We’re all conscious of our subtle levels of addiction in one way or another. But what we tend to forget or are oblivious about is that our addictions are rooted in our identities.
Therefore, if we want to overcome addiction, we must reconfigure ourselves and become someone else. The good thing is that human beings are adaptable and highly flexible.
The downside is that we must transform, we must become something completely different.
Like the butterfly and the caterpillar. The main question really isn’t do you want to get over addiction, of course you want to get over addiction. The main question is are you willing to become something else? Are you willing to make the changes necessary to be something else? And are you willing to let go of the identity that links you to this way of thinking?
Chances are you’re sick of being this way, of being addicted, of the downsides and the effects of self-destruction.
To eradicate addiction from our lives, we must create a new identity devoid of addiction. We must strive to live another way until we entirely forget the inefficient ways. Every time we strive to go another way, to avoid addiction type activities or situations which empower the addiction and disempower us, we fortify another path, another way of investing our energy.
If in your identity you’ve decided that something specific is bad, and that you must conform to avoiding that bad thing (for example: going outside is painful), then your actions will prevent you, to the extent of your ability, from doing what you consider bad or painful. But, if we take a step back from our personal judgements and attachments to why things are the way they are, why we judge said situations how we do, and why we get pain; we get to re-establish healthier patterns.
The reason I say that addiction is part of our identity is the fact that we build our identities up -for most of us- from the day’s we are born. We base these identities on how well or poorly mummy and daddy treated us. We establish our identities on the pains and pleasures we experience. And then… we just run with it without questioning if our identities make sense, or if our behaviours are sane or balanced. We see everything through our childhood prism and we add our official age to the equation in order to validate our childhood prism, as if it were a diploma or years of experience. I’ve been suffering X, Y and Z since Daddy did A, B and C…. and we validate and justify our behaviour based on how we thought we perceived something a hundred years ago.
At some point, we experience so much pain that we must let go of the identifications we make to the pains we carry. They say hell is a bottomless pit, but I don’t believe this to be true. Hell is as bottomless as our pain tolerance is capable of enduring. At some point we experience enough, we define a boundary or a limitation. I’ve had enough, this needs to stop! we say to ourselves in desperation. That’s when we touch the bottom of the pit and why I say there is a floor to hell. If we listen to what we feel, our floor is our limitation. And when we discover this limit, the extent of what we’re willing to suffer, we start to prevent others from hurting us for free (or more likely from stepping on us because we had no defined boundaries).
Over time pain accumulates, up until the time we need to let go. Our energy starts to saturate, our fluidity starts to ebb and where we were once fast we’re now slowing down. Like an elephant on a moped. Our internal power has to either grow to accommodate the weight we carry, or we have to undo the weight so we can gain momentum and traction again. In my circumstance, I did both. I sought to undo the psychological weight I was carrying, and I also went through a significant amount of pain in order to grow my inner strength. Although, in retrospect, after going through all I’ve been through over the last years, I can clearly state that all the work I’ve done on myself and everything I’ve been through give me tools, understanding, empathy and comprehension to go through pain and difficulty, but in no way takes the pain away. Which is why I’ll say that…
Once we go through the pain, that we’ve grown sufficiently, that we’ve suffered enough, we must let go. Of the circumstances, people, mindsets, visions, behaviours and so on that keep us in that way of feeling. When we LET GO, we clear out the spaces which had previously been used for pain accumulation, and we make space for new things to enter our life. The vision you’ve been hoping for is waiting for you to let go of the vision which is keeping you trapped. The partner of your dreams is waiting for you to let go of the people who are currently undervaluing you. The money you so hope for is waiting for you to let go of the security of the poverty you currently have provides. Etc. You must LET GO, give away, share all, open up, in order to receive new things, people, circumstances.
Your room will stink of defeat and sweat if you don’t open the window to let a nice new fresh air in. So open your windows and doors, do the washing, clean your sheets and clean it up, so that you can receive something fresh rather than your odour of defeat.
