 2013
Feelings of aloneness and emptiness, resulting from self-abandonment, often underlie addictive behavior. Learning to love yourself can heal addictive behavior.
How often do you feel alone and empty inside? And how often do you turn to some addictive behavior to avoid feeling these feelings?
Aloneness and inner emptiness are caused by a lack of love within, and this lack of love is the result of self-abandonment. When we don't take loving care of ourselves, our inner child feels abandoned, alone and empty. When you disconnect from your feelings to avoid the pain, then you also can't connect with others or with your spiritual source of love and comfort. Therefore, you might feel both alone and lonely - a state of despair - when you do not take loving care of yourself - which is when you may turn to various addictive behaviors.
One of the major ways we do not take care of ourselves that may lead to addictive behavior is not standing up for ourselves, not speaking our truth and setting our limits in conflict with others. When we give ourselves up, abandoning ourselves in the hopes of pacifying another and controlling how another feels about us, our inner child feels alone, unloved and unimportant. Rather than feeling these painful feelings and taking responsibility for them, we may turn to various addictive behaviors to avoid feeling these feelings.
One of the quickest ways of moving beyond addictive behavior is to make the decision that you are willing to lose others rather than lose yourself. When you choose to tell your truth, set your limits and take loving action for yourself with co-workers, friends, your mate, parents or children, rather than allow yourself to be verbally or physically attacked or abused, you may find yourself moving beyond your addictive behavior.
Margo had been an alcoholic for 17 years when she consulted with me. She had tried everything, including AA, to stop drinking but nothing was working. Instead of addressing the drinking directly, we worked on her boundary issues. She was letting everyone in her life - her husband, her son, and her business partner run over her and control her. She diligently went about learning to set loving limits.
About two months after starting to work with Inner Bonding, she came in all smiles and announced that she hadn't had a drink in a week, nor had she desired one. It turned out that her desire to drink came from feeling so badly when she let people run over her. As long as she took care of herself, speaking up for herself and setting appropriate limits, she had no desire to drink.
When you feel loved and safe within, your desire for your traditional addictions gradually fades away. The challenge is, therefore, what make you feel loved and safe within? Spending time learning how to stand up for yourself and speak your truth, rather than let yourself be run over or abused, will go a long way towards creating inner safety and a sense of inner fullness and security.
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."
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