“I need a cigarette” complained the man sitting across from me, to his wife. What perplexed me about his request was that he said this amid a series of hacking coughs that seemed to be in sync with the hacking coughs of his wife! Why continue to smoke when it’s clear that it’s causing bodily harm?
The above reflection took place during a recent weekend trip traveling via a regional bus.
During my journey I ran into many other smokers. However, in the midst of me judging their addiction – I had to finally ask the question – aren’t we all addicted to something?
For some it’s cigarettes, others it’s alcohol, shopping, gambling, sex, porn, love, or even exercise. As humans we are constantly seeking for ways to fill ourselves up &/or to avoid facing whatever it is that we are running from in life!
Recently on my Facebook page I posted “No one and no earthly thing can fill me up. What a sobering and healthy thought to have! #personalgrowth“. That post was my public confession that I have finally arrived to an emotional, mental, and spiritual place in life where I no longer have to seek external things to avoid pain, to cope with sadness, to manage worry/stress, to redirect anger, or to chase away loneliness.
The author of the Untethered Soul, would suggest that my refusal to look outward for comfort was my decision “that [I no longer wanted] the weakest part of [me] running my life. He (Michael Singer) cautions that “if you don’t solve the root cause of the problem, but instead, attempt to protect yourself from the problem, it ends up running your life”.
So what will it take for you to finally go to the root of your addiction(s)? I know for me I had to hit rock bottom before I finally decided that I no longer wanted to be ruled by my addiction. Instead I found the courage to face my fears and go to the root of my discontent. I’ll admit that I made that decision while being racked by doubt and fear. But I refused to let that stop me, because I already saw the alternative; so I surmised – what do I have to lose?!
The gospel singer, William McDowell, states: “I’ve been changed, healed, freed, delivered… I’ve found joy, peace, grace, and favor… So, I won’t go back, can’t go back, to the way things used to be…” I share those lyrics hoping that you will ultimately make that same resolution for yourself.
Have the courage to battle your addiction (whatever it is), and give yourself a life where you truly are free! No more running… No more hiding…