Addiction is a form of personal management that numbs an individual’s emotional discomfort. Addictions serve a purpose; they medicate emotions. On the most part, addictions are usually developed when a person is unable to heal from some form of pain and suffering. It is usually people who have experienced a traumatic event who turn to addiction as a means of taking unpleasant feelings away. Unfortunately, when addictions numb out the feelings that make us feel bad, they also block out the feelings that make us feel good, including feelings of love.
Love is sorely missed in this world; it’s the lack of love that creates a sense of separation in us from the rest of the world. With the level of pain and suffering we are witnessing in North America today, is it any wonder that so many people are medicating and choosing addiction as a way to cope with their emotional pain?
Addictions are a ‘not so healthy’ way of coping where the individual numbs out their emotions with compulsive behavior or by altering their mood through chemical use such as drugs, alcohol, or both.
There are better ways than addiction to cope. Going for walks, spending time in nature, making art, writing, drawing, carpentry work, spending time with loved ones are all forms of creative expression, are good for us, and are a more positive way to express our feelings.
More and more people are recognizing the power of our emotional well-being. The goal of overcoming addictions is to be able to feel our feelings again; to feel feelings that were too painful to acknowledge in the past, and to make room for emotions that leave us feeling more positive in the present and future. I am not referring to getting over a feeling, but the ability to feel the feeling, release it, and move forward; of being able to enjoy your life while experiencing your emotions. To flow with your emotions, to let them come, stay with you and leave when you no longer feel it. It is how you manage your energy and your emotional states, including love. Love is inside of us waiting for us to bring it to life again. It is often by denying ourselves the feeling of love and connection that throws our energy into addictive patterns and that can have a negative spiraling effect on us.
In Power versus Force, Dr. David Hawkins wrote about conscious states of being. It’s the lower states of consciousness that we are trying to avoid with addiction. Based on his findings, I place addictions right in the middle on the scale of: Shame, guilt, fear, anger, addiction, awareness, love, consciousness and enlightenment. The same scale can be applied to our emotions.