Once we let go of our limiting identities, we make space for identities of abundance and we open up to the vast array of possibilities awaiting us. Once we change our mind, the world around changes instantly, we shift from one frequency impossibility to that of possibility.
We discard the self-talk of “I’m this, I’m that and things can’t happen because I’m this and that…” . When you take the I’m out of impossibility, you shift towards possibility. So get out of your own way and let go of having to control everything and everyone. Let and let God or whatever you believe is out there as a guiding force, help you towards new outcomes you’d rather experience. As long as you hold on to the circumstances of your downfall, that is where you’ll be. As long as you point a finger at the person who made you a victim, you’ll always suffer their tyranny. As long as you identify with the pain, you’ll carry it with you and continue spreading it around.
So what do I need to do to change this all and get rid of identity?
First of all, identify your beliefs and question why you believe them and why they’re true.
Second, take a step away from what pains you and observe if you can find a way to rise above the pain and see it for what it is. Why are you experiencing that pain? Don’t point a finger and blame, look within. Why are you feeling that pain? And why are you holding on to that feeling?
Third, identify what is supporting your addiction. People, circumstances, behaviour, mindset…? When we identify what is holding us in addiction, we can also sever the chains that keep us there. A lot of the time, we have an anchor keeping us in place. That anchor keeps us, like a boat, from sailing off to new horizons. Even if we want to sail off, we won’t budge until we cut the ties and burn the boats. Sometimes its not even as dramatic as that, sometimes we need to surrender to what we think is painful and accept it. In accepting it, we take away its power over us.
Fourth, start building another identity you can poor yourself into, one with healthy behaviours, one you aspire to, one who’d enjoy being. Depression is a need for deep rest from the identity we carry on and repeat over and over until we’ve drained all the creative life force and enjoyment from discovering this new aspect of ourselves. Building a new identity to become, to work towards, to grow into is a great way to undo that depression and feeling of powerlessness. We don’t need a material circumstance to build a new identity in our mind. All we need is the courage to do so.
Firth, have discipline around healthy behaviours and change your thoughts. If you change the way you think, what you associate pleasure to, and what you associate pain to, then your life will change dramatically. Define your pains and pleasures and your life will take off like a rocket.
Sixth, let go. Stop holding on to outdated friendships, circumstances, thought patterns, relationships, and clear out your space for new and better things to come. Learn new things, discover new places, try new activities you’ve never tried, think new thoughts you’ve never engaged in thinking before.
Seventh, similar to having another more sane identity, have a vision. Having a vision will allow us to have something we’re enthusiastic about. Something we can work towards. Having a vision allows us to have a sense of purpose. It gives us a north star to reach for.
Eighth, What are you inspired, curious, passionate about? Invest yourself in that. Following what we like doing opens doors and gives us enjoyment. If we don’t enjoy what we do, chances are our existence will be devoid of many pleasures. If you can’t enjoy what you’re doing, strive to become great at it, often getting good allows us to appreciate what we do.
Ninth, be patient with yourself. Nothing happens in one go, except scratch cards, and no one wins those. Building up a new identity takes time, investment, blood, sweat and tears. It takes discipline and will. In order to become the person we want to become, we must face our fears, take risks, do what works for us and we must be patient. Good things take time, good wines take time, great skills take time. An overnight success happens after 20 years.
Tenth, passion over force. Striving for something is different than forcing ourselves to do it.
This is a subtle yet important fact no one talks about. Having discipline is one thing, but forcing ourselves when our vision isn’t there or when we’re disinterested in what we’re doing breeds useless pain. My best results have always come from my mood. My worst workouts were always when I felt down. Luck always falls upon me when I’m feeling great. And my biggest failures when I’ve forced myself to do something when my intuition said otherwise or when I felt out of whack. Don’t feed into the all American propaganda of force force force. Listen to yourself and be consistent with your inner vision first and foremost.
If you’re not optimistic, take a step back. All of your progress won’t fall away because you take a time out to reassess.
If you liked this post, be sure to check out my latest book The creative Guide to the galaxy.
In which I guide you from addiction to the life you want. Now available on Amazon.