People often say silence is golden; to some great extent this is truth. Connecting with the quiet of life often allows us a positive process to pause, inhale, reboot, and restore peace within. But what takes place in our physiological world when we experiences another form of silence? This kind of quiet causes us to feel hopeless, resistant to change, fearful, critical of self or even unaccountable. From time to time, these noiseless eruptions rage within all of us and whether we are sticking a needle in our arm or silently disbursing hostility or judgment to a person we claim we love, we discover that were all addicted to something. None of us are exempt.
Today’s society has made considerable efforts to addressing every critical issue from education to employment, climate change to natural disasters, traditions to obesity. But these examinations do not address a much larger problem we ignore as a society – emotional storms and how they destroy the spirit then spread like a virus. We have chosen to define selective societies by a mediocrity that divides the needs and assessments – but does not foster them collectively.
The high degree of moral panic and stigma regarding economics and the lack of opportunity runs rapid throughout the more underprivileged communities than those that are affluent. We have placed labels and our sense of value on everything: from purses to people, separating class privileges and social problems. For example, drug and substance abuse in the lower class has been labeled as a “public issue,” while drug and substance abuse in the middle class has been identified as a “personal problem.”
Australian Researcher and Sociologist, Dr. Zuleyka Zevallos further illustrates this type of divide in a previous study and publication. “Common sense” about what problems are personal or public, are connected to class relationships. Groups with less power have some of their private troubles defined as a danger to the established law and order. Middle class families, by virtue of their social position, fly under the radar because they represent society’s “average household.” Middle class families can go about their daily routines, without being forced to be socially accountable for what happens behind closed doors. Yet middle class individuals do not readily recognize themselves as having any special advantages. They are not super wealthy; they do not feel as if they have the autonomy to change the way things are; and so they do not feel like they enjoy any extraordinary social benefits. Being middle class isn’t experienced as a type of power, and yet it is a social privilege. Not having your personal choices and personal troubles define you as a problem is an entitlement that poor people do not have. Not having to think about your drinking and drug use as a problem for your children, and not having your children taken away from you because of it, is a type of luxury that poor people do not have.”
Regardless of status quo and how many of these addictions have emerged, the fear is that a broader society will continue to view them with a categorical difference, when in fact the effects and results remain the same. They are existent and self-destructive. In the final analysis, it matters not where a person is from or how much money they possess. A shopaholic is a shopaholic. A sex addict is a sex addict. And whether they are a CEO or a mail carrier, a substance abuser is a substance abuser. A wealthy person who lives with internal fear is no different than a deprived person who lives with internal fear. Our exteriors and environments may differ but on the inside, we all experience the silent agony of some beasts.
Our lives are not the problem; our addictions are and they run the gamut. Like a silent storm, if we allow, addictions blow into our consciousness and take a front row seat. They arrive with both a pacifier and a dilemma. Sometimes they bring us closer toward the coastline and at other times, they gradually wash us out to sea. Time and again, they appear in various forms of resistance and when we attempt to surrender them, they grab hold like a bear claw.
Some folks are addicted to factors such as work, denial, love, grief [absorbing it, sharing it], failure, pleasure, pain, envy, fear or disappointment. While others are addicted to practices such as greed, anger, alcohol, sex, judgment, substance abuse, lies, depression, food, shopping, gossip, hate, breaking promises, being unforgiving and religion. In the culture of silence and secrecy we have come to sanction, why are we so afraid of letting go?
All addictions are caused by fear. We run from ourselves because we do not know how to love ourselves and one another. We are busy building prosperity more than relationships. We cannot heal because we harbor hatred and hopelessness for ourselves and allocate abuse and anger to others. It is easier for media moguls to discuss unhealthy foods that promote inactive lifestyles and frequent failures in American culture, but find it difficult to sort out the deeply rooted setbacks that cause emotional storms that materialize into addictions; from the minuscule to the most critical.
Louise Hay once said, “For every habit we have, for every experience we go through over and over, for every pattern we repeat, there is a NEED within us for it. The need corresponds to some belief we have. If there were not a need, we wouldn’t have it, do it, or be it.”
So how do we feel about ourselves and what are our realistic “inner” beliefs? The body responds to our beliefs and energy. Beliefs can create diseases and addictions. If we truly believe alcohol, comfort food, drugs, smoking, sex and shopping makes us feel worthy, we venture forward with applying those practices, often in the most destructive of channels. The healing begins only when these issues have been acknowledged, accepted, and made accountable. When the issues are not addressed, the “drug of choice” is utilized to temporarily aid and mask the pain within.
Bad habits are easy to create but difficult to break so we self-medicate on every level. At some point, perhaps we’ve all been there. Denial prevents us from accepting the problem in an effort to change it and the pain it generates is simply an indication of guilt. Failure holds us captive with feelings of anticipated rejection. Pleasure consistently feeds the ultra-ego. Envy prevents us from appreciating our truest self. Depression is anger dressed up in the form of hopelessness and it prevents us from moving our mind and feet forward. Alcoholism makes us feel inadequate and rejected. Criticism cultivates a cancer within us like toxic waste. Greed promotes selfishness. Anger causes anxiety. Anxiety causes distrust in the flow and process of life and fear ultimately keeps us in the dark.
Louise Hay continues to say, “There is something within us that needs the fat, the poor relationships, the failures, the cigarettes, the anger, the poverty, the abuse, or whatever there is that’s a problem for us.”
To begin the process of eliminating any addiction, you must first locate the source that is causing it. Peace, prosperity, happiness, healthiness, goodness, balance, acceptance, and change should not be essentials we fear or are allergic to – rather, daily beliefs and affirmations we must learn to embrace. You must believe that you are worthy of all things.
Addictions create artificial emotions because they’re only good while they last. Joy, however, is a natural state of being. Be there. Accept the defeat of your yesteryear and embrace the beauty of your NOW.
Love yourself today. Trust your steps. Accept yourself today. Let go. Move on. Be free.
Love and Light!