Monday, October 23rd 2017

Addiction and its antidote: The pain and pleasure of living in the moment

Find joy by withdrawing your spiritual energy from your past, and using it to feed the present moment

BY MARY COOK — Trauma and addiction teach us defensiveness, despair, distraction, fear, neediness and offensiveness.

Rather than paying attention to our current circumstances we’re running away from, or chasing after something, to relieve pain that is actually residing in the past.

We aren’t noticing who we are in the moment; instead, we are repeatedly seeking ways artificially to alter, numb or heighten who we see ourselves to be.

Abstaining from active addiction and living without trauma does not stop the mental, emotional and physical habit patterns from the past.

Read the Soul’s Code slideshow: Addiction, 9 causes and cures

We continue to carry fear and false beliefs and their corresponding defense mechanisms and character defects into our current circumstances and future probabilities.

In our struggles with problems and quests for answers, our energy is often scattered.  Our minds can get very busy with possibilities, scenarios, fears and wishes. These are all attempts to escape the past, but trying to escape keeps us connected to the past. It’s like the proverbial trying not to think of an elephant.  Many times our minds multiply problems rather than solve them, or create solutions that are worse than the original problem.  This fragmented, fear based focus is non-productive and indicates a lack of healing.

We can’t be present in the past

Past physical violations and abuse commonly lead to psychological disconnection or disassociation with our bodies.  Symptoms of these defenses include: presenting the body as an object to be used; neglecting of the body altogether; re-enacting abuse; fear, shame and hatred of the body; and developing unhealthy measures to protect and obtain control over the body. This last symptom is seen in the various eating disorders.

Mental and emotional trauma typically results in denial and repression of painful thoughts, feelings and memories.  This leads to chronic feelings of confusion, anxiety, depression, fear and anger, as well as emotional constriction, intellectualization and rigid thinking.

The Soul’s Code Pain-Body Index in 10 slides

Once again, we are unable to be fully present to ourselves or others, as all of our present moments are marred by past trauma and fears of the future.

Understandably we don’t wish to feel pain, powerlessness and emptiness.  Yet, when we are living in safe and sober conditions, continued resistance to these emotions increases our problems and stress.

Paying attention to each present moment as it appears and disappears, and becoming more aware of the observer part of ourselves that doesn’t think or act and is not attached to human willfulness, brings a spiritual perspective to learning and maturing.

Addiction’s source code: busy with fears, wishes, scenarios

Furthermore, facing and processing emotions from the past helps us learn to be fully present to who we are without conditions and constraints.

Trauma symptoms additionally interfere with what we have to give to others.  We are afraid to be fully present to anything that reminds us of what we have not healed.  Yet we unconsciously attract these very experiences, because we hold their energies within us, and because we are endlessly given opportunities to heal.

Until we consciously decide to heal, we respond to others defensively and offensively when some part of them or what they do, say or feel, reminds us of our pain.  Therefore, what we have to give to others is an incomplete and distorted version of who we truly are.  And how we perceive them is incomplete and distorted as well.

The law of projection: what is unhealed will come back at you

The greatest gifts come from compassionate self-reflection and understanding.  When we summon the courage to face the unhealed aspects of ourselves, our work can ultimately transform them into healthy and helpful character traits.

This positive energy increases our conscious awareness and receptiveness to divine direction and assistance.  Allowing ourselves to be fully present to who we are as God created us, and allowing each moment to arrive and depart without resistance or attachment, aligns us with God’s will for us.  Now we can also give others our full presence, and thus notice all that they are from a human and spiritual perspective.

When we have conflict, we often perceive ourselves to be struggling with external forces.  Our blaming of others serves to reinforce negative energies inside of us.  If we are more psychologically evolved, we see the struggles as being between aspects of ourselves. However, internal strife without loving insight also reinforces negative energies.

If we are spiritually evolved, we understand that every conflict is an opportunity to learn something new and thereby expand our understanding and active demonstration of spiritual principles.  This enables us to see our fuller presence as both a human and spiritual being.

When we cease resisting the lessons and stop disconnecting from ourselves, and when we exchange negative energies for compassionate inquiry and commitment to personal growth, we begin to realize the magnitude of the flow of divine blessings.

Mary Cook is the author of Grace Lost and Found: From Addictions and Compulsions to Satisfaction and Serenity.  She has 34 years of clinical practice and 29 years of university teaching experience and is available for counseling, guided meditation, speaking engagements and in-service training.  Contact her by email and visit her website. Read Mary’s previous articles for Soul’s Code, How one addiction leads to another and Surviving the agony of compulsive behavior.

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2 Comments on “Addiction and its antidote: The pain and pleasure of living in the moment”

  1. Excellent Article!!

    ONEderFull insights and advise for healing that which IS the fear based conditioning within.

    Soul's Code IS most certainly BLISSed by the many varied and ONEderFull Guest Columnists gracing its pages.

    Blissedly BE
    Radiating LOVE

  2. If trauma is significant enough, the sense of self can become shattered to the point where we enter a never-ending loop of playing out the same kind of energetic dynamics ('meeting the same type of people'), over and over again. Once we learn how to pay homage to the inner observer who can intuit how we cause our own drama, we can reconnect to our true essence, which is pure and doesn't need to be squelched in self-abuse any longer. It's all about taking control of our thoughts.

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