Addictions offer dissociative relief and quick fixes rather than long-term solutions. Pleasant diversions release powerful endorphins that numb our senses and soothe rough patches. Unfortunately, the addictive path won’t take you anywhere worthwhile. As we all know, any kind of respite from life’s jungle is very seductive.
Every family travels on old roads that our ancestors cleared out in the forest. Parents pass on familial habits to their offspring. Ancestral roadmaps are often hard wired. Childhood patterns often become entrained primary love templates and unconscious patterns.
There are many ancestral paths, detours and dead ends that lead to perilous cliffs, dangerous ravines and swamps that suck the life out of us. The challenge before everyone is mustering the courage to explore new roads and producing better results than our ancestors. Self-actualization speeds up this process, while addictions born from ancestral patterning or passive escapism just recycle suffering.
Some families encourage self-actualization and exploration, but religious, ethnic and societal maps sometimes stifle innovation. There are many roads to heaven and hell. One road may serve some people well, while others…not so much. Since many roads are connected, one road may work for a while until detours are needed.
Developing an accurate guidance system that distinguishes what nurtures or drains our soul is extremely important. Everyone has an internal voice that provides healthy suggestions. Theologians, psychologists and philosophers call guidance our conscience, healthy adult and inner wisdom. Who hasn’t regretted not listening to our inner sage?
Inner guidance may suggest that we reject ancestral, religious and societal roadmaps that do not serve us. Dogma dictating which path to take is a paternalistic road of ancestral control and doesn’t support originality. Ancestral paths fail to take into account that today’s problems may need unique solutions that require new paths. Actualizing a dream requires freedom. Puppet-master dogma pulls strings and creates mindless clones not problem solvers.
Of the countless roads, the path of addiction presents special problems. Addictions make grand promises and deliver short-term solutions consistently. Everyone wants to feel good immediately and addictions are like a perpetual diet of fast food. It fills voids within with junk food, when our body, mind and soul need nurturing of another kind.
Addictions are like seductive sirens that beacon sailors to sail ships into rocky shoals.
A healthy lifestyle will nurture our body, mind and soul. Illusion leaves hangovers and a bad aftertaste from problems, struggle and doubt.
Overcoming addictions requires soul connection, examining ancestral paths and dedicating oneself to truthful self-examination. It is important to address our emotions, check out perceptions and follow soul guidance to become more consciousness. An accurate assessment all of our behaviors daily to see if they are in alignment with inner wisdom is wise. Mind, body and behavior consistency will always let us know which path nurtures our soul and which illusion will fail in the long-term.
Life doesn’t need to be complicated. If one path feels good to our mind, body and soul, it is a good road. Walk down it as long as it supports your long-term dream. If it stops working then we need to start looking for our next path. Know there is a good road even if it’s out of sight or just around the bend. We just need to use our intuitive skills, surrender to internal instincts and invite our pathfinder within to start looking in earnest.
These are the essential qualities of a self-actualized individual throughout time. All the true pathfinders listen to their intuitive inner voice. Listen to your pathfinder within to navigate through the maze of addictions, short-term pleasures and illusions our world have to offer to find the true happiness your heart and souls desires.
When speaking of addiction, what comes to my mind first is the typical chemical addiction such as alcoholism, or other drugs. It is great that these are recognized as problems and that there is help out there, as well as much less shaming than there used to be. However, one can become addicted to any behavior that rewarded with a sense of relief, calm, or escape. Many are only as harmful as one allows themselves to indulge in it. For instance, food, while it commonly accepted that food can be an addiction, and there are even cookbooks dedicated to comfort foods, which are often used to escape, if momentarily, from stress. However, to cure one from such an addiction, it is not enough to change the behavior of turning to comfort foods in times of stress. There is a reason for the ‘need’ to escape. That is what needs to be explored. But what of the people that turn inward for their escape? They are often dismissed as being antisocial among other things, but in acutallity, they have become addicted to remaining within the safety of their own inner walls….