How Addicted Are You?

Excerpt from Chapter 1 - Overview

There are, of course, degrees of addiction. Initially, we use a substance or behavior occasionally to make ourselves feel better. We keep repeating the process until fairly soon we become dependent and eventually become addicted. I shall not attempt to define the differences between ongoing use, dependency and addiction because I believe that ongoing use of any substance or behavior that helps us to feel better is part of a covering-over process (that helps us quell pain without feeling or healing the underlying fear).

Most people, including Jane, are clueless about the extent of their addictions. I have only two suggestions for more accurate perception of the extent of such addictions. Both these suggestions involve stopping all normal behaviors for a few days.

My two suggestions are either a vision quest or a primal therapy intensive. Let me dismiss the latter (primal therapy) for most all reading these words, because primal therapy has never been very popular and probably never will be. Even for those following primal paths (like this author), a second primal intensive is not very common and often lacks the necessary food and conversation fasting that would reveal more of the addictive truths.

Vision quests, on the other hand, have become somewhat popular with New Age folks. They can show us many things about our addictions and addictive-like behaviors, most of which we probably don't want to see. If Jane decides upon a vision quest, then it is also vital to prohibit her possible "spiritual" addictions: meditation, prayer, exercise, yoga, rituals, ceremonies, sacred objects and tapping into God's love.

If Jane is able to allow herself the vision quest experience, she may discover how she uses all her "spiritual" behaviors quite addictively. Her addictive behaviors allow her to never be without a psychological crutch. She is similar to the person who smokes, drinks, does pot and is overweight. If one crutch is taken away, then the next is used. We see that frequently. For example, when smokers quit, they usually gain weight or drink more. For Jane to get beyond her addictions will require a major shift away from trying to tap more and more into God's love.

Later in Chapter 6, I'll discuss more about the vision quest and its usefulness. It is a valuable tool for cutting through our psychological stuff and for confronting us with some truths that we may have been blocking from our awareness. Go for it!

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© 2008 by Thayer White
Finding Your Soul in the Spirituality Maze


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Excerpt from Be Your Own Therapist: "Another subtle traumatic process often occurs when the child decides, consciously or unconsciously, to become just like a parent in one or more ways. Aspects of the child may be completely denied in the copying attempt."